Eventually, we improved our living conditions above "camping". We worked to finish the studio and gallery side completely, so I had space to teach art classes. The focus was now on getting 'back to business'.
I've always enjoyed teaching, and it was fun to be back at it! Over the years, I’ve taught a variety of Art classes for both adults and children when my schedule allows - from drawing and painting classes in the studio to outside 'plein air' too. So that Art teaching degree from college has been put to good use Mom ;)
We were also exhibiting our work at various Art Shows in Yellowstone and in Montana...
Here, we are exhibiting our work in Great Falls, Montana at the Western Master's Show...
Now trying to stick a little closer to home, since we found that hauling paintings and sculpture along with 2 small children and all their 'paraphernalia' was a hand full - well actually, a trailer full! The logistics of packing and moving it all, along with feeding and entertaining young children during the Show and then packing back up and putting away when we returned was A LOT. With the tenuous economy, we decided to no longer do Shows back East, since adding a cross country trip onto that, was feeling too daunting these days.
After all, we now (finally!) had a finished Gallery space to show our work. And, in a fabulous location that we loved, right on the edge of Yellowstone National Park. It turned out to be a wonderful space for a studio open house, reception, etc. to invite people in to see not only our work - Painting, Sculpture & Lighting - but displayed in a creative space that we designed and built as well.
As we continued working on the 'home side', the building dust slowly settled. Ahhh, we were getting cleaned back up and organized.
Our sheer panic from the economic downturn was fading into the past now, as we focused more on our path of teaching and exhibiting our Art... with our new vacation rental in the mix.
However, we noticed that shows were 'different' than they used to be. Not as much attendance and not as many sales. We could see the writing on the wall with the 'new economy'. It was not going to bounce back anytime soon for us. At least not to the place it had been. With 2 young children, a 'wider stance' to keep us stable was feeling necessary. We had our heads above water, but barely.
Hmmm, now what??