Happy April, everyone!
Well, after a slow winter of hibernation, house-hunting, and working intensely on my book, everything is suddenly springing into action.
We found a great little nest to make our own in Elkins, West Virginia, so we'll be moving there in the next couple of weeks. Elkins has a small but thriving art and traditional music scene (it's home to the renowned Augusta Heritage Center) and is the gateway to Monongahela National Forest, which protects nearly 1 million acres in the Allegheny Mountains. I'm eager to root down in this community and get to know this forest even more deeply. I have a feeling that lots of my artwork over the coming years will be a reflection of what I find as I explore the waterfalls, wetlands & wilderness areas of this forest that I fell in love with during my year-long stint there 4 years ago! If you have any favorite hidden gems in this area, I'd love to hear from you.
Just a few days after I turn in my book manuscript in May, I'll head to the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown, NY for an artist research residency. Roger Tory Peterson is known as the “father of the modern field guide” for his beautiful, hand-painted field guides that made it accessible for the everyday person to identify and learn about the birds, plants and animals in their surroundings. While I'm there, I'll have access to all the archives of his work and I'll use the time to research and plan my solo exhibition that will take place at RTPI the following year.
And to top it all off, I'm participating in my first in-person event in a looooong while at the Phipps Conservatory Garden Center on May 6th! I'll have 30+ different watercolor art prints, signed copies of my book, and lots of stickers & patches available. At this free event, Phipps will have a curated selection of native plants and gardening books available, along with a few of their gardening experts to answer any burning plant questions you might have. In addition to all the Phipps offerings, there's another spring artisan market taking place in Mellon Park at the same time… come out and make a day of it!
After a season of solitude and deep work, it's time to crawl out of my cocoon, dust off my social skills, and trust that growth and goodness are ahead. Whatever changes are ahead for you, I wish you peace of mind and the knowledge that you can handle whatever transitions come your way!