“Coming Out of the Dark”, 12 x 12″ oil on canvas, near completion WIP. Two paintings in one as this was painted over another painting I didn’t like!
My life has been so busy since my last post! I spent a good month working on my plans that I talked about in “Inspiration” back in May. About mid June we started work on remodeling our house. I’ve decided it’s been far too long without a post. I am still working on my plans to change things around here, stay tuned! I currently have 3 paintings in progress with plans for 6 more to fill out my portfolio.
This week is my first full week back in my studio after a 2 month “vacation” to work on remodeling our house to get it ready to sell. We still have a couple of minor things to get done, but we are hoping to have it listed by the weekend. (Not sure how long these things take) I took some “after” photos but only one came out decent, so I will try again for my next post. (Sorry!) I really wish I had remembered to take “before” shots too, because the transformation has been amazing!
The one photo that came out ok. The new shower in our brand new master bedroom! I did this tile work all by myself! It took me 3 full days of hand shredding work. I must admit, I’m quite proud!
This shower started out as a bug infested back corner of our laundry room. It was used as storage for construction materials for the 10 year period we worked on turning this back closet into a bathroom! What was once a den/storage room/extra room is now a really lovely master bedroom with en suite. It was worth all the work!
Once the house sells, we will get our motor home remodeled and move into it! That dream we had back in 2013? It’s finally coming true! Depending on the house selling quickly, we hope to leave Albuquerque end of October, beginning of November. Our plan is to travel around the country, south in the winter and north in the summer with a month to 2 month stops in Albuquerque in the Spring and Fall.
Why, you ask? Why NOT, I say! Seriously though, we have dreamed of our empty nest years being quite different from our child rearing years. With kids, you have to provide a stable home. Without kids? We can now do all the things that were “unreasonable” when we had kids. My husband is a musician and we play together in a group called “Sunlight”. One of the best ways for performing musicians to make a living is touring. We plan to perform our music all over the country! Once upon a time, when I began my career as an artist, I made a living by traveling (actually my 1st husband did the traveling while I stayed home with our young children) and selling my art at hundreds of shops around the country. I’ve tried the internet route for over 16 years now, and it just doesn’t work as well. Besides, it’s not as much fun!
Of course, I will still be online, my ART will still be online! I will still blog here to tell you about our adventures on the road. I will still make art! Now, it will all be done from the comfy, cozy RV we will soon call home. This blog will become more of a travel blog, but will still be all about my art and life.
I’m really excited to step out of my comfort zone! I never have been much of a routine type of gal. I like adventure! I like new sights and sounds and smells. There are so many places I’ve never been, so many people I’ve met online that I cannot wait to meet in person! I hope you will follow us on our journey, it’s sure to be fun!
Posted in Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, albuquerque, art, artist self promotion, artists, dream, dreams, goals, gratitude, inspiration, kids, music, my story, New Mexico, new work, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, planning, Sunlight, travel, Traveling New Mexico, trip, vacation
Tagged Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, albuquerque, art, artist self promotion, artists, cross country travel, dream, dreams, empty nest, goals, gratitude, house remodel, inspiration, kids, music, my story, New Mexico artist, new work, painting, Paula Manning-Lewis, performing, planning, RV living, RV travels, singer performer, Sunlight, tile work, touring, touring band, touring musicians, travel, traveling across the country, trip, vacation
We decided while in Bisbee that it would be a good decision to make a side trip back to Albuquerque for a few weeks. Lots of factors came into this decision but really, we just wanted to be home for the holidays! I thought it would be nice to be out and on our own, but when it came down to it, I just wanted to be with the family for the Holidays. Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday, being all about gratitude and food! 🙂 Personally, I like to be thankful everyday of the year, but there is something wonderful about a day set aside for that purpose.
One of the reasons we came back to Albuquerque is because our harmonica player for Sunlight is here. We had planned to take him with us on our next trip, mainly because Sunlight just isn’t the same without Ray! His harp and percussion just fills out the music so well. Unfortunately, for Ray and us, he was hit by a car a couple of weekends ago! He suffered a shattered knee and femur and will be laid up for months recovering after two surgeries to repair his knee and ligaments. We have our fingers crossed that he will be able to join us by February when we hope to head back to Arizona again.
In the meantime, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are taking another trip to our neighboring state. We have booked a few shows for Sunlight this weekend in Phoenix, Tucson and Bisbee. The timing couldn’t be more perfect seeing as there is a cold front coming into Albuquerque the day we are leaving. Unfortunately, the same cold front is moving through Arizona too, but their cold temps are similar to warm temps in Albuquerque!
Since my last blog post we have ordered and received download cards for our first Sunlight album! We will have the cards available at our shows this weekend and the album is also available for download on CD Baby. Please let us know in an email or comment if you are interested in a physical CD of our first album. We do plan to have some made but want to wait to see what the demand is before we decide how many to have made.
While in Arizona, I am taking more prints to the latest gallery to represent my work. 55 Main Gallery in Bisbee. Turns out the venue Sunlight is playing at in Bisbee on Sunday is right next door to the gallery. The Grand Hotel Saloon is where you can find us this Sunday from 4-7pm.
Friday evening we are playing in Phoenix at Fiddler’s Dream coffee house. We are sharing the bill there and will be onstage from 8:50-9:35pm.
Saturday evening we are playing an art opening at a restaurant in Tucson. Delectables is on 4th Ave. We play from 7-10pm.
If you live in any of these areas, it sure would be great to see/meet you! 🙂
This will be a short trip to Arizona, returning next Monday or Tuesday. In January, we are planning a trip to southern Texas. I am really excited about it, I have never really visited that area of the state. We plan to go to San Antonio, Austin and possibly Dallas/Fort Worth. We have heard so many great things about Austin, it’s going to be fun to finally go there!
Stay tuned for next week’s post, all about our trip and shows in Arizona! 🙂
Posted in 2013, 55 Main Gallery, Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, albuquerque, Arizona, art, art opening, cold, family, friends, gallery, guitar, Holidays, links, planning, RV adventures, shows, Sunlight, travel, trip, winter
Tagged album, albuquerque, Arizona, Arizona tour, art, Bisbee, CDs, download cards, downloads, first album, music, Phoenix, Sunlight, touring musicians, Tucson
Our favorite view of Albuquerque, from our neighborhood park, Pat Hurley Park.
The countdown is almost over! In two days we will be pulling out of Albuquerque in our vintage Travelmate motor home and embarking on our latest adventure!
The past month has gone by so slowly, yet here we are, about to leave. We had a huge list of things we had to take care of before we could leave for a long absence. There were home repairs and improvements that had to be done so we could rent our house. We had to move all of our belongings that didn’t fit in the RV into storage. There was painting to be done at Chroma Studios. We had chickens to find a new home for. Our two male dogs had to be neutered! Plus, a bunch of other things here and there that popped up.
We do, in fact, still own a business here in Albuquerque. Chroma Studios is still here and going strong. Luckily, for us, it doesn’t take a lot of time to run and our youngest son is looking for experience with managing a business. He is currently enrolled at our local community college, majoring in business. What better way to learn about business than to manage one? He will take care of day to day operations, though we will still oversee everything from afar.
My new space for painting, yes, it’s the table in our RV!
Because we have spent the last month working on preparations for our adventure, we have had to put our music and art businesses on the back burner for the most part. I am so excited to get back to being creative again! It is the one thing that keeps me sane! Let’s just say this past month has been pretty crazy! We did get a few opportunities here and there to be creative, but now, we will be spending ALL our time on our creative endeavors.
I have a new art project to get moving on, we have new songs to write and learn, and of course, I will be blogging regularly about our latest adventures in travel!
Our first stop is a personal one, we will head south on I-25 to Las Cruces, New Mexico to visit with my brother and his wife for about a week before we go west to Arizona. There may also be a stopover in the Gila National Forest for a bit of decompression time, ie peace and quiet away from everything!
My plan/goal is to post a new blog every Tuesday, possibly Thursdays too. If you aren’t already subscribed to my blog, now would be a great time to do so! Stay tuned for more about our adventure! 🙂
Posted in Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, albuquerque, art, art space, art story, bio, camping, chroma, Chroma studios, dreams, family, goals, hiking, inspiration, moving, moving day, music, my story, planning, random things about me, RV adventures, studio, studios, travel, trip, Uncategorized
Tagged adventure, albuquerque, Arizona, art projects, ARTIST, Chroma studios, folk music, Gila, highway, motor home, motorhome, music projects, musician, National Parks, New Mexico, open road, painting, prints, RVs, selling art, songwriting, touring musicians, tourists, travel, traveling across the country, writing, writings of an artist
I’m not sure if I have talked about our big upcoming adventure here on the blog before. I guess now is a good time for it, seeing as we are only about 2 weeks from heading out!
If you have read my story, you know that I was a very young mom. I started having my sons at the age of 16. Being thrust into motherhood at such a young age had it’s pitfalls, but I prefer to look on the bright side of things. Though life was tough when I was in my late teens and twenties, the good side of that equation is the fact that now my sons are grown and I am still in my early forties!
My husband and I have been dreaming and planning for the eventual empty nest for years. Now that it’s here, we are ready and raring to go! Our youngest son actually graduated from high school just over 2 years ago. We decided to give him a couple of years before we left town.
Here we are now, a motor home sitting in our driveway, all of our belongings packed into storage or the RV, the house is almost completely ready for our tenants and we will be hitting the road in just under 2 weeks if all goes as planned. We still have quite a to do list to accomplish before we can go, but we are getting there!
Many people have misconceptions about exactly what we are up to, so I figured I would get into a bit more detail here on the blog. Traveling is something we have always wanted to do. We are NOT vacationing or even semi-retired though. We are going to be working while we travel. One of the things we couldn’t do when the kids were younger and still in school, was to tour the country with Aaron’s music. My husband, Aaron Lewis, has been a musician for 25 years. He put his career somewhat on hold all these years. Any musician will tell you that the only way to get your name out there and build a fan base is to tour, regularly. We have made a few trips here and there, but now we are putting our whole hearts into it! Now that Aaron and I are also performing as a duo, we have even more reason to tour.
Another thing we plan to spread around the country is my art work. When I first started out as an artist, over 20 years ago, we would travel around and sell my prints at various shops, galleries, etc. This was before the internet made selling art a bit easier. Even with the internet however, it’s still better to get out in person, visit the galleries I would like to place my art with and connect in person, face to face.
The most important aspect of this adventure is getting out in the world, meeting with fans and friends face to face! We look forward to meeting lots of wonderful people out there on the road, making new lasting friendships and memories we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We are taking our music and art with us and will continue to create new art and music as we go. Stay tuned for updates; blog posts, videos and pictures of our travels.
Posted in Aaron Lewis, accomplishments, art, art story, artist self promotion, artists, bio, camping, commuting, dream, dreams, family, galleries, gallery, goals, inspiration, Love pass it on, moving, music, my story, new work in progress, planning, promotion, random things about me, trip, Uncategorized
Tagged Aaron Lewis, adventure, classical guitar, folk music, motor home, Paula Manning-Lewis, Sunlight, touring musicians, travel