Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Going Back................

I am back from my little "blog break" and so much has happened since I last posted. In between preparing for Surtex and a trip to southern California with my daughter, I made the decision to move back to my old studio.

A little over a year ago I shared this photo showing the almost empty space I had been in for many years. Soon everything would be moved into my new studio in another part of town.

At the time, in addition to the fact that the building was being sold, there were many other "issues" that made me feel like I was jumping off a sinking ship. While it felt right on so many levels, there was a part of me that was terrified and also sad to be leaving not only a beautiful space, but a community of other artists and small business owners. Moving to another studio with an artist I respected and admired helped to minimize the panic that kept wanting to creep in.

Armed with enthusiasm and positive energy, JJ Jacobs and I worked hard to create a studio/gallery that was inviting and fun. We also shared the space with a third person who initially displayed excitement about what we were doing. However, at times their misunderstanding of how the art business works and the frustration that resulted, brought the energy level down. While this was disheartening, I did not consider it a deal breaker.

A key component to our decision to move to the East Sacramento location was the close proximity of the well established fine art gallery owned by Elliott Fouts. Knowing that regular visitors to our space would appreciate and visit that gallery helped to ease some of the fear that people might be hesitant to venture outside the downtown/midtown region of the city for the Second Saturday Art Walk every month. Of course we were thrilled when their regulars also stopped in to see what we were doing and we viewed it as a win/win situation. We discovered however that it was not going to last. Just a few months after moving in, we were told that Elliot had bought a building in midtown and would be moving his gallery in early 2012.

Denial serves to protect and I fully embraced my inner Pollyanna during this time. I shared when asked that regular traffic to the studio was not that important and that I was just grateful to have a beautiful and affordable space, close to my house that was large enough to work in and teach classes. While I sensed deep down that this situation was definitely not what we had envisioned, I was determined to make it work......until a few weeks ago.

Discovering that JJ shared my frustrations and worry helped to fully crack open the shell of denial. Over coffee one day we both came to the conclusion that staying in the current studio was no longer an option and that it was time to explore other ideas. For both of us, these other options included the possibility of simply working out of our houses. This would considerably lower our overhead and there were other positive spins I began to place on that option. While this is the route JJ eventually chose, I knew that every time I considered it a wave of depression came over me. I wanted a studio outside my home for many reasons and that was very clear.

Something I failed to mention above was that shortly after moving from our old studios, the situation in that building improved dramatically. After the new owner took over, changes were made that erased many of the problems we had faced while there. As happy as I was for my friends with studios still in that building, I couldn't help but feel a certain amount of envy and self pity about my own situation.

Then something I still can't explain happened. Right around the same time JJ and I had our conversation, my old studio became available.  Donald Satterlee, whom I have been exhibiting with in other venues around town, also heard this news and decided to inquire about renting the space. After speaking to the owner, Donald asked me if I was interested in sharing it with him. It seemed like the natural thing to do and after confirming with JJ that she was ready to move out of the East Sac location, we gave notice and I accepted Donald's offer to share my old studio.

Once again I find myself in a situation ripe with possibilities for growth. I have learned that it's ok to admit when something isn't working. I also believe that the universe moves in mysterious ways and opportunities will present themselves when the time is right. It's my job to be open to change and accept what is being given to me. Maybe this whole situation isn't as "woowoo" as I am making it out to be, but I like feeling that I am being taken care of in some cosmic sort of way.

The idea of moving all of my stuff BACK upstairs exhausts me, but it is also exciting and feels like one more adventure. And if it doesn't work out, I will be ok.........................


  1. One does not grow by standing still, and comfort never nurtures progress. Good luck to you on your journey Dianne!

  2. What a great story...thank you for posting it, Dianne.
    I applaud your tenacity but even more, your faith in your instincts. Invaluable.
    Oh my, do have some jolly good re-turn times in that space!!!

  3. Good luck in your new/old space. It is such a beautiful studio. I have had misgivings about decisions I have made and wanted to go home again, you are getting that wonderful opportunity. Best!

  4. Thank you so much for your comments and yes - I am very grateful for this "do over".
    Thanks again!

  5. Dianne - I love this post and appreciate your willingness to share what happened. I love it because it speaks to my own condition, and encourages me in my own journey.

    I prefer to imagine myself riding "a cosmic wave," too. Yahoo!

    Can't wait to hear the next installment on your journey.

  6. I look forward to seeing you in your New / Old space, and love how this all unfolded!