Inspired by Alyson Stanfield I decided to post my accomplishments of 2009. Not to boast, but out of complete bewilderment what can be achieved if you work 24/7 at what you love!
In 2009 I taught 8 daylong workshops in the South Okanagan and organized a number of Circle meetings and Super Circles.
One of them, on September 26, became my 5-year celebration party at Linden Gardens with more than 50 guests and Fiddle Frazzle playing some great tunes.
Apart from the monthly workshops I gave several studio classes and taught a weeklong workshop at the Summer School of the Arts in Penticton for the 5th year.
In line with the old my philosophy “get them when they are young” I was involved in two school projects this year: the two-day Naramata Elementary School Art Conference (with the appreciated help of Janet B. and Judy K.) and the l’Ecole Entre Lacs art project, together with Carol M.
Outside workshops took me as far as Whitehorse last year, with more local courses in Summerland and Naramata, where I taught 4 times in 2009.
I also traveled to Cache Creek (Tumbleweed Retreat), Port Moody, Williams Lake and Vernon (twice). The traveling is particularly nice now I’ve got Peter’s “old” Honda CRV, with lots of space, air conditioning and cruise control!
A short demo/class with the Potters Guild in Penticton was fun as well.
In August I organized a 3-day workshop with German Encaustic artist Anna-Maria Aigner. The workshop was fully booked and a great success.
For the Ning site I started to record short videos on different techniques to share with everyone. 4 have been completed so far, with several waiting to be edited.
Although I never seem to have enough time to devote to painting I did accomplish a few things:
My painting “Companions” was accepted and sold at the Federation Gallery in Vancouver and I entered “Night Flight” in the PAG Art Auction, with several bids before it sold.
This year the RipOff Artists again tackled a dead artist: Georgia O’Keeffe was the 3rd one, after Van Gogh and Klimt before her. Her painting “Pink Tulip” looked really good in encaustic.
I painted two flower paintings for the Oliver Fall Art show and one won 2nd prize.
In September I painted “The Barking Parrot”, inspired by a mural project, which unfortunately did not really get off the ground for Encaustic…but the painting turned out real nice!
I raffled off two of my paintings (“Autumn Leaves” and “Magnolias”) and was surprised at how many people joined in the fun.
And I now have about 20 paintings on Etsy, an online platform to sell and buy handmade items.
My new studio (our former rec-room) has been a tremendous asset and it feels great to work in there. It also accommodates up to 4 students for studio classes.
Right at the beginning of the year I challenged myself to become better at drawing and for about a month I drew a portrait almost every day. Great fun, saw good improvements and then slacked off…;(
In February I attended a 3-week long course with the Community Futures organization and learned a ton about marketing and finances.
Definitely one of the highlights this year was attending the Encaustic Conference in Montserrat, near Boston in June, where I met in person many of the artists I had been connecting with through email/internet. I learned so much from all these talented people and came home inspired.
Then, in October, I was so fortunate to also be able to go to the IEA Encaustic Retreat in California. Again, many interesting lectures and great networking.
Through my connection with IEA I had another learning experience; I was asked to join the Board and edit their monthly newsletter.
This year I also acquired many art- & marketing-related books and DVD’s and completed Reframe, a 4-week program to get organized and make better use of your time.
I also signed up for at least four regular email newsletters on art-related marketing, which inspire me every time I read them.
My latest learning experience has been editing my tutorial videos on an Apple computer.
Having neglected my newsletter for several months I started to use Constant Contact to revamp my newsletter and give it a professional look. (This was inspired by Linda Womack’s excellent newsletters.)
Since then I have written 12 editions, which now go out to more than 700 readers, with an average opening quote of about 50% and lots of great responses.
I revived the dormant Ning account: Encaustic – a hot topic, which resulted in more than 300 signed-up members. I now send out weekly broadcasts, where I feature one of the members, share interesting stuff and promote the store a bit.
Through IEA I am now considered an expert in connecting artists from N-America with my old European art friends.
And one of the most fun things was starting to write a blog, set up with the help of Annie M..
I wrote several articles for Cauterium, a German Encaustic newsletter, and a blurb for the Country Register.
My website and online store both got a facelift and often get raving reviews from visitors.
Several more stores and art teachers in Canada became sales points for Arts Encaustic supplies.
As mentioned Annie hooked me up with an Etsy store, where I offer some of the smaller works on paper.
In November I incorporated TwinLakes Encaustic Art, developed a new logo and got great marketing material printed at Vistaprint.
To get all those orders out in time I hired Chantal C. to help me a couple of hours a week; she has been a tremendous asset right from the start.
So now I have “on the payroll”: a lawyer, an accountant, a bookkeeper, a marketing assistant and an office/warehouse assistant….
I advertise in Art Avenue from the FCA and Country Register of BC., which helps me to reach many potential customers.
I am still very much involved with the Penticton & District Community Arts Council (Dream house Tour and organizing regular exhibits), Federation of Canadian Artists-local chapter (as their Treasurer) and the International Encaustic Artists (Board member and co-editor of the newsletter).
Some of the coolest people I met this year are Joanne Mattera, Brenda Peters, the many artists at the Conference/Retreat and all the Board members of the IEA.
Not really my accomplishment, but I am overjoyed at the engagement and upcoming marriage of our son Maarten. His fiancée is just a delight.
And last but not least: With the help of Maura/Isagenix I managed to lose 25+ pounds – just hoping I can keep it off in 2010!
Best thing that happened to me this past year:
Meeting all those great people at the Conference + Retreat, making me feel part of one large Encaustic family.
Plans for 2010:
Paint more, email less…;-))
Develop new workshops, travel all over BC to teach
Organize a great workshop with Linda Womack
Attend 2010 Encaustic conference
Contact other outside Encaustic artists to come and teach here
Record many more tutorials and share online
Finally write that book!
Thea Haubrich, January 1, 2010