Denver, Colorado / Sonic Bloom / Burning FLIPSIDE 2019

Hello from Colorful Colorado! Well, needless to say I have not written a blog in over a year, but here I am after a good long journey to and fro and I am happy to say I am feeling good.

The move to Hawaii didn’t happen, and frankly my heart felt broken for a while. The big island of Hawaii and Pele, the volcanic goddess that the natives hold dear, decided to “clean house” and create. Kilauea Volcano erupted about a week before I was due to fly over to start my sabbatical program, and it continued for long enough to change my entire plan.

What happened instead was a blessing in disguise for my father. He was having issues with sleeping for over two years and it was effecting his health. So I stayed with him Waco, TX for 3 months and helped him get his health back in order by attending doctor visits and going to yoga classes with him. This was a huge struggle for us both, but I saw it through. I got a phone call from a loving aunt and uncle near the end of my stay in Texas inviting me to come live with them for a few months in Northern California, and so I flew out to San Fran.

To summarize my time in California, as briefly as possible, I lived with the family members in Healdsburg, CA for a few months before starting a job at a boutique winery in Dry Creek Valley. I moved into a little 1970’s Silver Streak trailer in Forestville, CA right above the Russian River in October, 2018. The trailer and landlords of the property turned out to be an absolute nightmare, so after a couple months there, along with my continued work at the winery, I moved back to Healdsburg in a quant studio loft apartment up high on Fitch Mountain where I finally found peace and quiet and consistent hot showers! The area of Northern California I lived in is absolutely stunning with the coastline only being an hour from me, and nature trails galore filled with prehistoric plant life and gigantic trees. Over time I discovered how isolated I had accidentally made myself. As much as I love my solo studio time, I wasn’t meeting anyone. No like-minded artists, no dates (dating apps were not fun for me), no new friends, no one except tourists coming and going in a large retirement community with a pretty small population. SO, I worked for 8 months solid at the winery and wore so many hats in the tasting room and as a club office associate, I felt accomplished in my gain-new-skills-goals and decided to move on to Denver.

Before I left California, my job allowed me enough income to get to Hawaii after all! Almost a year after my original flight booking to Hilo, I got Hawaiin to honor my expensive one-way ticket for a round-trip to Kona, HI in April 2019. I stayed at a hostel right on the bay there for a week, and had the best time of my life! I met so many wonderful travelers and even made a few new friends from around the USA and Canada. I swam and snorkeled every single day, and even treated myself to a night-time manta ray snorkel where the huge creatures swim right up to your face in the darkness as they feed on plankton attracted by the lights on our surf boards. SPECTACULAR!

I also visited Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a week in March 2019 to celebrate a good friend’s 40th birthday with a bunch of our college friends. That trip was thanks to my mother for gifting me a plane ticket. I had a wonderful time and got so much love and hugs from my friends. I also got to paint a mural in the hostel they work at, we all stayed there, and I completed it in between all the fun. We hiked along the ocean and swam in the warm clear waters, we ate delicious food everywhere we went, the locals were amazing a friendly, and March 17th (St. Paddy’s Day and my friend’s birthday) we took a party boat out and I spotted a baby Humpback Whale playing with it’s mother. My first real-life whale watching, and I cried a little at their beauty!

So, after getting in the travels and new job skills, and learning some very hard lessons along the way all thanks to California, I packed up my little CRV with my stuff and my cat Bunny, and drove first to Texas to visit friends and family for 3 weeks, followed by my drive up to Colorado with the same carload of stuff. Soon after arriving in CO I got the chance to go to and live paint at Sonic Bloom 2019 Festival just south of Denver. Thanks to my friends Wanderweird and Stacy Pants, I had a place to set up. I got a good session of painting in near the gallery. I did experience my first kind of asthma or hay fever attack, which shut me down for one evening, but I had a great time anyway bc of the people attending the festival. I would have to say, attending BURNING FLIPSIDE in Texas just a few weeks before was my absolute favorite “non-fest fest” this year though. If you love regional burns and flying your freak flag, give the TX Flipside Burn a go!

I am bouncing around a bit, but it’s my blog so…I can do what I want! Haha! Back to Denver: I am currently staying with another aunt and uncle (my family is great and I am so blessed), and I am working on my artist CV and artwork in between job-hunting and saving up for my own space. I haven’t given up hope on working with Meow Wolf, Denver and I will continue to grow as an artist here. I feel great and I am loving CO. Reminds me of being a kid in Colorado Springs, and I am so happy to be here!

Much love, Jody

Moving to Hawaii

Well, I haven't had alot of time to make new art because I am packing up my life, telling my massage clients goodbye, and getting ready to move all my stuff to storage and then take myself with a few bags to Hawaii!  

Sadly I am telling my romantic partner goodbye as well, and retiring from being a full-time Licensed Massage Therapist after almost 14 years in practice, but I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life!  

I am also planning to spend more of my time working on my paintings, starting with loose canvas and anything else I can get my hands on while I am staying in Hawaii.  I am excited to have more time and energy to make art, time that before was put into taking care of my massage business and all my clients day in and day out for years and years.  I hope I will find the support I need to get me through financially on my new journey.  There is no better time than the now to say YES to more art practice, YES to more time spent creating, and YES to more energy put towards my life passion...  ART! 

San Marcos Art League

I made a leap forward and joined SMAL (San Marcos Art League) in San Marcos, TX on January 9th, 2018.  

For this year, I will try new things with my art career path.  This membership to be one of those new things.  I was afraid to join them before, for personal reasons and because of so many events/memberships/clubs/etc. that have failed me in the past as an artist.  Also because I have become sensitive to cruel people in my town and surrounding area more recently, but as an aspiring professional artist (and just being a human), one can not just give up totally.  As the wise Yoda says, "Failure is the greatest teacher of all." 

So... HERE I GO, I'm ready for you 2018.  All your ups and downs, bring it on. 

KHuck Productions

I have a friend who is an extraordinarily hard worker in the art scene in south-central Texas, and her name is Kelsey Huckaby.  I first met her about 4 years ago when she started live painting at my new event in SMTX called Martian Culture Art Experience.  As the years passed, I got to know her better at more art events, and she even started her own version of MC down in New Braunfels, TX called Art Haus at Pour Haus, and long story short, we've become friends. 

More recently she has grown more into her own path by kicking off KHuck Productions and the website she shares with local artists for free right now!  She invited us to a meeting, showed us how to navigate the sight, and now myself and one other female artist are included on the website.  Kelsey truly is a generous, kind, and positive influence in this fast-paced art world of today!  

Source: https://www.khuckproductions.com

MeowWolf Birthday Trip

I have been wanting to go to MeowWolf and experience the House of Eternal Return for well over a year, and it finally happened!  My partner and I had a 5 day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, so we just went for it.  I used these points I've been saving up since I was like 17 years old to book us a hotel in Santa Fe (which happened to be a block from MeowWolf, LUCKY!), and we just worked hard and saved up some dough, plus a little birthday money from pops, and off we went.  I can not express in words how much I enjoyed this visit.  We made sure and got 2 days worth of MeowWolf in.  You can not just go in for an hour, you need like a whole weekend!  We even worked hard to "solve the mystery", and found so many clues, but we still aren't exactly sure what happened to the family who used to live in the house.  Yes a 2-story house inside of the exhibit.  You just need to go see it for yourselves, I'm not giving any more of the experience away.  

I'm just so happy we went.  I love it in there.  My wish is to one day work for MeowWolf, its the dream job I've been searching for all these years! 

218 Halloween

The 218 Co-op Gallery was kind enough to invite me to join them in dressing up in costume and having a fun day handing out candy to kiddos for Halloween weekend.  I had fun making my last-minute STORM from X-Men costume and handing out candy to the dressed up children of SMTX.  This gallery is well put together and run on a cooperative basis, I love it!

Art Squared Art Market in SM,TX

Big thanks to Kelsey Huckaby for running Art Squared 2016-2017, she has really made a difference in the volume of both artists and viewers/shoppers.  This past October Market (ARTOBER) was a success for me personally in sales and networking.  Ronnie Borden, another local artist in SMTX, is always there early helping folks too.  He helped me get my tent set up and is always a hoot!  If you are even in San Marcos on a Saturday, check out the local Farmer's Market downtown from 9am-1pm, and if you're lucky the once a month Art Squared art market will be going on right next to it!  There's so much talent and fun gifts to discover, so come on down to the San Marcos Square on Saturday mornings and visit us!

Namarupa Yoga Commission: Durga

Downtown San Marcos, TX has a new yoga studio named Namarupa, owned and operated by Jason and Taylor Lobo and staff.  Jason has been a yoga instructor of mine for many years in this town now, and he commissioned me to paint the new studios first piece of artwork, a portrait of Durga the diety riding proudly on her lion.  I am honored to have been given this opportunity, and the finished art work hangs in the studio to "watch over" all the people during their practice.  

For more info on this yoga studio check out: https://www.namarupayoga.com

Hill Country Fair IV: Live Art Organizing and Info

If you're in San Marcos, TX and you're interested in horticulture and home brew, then Thigh High Gardens is for you!  A community farm and garden started by Stephanie Bledsoe and run by Silas Parker and friends is a space just a few miles outside of the city limits.  This November 4th, 2017 is their fourth annual mini-fest Hill Country Fair.  

I am volunteering some of my time to organizing a small and solid group of live painters to be part of the festivities on that Saturday.  There will also be good food and brews made locally, live music performances including The Deer and Fire In The Pines, and so much more!  If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering or just buying a cheap ticket to support the farmstead and come have fun with us, please visit: https://www.thighhighgardens.org

Online Store Launch

This Tuesday June 27, 2017 I launched my online website art store.

Starting with one item, The Warrior Goddess Shannon 8x11" prints, and offering a limited time discount to any members coming from my dear friend Heather Elizabeth's website : https://www.shineheatherelizabeth.one/about/ . 

I am very grateful to Heather, my partner Scott, the customer support at SquareSpace, and all other's for supporting me through this time as I learned the in's and out's of navigating the store and shipping options!  Thank you.

So check out the online store, and then check back monthly, for new art on sale to decorate your spaces and brighten your day!  

Good Stuff Studios

    Yesterday, THURSDAY MAY 11th, 2017, marks one week since I've been at my new studio and store front space in downtown San Marcos, TX.  I can not describe my excitement about having a new legit space to work out of, and I've already been producing twice as much work in half the time!  And this opportunity came to me by complete surprise.  I went if for a meeting, and came out a studio store renter!

    The name of this new shop and studio is THE GOOD STUFF COMMUNITY STORE at 173 S LBJ in downtown SMTX.  I have dubbed the back warehouse area Good Stuff Studios.  If you are ever in our area, please stop in as we are open 7 days a week right now!  The manager is trying to get the store front up and she works very hard.  We shall soon be completely full with local artists and artisans.  There's also a food section that is already full of goodies and healthy snacks made by locals, plus an all-week farmer's market section is on its way soon!  

30 Day Art Challenge

I was recently challenged by my old roomie and good friend, Topher Sipes, to take the 30 Day Art Challenge.  I can't tell you enough as an artist how important it was to helping me get into a better habit of creating art.  Plus the daily art flow helps us discover new ways to create and teaches us how.  I made it just past 50 days before I fell off "the wagon".  It didn't matter if the art sketch was big or small, hand-drawn or digital, just as long as you create something every day without stopping, you've met the challenge!  If you're interested in seeing any examples, check out my Instagram page: @jodycreates.  I CHALLENGE YOU TO A 30 DAY ART CREATION!

Flowstorm & Martian Culture: Live Painting

   In The Beginning (AKA, my start as a live painter):

     I got my start as a live painter in 2014 at FLOWSTORM in Texas.  After taking Topher Sipe's Lucid Dream workshop, I found a quiet spot on the floor of a dome gallery and started to sketch in my journal.  I wasn't there long when I was greeted cheerfully by the painter Chance Roberts.  He handed me a can of Lonestar, sat down in the dirt with me, and asked me about my drawing.  After chatting for a spell, Chance invited me to join him and his friends later to make art live.  I was curious, so that evening I took my little sketchbook with me and I found them at the stage area.  Chance introduced me to a handful of the other live painters from the group Third Coast Visions and I sat with them outdoors in the light of a small lamp and I drew in my book as they painted together on a single canvas.  I felt the energy of all the people surrounding me in the festival; the dancers, hoop performers, DJs, and other happy humans fed my soul!  That night I fell in love with the process of live art.

      Art Festivals and Traveling:

      Shortly following the that FLOWSTORM expereince I was hooked on live painting!  I joined the art group TCV and they invited me to paint with them at their stellar live art & DJ nights, Create Culture at Lanai, in downtown Austin, TX.  Immediately after that I applied for more events and started traveling to art and music festivals in the U.S. as a live painter.  My first excursion was driving in my car with artist and musician Michael Garfield to FIREFLY GATHERING in Flagstaff, AZ and up to the mountains of Colorado for SONIC BLOOM as his "assistant", but also as a live painter of my own.  Later that same year I did my first live painting gigs closer to home at ART OUTSIDE, TX and then in my own town of San Marcos, TX just as a single live painter at Zelick's Icehouse.

   MARTIAN CULTURE is born:  

    I started out live painting in SMTX by dragging my supplies and tiny easel to Zelicks on random nights and creating solo to the DJ music of Dumpster Jedi.  After a couple more solo nights of painting at Z's, I invited another talented artist, Bernadette, to join me.  As we painted together, we drew in many curious viewers from the establishment.  Because of the patron's growing interest in our live art, the management of Zelick's eventually asked me to create something more; a sister-event to the CREATE CULTURE nights I was painting at up in Austin.  We decided to start a monthly event and it was named appropriately MARTIAN CULTURE to reflect SM folks calling themselves San Martians.  This new event in SMTX was to be held monthly on Sunday nights.  With a little budget from the bar, and the help of the bar manager Daniel, I worked hard for a year, laid the groundwork, and the event blossomed!  I'd spent months collecting new live painters, fire-spinners and hoop dancers, booked creative DJs, and gathered local merchants from all around the 78666 area to come create live art with us and vend for free!  The event grew and grew, and brought the bar and town more success each month.  The 1 Year MC Anniversary celebration was very successful with a stellar live performance by the band THE DEER, fire spinners and other performers, and of course, lots of great art!  

     Onward and Upward, Learning:

    After the first year of MARTIAN CULTURE the City of San Marcos Arts Council presented me with the original SPARK award for "igniting a new fire" of art culture in SMTX.  I was so proud and the award was very appreciated!  Another thing happened though, my bar manager partner was unhappy with how things were going for him in the scheme of the event, and it became clear to me that to keep M.C. going I should move on.  So with a heavy heart I made the sacrifice of stepping out and I passed the torch on.  I ran one live art night immediately following my leave of M.C. at Stonewall Warehouse called RAINBOW PAINT NIGHT.  It went over very well and it was a lot of fun.  I was invited back by Stonewall and other places to put on these type of art events, but because no one seemed to be able to provide a budget to put on these art events, I discovered I could no longer afford to volunteer my free time to organizing them.  So after over a year of helping others get their art out there, something I found very enjoyable then, a voice in my heart spoke to me and nudged me to get back to my own studio practice.  

     I am happy to say that at the end of it all I learned a great deal and have further helped with the expansion of art events and production in my town.  It was an honor to grow enough momentum in that first year of Martian Culture that it is still rolling on today.  

     WHAT NOW? In the Art Stu-Stu-STUDIO!:

    Back to my roots! I am in the studio working on my art skills in 2017.  I'm taking a few small art classes here and there because one can never learn too much!  I still enjoy going to art festivals all over the US and other countries, and I plan to keep showing work in the communities near and far.  You can follow my progress on this website and through my Instagram: jodycreates. 

     THANK YOU for reading and I'll catch ya on the flip-side!  

          ~Jody