Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Time for Change | Announcement and Art Workshops

Where does the time go? I’m about to finish up my last drawing seminar of the year here in Kansas City, and it’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. It seems like just yesterday that I was putting my 2015 art workshop schedule together on my calendar! And now it’s nearly over!

It was a very interesting year for me, full of ups and downs. Life is always a roller coaster, but this year seemed to come on a little bit stronger than usual. I’ve been faced with some huge life changing decisions, all of which came at the same time. While it’s hard to let go of the things that are so familiar, I’m looking forward to the new adventures that wait ahead of me. Lee Hammond Art Workshops | ArtistsNetwork.com

I want to thank everyone for the support and encouragement so many of you have given me. My mother has been very ill this year, and I’m afraid we will be saying good-bye soon. Never has anything been so difficult and heartbreaking. I’m sure many of you who are my age have experienced the same thing, and know what I’m going through. It will be hard to not be someone’s “little girl” anymore. I lost my dad back in 1991.

With this event, I will also be losing my childhood home. We moved there when I was only four years old, and I still sleep in my old room and bed when I visit. So many memories … to have that no longer as my safe haven is almost a concept too large for me to accept.

Friends of the Florida Panther, art by Lee Hammond | ArtistsNetwork.com

Pastel painting for Friends of the Florida Panther Group

Along with that, I’ve made the decision to sell my home in Kansas City and relocate to Florida. Wintering there for a number of years has made me aware that I’m much more creative and inspired in Florida. I’ve had a lot of opportunities come my way, with the appointment as Artist in Residence at the Rookery Bay Research Reserve, the Friends of the Florida Panther Group and the Naples Zoo. I also hope to be working with the local police departments of southwest Florida when I settle, offering my services for forensic and composite work. As you can see, this is a relocation, but hardly a retirement situation!

I totally underestimated the emotional response however, to having so much loss and change all at once. It’s gut wrenching to say the least. I realize that it’ll be like pulling off a bandage once I do it, and that the healing will be swift. But the anticipation and reality of it all is very traumatic. Thank God I have my art to hide in and wrap myself around, for it is the one thing in life that makes me feel complete and at peace.

Change is hard, as well as exciting. It’s a good thing I’m also writing a motivational book now, for I have to read my own material everyday to keep the positive principles hard at work for me. One of the methods I stress in this book is about keeping a “doodle notebook” full of positive, happy drawings and symbols. The good news is REACH! (my book) will be finished and released in the fall of 2016, so if you’re experiencing any difficult times as well, you can use my methods for maintaining your sanity! (Not to mention being creative!)

And so, as I wind down my last summer of teaching art workshops here in Kansas City, I look forward to my new winter classes at Rookery Bay. Below is a list of all the classes being offered in 2016. I hope that some of you will want to ditch the cold weather and come be creative with me! I can show you all the cool scenery and wildlife that I love so much! And yes, that includes alligators, which I’ve become somewhat obsessed with.

Again, I want to thank all of you for your loving support as I transition through this turbulent phase of my life. Your friendship and kindness means the world to me, and I could not be more grateful!
Artistically yours,

2016 Rookery Bay Art Workshops and Classes

Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Join me at Rookery Bay in 2016 for a variety of art workshops.

January 25-29: Portraits in Graphite
February 8-12: Portraits in Colored Pencil
February 22-26: Colored Pencil Drawing
March 7-11: Colored Pencil Flowers
March 21-25: Landscape Acrylic painting
April 4-8: Acrylic Painting
April 18-22: Animal Drawing in Graphite and Colored Pencil

February 20: Cork and Canvas
March 26: Cork and Canvas
(These are a fun evening class of a quick painting and a bottle of wine!)

Note: I will be returning to Kansas City in May 2016 to sell my home. I will be offering my regular class schedule in the studio until the house sells. We will just take it from month to month. No summer five-day seminars will be offered.)

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