PURPOSE? GOALS? REASON?
It is the season of Christmas 2016. I am writing this from my living room in Mirror Lake, NH. I am currently an Executive Director of three beautiful overnight Camps on Lake WInnipesaukee. I love the work. It is dynamic and challenging and has all the parts that bring me a full and satisfying life.
I'd like to look at the reasons I started the "Freetime Project" in 2012. In the beginning it was for two reasons.
1. To create a project big enough and exciting enough that I would paint through the summer.
2. In the end I would have so many paintings that for a reasonable amount of money anyone could afford to be part of a big idea. The involved participants would get a painting and I would purchase/ pay off my house in one day. The elimination of my mortgage would allow my to be financially in a free-er place and with that the potential to leave my work in the Y to become a full time painter. To become a painter for a living.
Then I dove in. I began.
I used my tax return from 2011 to purchase @ $1,000 worth of art supplies and in April of 2012, I started the project. I thought it was going to be a project that would end on December 21, 2012.
On December 21, 2012 I met Anodea Judith and in one sentence I began the second part of the journey which is currently still in progress, although I am close to being done the second part of the project.
Which brings me to my little space of inquiry. You see my goal shifted a bit...or maybe it has not. The real goal in my life is to buy my parents farm, my child hood home. It is a Christmas tree farm on @ 40 acres. Anyone that has been to my parents home understands this beauty. It is simple and old and so private. It is not super fancy, but they have done a very nice job keeping the place in good shape. It is not full of granite and modern appliances. It is full of real wide pine boards, wonderful light, large spacious rooms and real massive wood beams. I'll also mention the land. The view of the Christmas tree farm and the mountains and my moms old garden. I think the forest is sacred. I know this home is special. It is very special to me. My parents have put so much work into the house and the land and the people and animals that have been blessed to spend time here.
The farm has been in conversation for years. My parents are ready to live a simpler life. Full of less house and less chores to keep up a farm this large. Lots of conversation and projects to make the place shine. Mom has cleaned, painted and organized everything. Dad continues to work the land and together they re-did the siding and the old place is looking nice.
None of my other brothers and sisters want the farm. I would love to keep it in our family.
What does this have to do with my art?
Why is this on my blog?
I am almost done the second part of this project. Step one was painting from red to purple in 2012. 72 designs, 3,780 original paintings in a year. Step two has taken four years, from 2013-2016 (And I'm still not done..so probably 5 years). I am painting in the opposite direction, I have batched all colors together and am making sets. I just finished the "Orange" set and have one more set of seven paintings (The Red set). Step three is to launch the media and sales plan for the big, one day sale (December 21, 2017) and event (gala, dance party, fundraiser). Step four is to write two books- a card deck and user manual for the deck, as well as a "Story of the Freetime Project." The big ta-da of the vision of this project is that on December 21, 2017 I will make enough money to purchase my parents farm, currently $500,000. And this is where I lose people. Where in someways, I lose myself. Over half a million dollars in one day. Because it is not just the cost of my parents farm, but the cost to raise such an amount in sales, and produce an event as well as the cost of making and putting on an art show with over 7,000 individual framed paintings. So lets say, $750,000. Now that is crazy. Originally the idea was to pay off my current home (not my parents) of which I owe @ $140K. With taxes and event costs...let's say $200K. Still a wild idea, but not exactly insane. I actually think I can pull that one off.
But...that is not my big dream. My big dream is the farm.
And my parents say they have found a buyer. This breaks my heart and I am not ready yet. I think I need a year to execute this idea...
And here I am, wondering what to do.
I have a full time job that is very time consuming. That being said, I still watch Netflix at night and get tons of sleep. Years of my life, when I am really pushing hard, I can put in the work load of two full time jobs, be a mom and wife, work out and eat right. At the moment I am kind of being lazy. Because I did work VERY HARD for years, I am talking up at 4:30 am, asleep at 12 am or later, hard hustle. I needed a little rest. I do think I am ready to take this on. Just not sure if I should fight for the farm or let it go.
What would you do?
PS- I will be meditating and painting on this, planning to allow the answer.