One year as full-time artist

My final normal work day at United Way happened one year ago today.  While we flew off to Thailand and Cambodia almost immediately, it was effectively the beginning of my new life as a full-time artist.  I jumped into self employment at the age of 50.

Initially, I used words like "semi-retirement" and "sabbatical" to describe the shift in my life.  I wanted to give it a full year to find out if it was the right fit for our lives.  My language started to shift after a couple of months.  "Full-time artist" was a much more accurate description to what I was doing.  There was no "semi-retirement" in how things were falling into place.

I went through my calendar and my master spreadsheet to see what happened in the last 365 days.  Here is what I found:

283 original paintings

570 gallery canvas prints passed along to clients

50 live painting appearances, workshops and school visits

50 IMPACT interviews on 91. The Bridge

Thanks to our many clients, we have been able to help a broad spectrum of charities, local schools, sports teams and community organizations.  We feel blessed to have been able to donate art, do live paintings and workshops, and make cash donations.  Giving back is important to us, and it is enabled by every single person who purchased original paintings, canvas prints, and art cards.

What's coming up in Year 2?


We are thrilled to be introducing our work to people in Edmonton thanks to AC District Moto at #143-10343 107 Street NW, near Roger's Place.  They are currently displaying and selling a number of works.  We look forward to building this relationship in 2019 and our customer base in the capital city.


We will travel to Cambodia in the last week of January to help build several homes for poor families in rural villages.  I'm looking forward to the creative inspirations that this experience will offer.  My intention is to once again do some painting and engage with the wonderful people of that country.  Our son Ben is joining us this time around.  He's going to be doing some filming for us, helping to tell the story of Bracelets For Buildings and the impact the charity is making in the lives of real people half a world away.


It has been fun watching Heather explore her creative side.  She has a gift with abstract painting and was able to create a number of pieces during the last year.  It's exciting to imagine what she will come up with in the years ahead.  Personally, I'm a huge fan of abstract paintings.  Hers are exquisite.

I think the most exciting thing about being a full-time artist is the acceptance that I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.  Every day offers fresh discoveries, fascinating moments and new creative ideas.  Life is never boring when you are open to the infinite possibilities that surround us.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to a great first year.  There are far too many of you to name, but you know who you are.  Bless you for blessing us.


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