Giving Back...

Last year I took a class called Flying Lessons from the amazing artist, Kelly Rae Roberts.  There were around 350 women who took the e-course along with me.  Together we have spent the last year pursuing our artistic endeavors, building our galleries of finished work, creating websites and stores, and sharing the journey with each other.  I have gained so much from these fellow "Flyers". Several of my classmates have crossed the line from classmates to on-line friends, and some have gone from e-buddies to real live friendships.  Whatever the status, this amazing group of women has grown together over the last year to wonderful new personal and professional artistic heights. One of the reasons that I feel so closely connected to them is the spirit of giving that surrounds this group.  We help eachother every single day.  We ask questions and someone knows the answer - from art technique, to blog or website questions, to selling work, to setting up art booths.  I am so proud of our latest endeavor - banding together to celebrate our own success by creating a scholarship for the next generation of Flying Lessons students!  Our little tribe of artists have raised enough money to sponsor 8 students in Kelly Rae's next (and last!) run of Flying Lessons.  And to top it all off - she is going to match our donation with 8 spots donated of her own!! If you are an artist wanting to take flight, click here to find the link where Future Flyers can submit a letter explaining your wish to Take Flight!!  The winners will be chosen at random, and will be announced on 8/29/12 both by our group and on Kelly Rae's blog!  I hope you win and begin a wonderful artistic journey of your own!  You can also read all about the journeys of other flyers on this page. If you are not quite ready for her whole course - check out her Flying Lessons e-book (see the right hand side of my blog for a link to click)! My flight in the last year has taken me on quite a journey - here are some of the highlights!! *I created a blog and website - Just Mary Designs was born! *I developed an art line called Body Fab-YOU-lous - marrying my love of mixed media art with a message close to my heart - dedicated to helping women find peace and end their struggle with weight loss and body image challenges. *I have sold 4 original paintings and around 25 prints!  I just picked up a paintbrush for the first time 2 years selling my work is an amazing accomplishment! *I was asked to create a piece that will be featured in a new magazine launch issue next month!  Soon I will be published - holy cow!! * I have taken many e-courses to develop my skills and in the process learned wordpress, photoshop, how to design patterns, how to paint large canvases, art journaling and more! *I have connected into groups where each day I am in contact with several thousand artists - learning and sharing! *I launched the daily email Body Fab-YOU-lous Love Notes - a little reminder that peace and love are available in your body right now.  I received a letter of feedback telling me that one of them made the reader weep with recognition.  That tells me these are important.  They are making a difference in peoples lives.  I'm also promoting inspirational art from my network of e-buddies - another way to give back to my artistic community! May your own year be one of amazing accomplishment, and your flight take you soaring to new heights!! Here is a list of my Flyer Sisters and their posts about their own flight! Janet Forrest Cat Athena Louise Stacey Bockness Curry Kris Lanae Binsfeld Renee Burke Michelle Reynolds Constance Rawlins Kelly Hoernig Cindy Jones Lantier Kathleen Conard Claudia Dow Susan M. Walls-Beverly Linda Barutha Linda Kinnaman Cheryl Dossey Sofia Dabalsa Jill Lambert Sally Rose Ursula Smith Deborah Eaton Lori Leissner Creative Clearinghouse Lenore Angela Katharina Star Rachél Payne Sherry Richert Belul Deborah Velasquez Shannon Etnyre Live Laugh Love Retreats Kelley Miller Artworks Wini Dougall Carol Bray Tracy Yarbrough Diane Enright Jamie Burch Mary Cottingham Susan Dietz Lori Moon Studio Kim Hyer Tina Carlborg Catherine Pistone Mary MacIlvain Carolyn Chenault

Its a Blog-hop - what fun!

I took a class this summer and made some great artsy girl friends.  They put together a Blog Hop.  I had never heard of it!  Basically a Blog Hop is a list of people participating who are all writing a blog post on the same day, related to the same topic - and including a list of the other "hoppers"!  Fun! Our post inspiration is called Flying Lessons.  That was actually the name of the class - about learning how to fly high in the art business world.  But for me, it held a dual meaning.  You see, I am a pilot.  I have had my Visual Flight Rating (VFR) license for about 10 years.  I had dabbled with getting my Instrument Flight Rating (IFR) - meaning you can fly in the clouds and marginal weather.  I dabbled with this for all 10 of the years I have been flying.  But I wasn't truly motivated...just didnt have the drive to finish it. Then this summer the flood in the midwest hit.  I had to evacuate my house and my business.  It basically turned my entire world upside down.  Imagine that....packing everything you own and moving it the span of about 3 days.  Everything.  And having the threat of your property being totally destroyed hanging over your head. I craved the feeling of security.  Everything in my life was in turmoil.  And I deeply needed to feel that I still had the freedom and independence to make choices - not be trapped by what the flood dictated.  It was already dictating where I could live, and where I could work.  So what did I do?   As I took the Flying Lessons class for artists, I also took Flying Lessons of a different kind.  I finished my IFR. Now I can pick up at any time and fly pretty much anywhere I want to.  Now I don't have to deal with pesky security measures, or even planning way ahead to book a trip.  I can go anywhere, at pretty much any time.  And that, my friends, is my version of freedom and independence.  And in that, I found a measure of the security that I was craving. The flood has come and gone, and we are once again back home.  Daily we are putting our lives and homes back together.  And I look back at the summer and am proud - proud that in the midst of turmoil I still found the strength to fly! Check out these other great bloggers participating in the blog hop!  You will find beautiful art and lovely inspiration. Amaranthine Violet: Amy Hillenbrand: Beatriz Peñas B.: Beth Cougler Blom: Carmen Patti: Carol Bray: Christina Fajardo: Cindy Jones Lantier: Connie Rawlins : Dana Brock: Deborah Velásquez : Elissa Brown: Hillary Courson: Jacquie Williamson: Jane Paynting: Janet Forrest: Jennifer DeVille: Jill Lambert : Julie Hamilton: Kanchan Mahon: Karen Claverie: Kari DeSaulnier: Kathleen Conard : Kathleen McKinnon: Kathy May: Kelley Miller: Kelly Corso: Kelly Hoernig: Kim Hyer: Kris Lanae Binsfeld: Lenore Angela: Linda Barutha: Lisa Michele Products: Liza Zeni Baker: Lynn Richards: Lori Leissner: Lori Moon: Mary Cottingham: Mary Sterk: Megan Schmitt: Melanie Douthit: Michelle Dwyer: Michelle Reynolds: Rachél Payne (Rae): Rain Hannah: Rhiannon Connelly: Ruth-Mary Smith: Sherry Richert Belul: Shirley Ann: Stacey Chadwick Brown: Susan M. Walls-Beverly: Teresa Cash-Czech: Tina Carlborg: Tonya Love: Ursula Smith: Zulma Cadena: Mary Cottingham
November 01, 2011 by 1