Chapter 21 – My art studio Life – studio days goodbye

bellevue art museum


My art life

Time in and around my art life has been incredible.

I’ve spent the last 5 years with very little time involved in the linen stores thanks to Michael who is doing a great job managing the stores and the incredible amount of employees. I still do all of the merchandise buying, but Michael does everything else. 

I’ve spentmy art lift time improving my computer art skills. As the digital art movement grew, I grew with it. And so did my body of artwork. I spent 3 weeks a month drawing, painting, visiting art galleries, volunteering, and meeting up with other artists for great art discussions. One week a month I spent on my linen store buying chores. 

This schedule gave me plenty of time to get involved in the Bellevue Art Museum. I even had time to volunteer at the museum and to attend (note not volunteer) the annual Bellevue Art Fair. Bellevue Washington was growing daily and becoming the major art city in the state. 

My body of art was growing and so was I. This was my growing time as an artist. And it felt so good. My dream as a young girl was now being realized. I was now living life believing I was Georgia O’Keeffe. Or at least living an art life similar to hers. 

And then the phone call from Michael. “Jackie, I need to talk with you.” 

My days of Art and Roses have come to an end. And so has my art life. Michael’s dad needs help with his business. Michael, understandably, need to leave. And so I now have to come back to the business and run it on a daily basis. 

Now for the big change. As an artist I learned to make changes spontaneously. I decided to open a warehouse/office space between our two stores and a mile from my home.  The bookkeeper was moved from the store to the new office and the warehouse was used to receive all of the merchandise for the 3 stores. A visit to each of the stores one day a week. There was a store manager and assistant in each store and I stayed in touch all day. 

As a creative release, I revised the merchandise mix and added new and interesting departments until it became what is now Bed, Bath and Beyond. It was definitely beyond. Artistic brooms. mops and dusters, framed wall art by Canadian artists (no not my artwork) a great book department ( I can’t tell you why except that I love to read) and great storage items for kitchen and bath, to name a few.

Are you wondering why I didn’t show and sell my artwork in the stores? Easy, I could hear the sales clerks saying “these are the owner’s paintings.” No not where I want to show my art

wacom cintiqye

With my new found computer skills, I totally computerized all aspects of the business. 

So I was using my art life, artistic skills in a whole new way. No I was not getting the same thrill as when I drew or painted but it was my time to earn my way.

Bottomline… Artists don’t make money, so it was time to do a little of that! To put this into time, it is now 1992. How long do I have to do this instead of making art. Only five years and we will sell or close the stores and definitely leave this grey, so sun area. But for now, this is what I’m doing. Hopefully I’ll be making some money!

If you’re in the Bellevue Washington area, visit this great art museum.

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