Just because I can’t be in Europe this summer does not mean I can’t post... and paint, like I am. Moving my store this winter was hard. I don’t think I really ruminated on what moving the store would be like before taking the leap. It’s taken this long to even process that I did not close my store, funny I know, but I really did come to terms with closing my store in February. And of course as they say, as one door closes another opens. The new door just happened to be at 152 Bellevue, a space I had coveted for years before actually stalking my real estate agent Molly Kirby. Thankfully she has a sense of humor and we are friends because of my obsession with the little store with high ceilings and giant walls and a sweet courtyard. Sigh. I do love the new space.
Les Roches Rouges, St. Raphaël, France 2018
But with any love comes the heartache too. Both Michael and I are so busy this summer with projects that dinner or a quick coffee in the morning together has become a luxury nevermind finding a cheap flight and jetting off to Europe. The downside is that is typically my formula for my reset for the year. It’s where I store up a whole bunch of ideas and concepts for a new season and the next 12 months to come. But some reminiscing and perhaps over-posting of previous adventures will have to do because there is still SO much to do! And I’m not complaining because I am truly in love with my work and my space and my relationships with my client friends.
Riomaggiore, Italy 2016
So how does one do it? Balance the business that seems to be growing with every passing moment and the artist’s peaceful, inspired mind that fuels the business, plus oh! a personal life with meaningful relationships! I haven’t totally figured it out, but here is what has been helping me lately.
- Rearranging the store and the art online and in my home is oddly cathartic for me. I suspect I have some sort of undiagnosed creative OCD where I feel settled in my soul when art is in its rightful place.
- I practice yoga 3 times a week. Getting to a class this summer has been tough so I put the YOGAmazing app on my phone and have been getting into the specialized sessions
- Meditation twice daily, if you can’t get into this try an app or get in touch with Théo Burkhardt, he thought me Vedic meditation almost a decade ago and I’ve been elevating my practice since
- Reading. I have embarrassingly gone from the kid that read 10 books a month and would carry whatever too-heavy-tome I was into at the moment on the subway and to airports and now since I spend a lot of time in the studio I have been very deep into audiobooks and podcasts. This summer I took some time to write down some titles I had been meaning to pick up and I am actually reading them. I have also vowed to READ all of my coffee table books before bringing more home. I didn’t realize how inspiring this process would be, but I am loving it.
- Here are a few titles I am enjoying: The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, The Path Made Clear by Oprah Winfrey, Daily Rituals By Mason Curry (I love this book and read it often), Life of the Party By Olivia Gatwood, The Seat of the Soul Gary Zukav, Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered By Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark, Never Split The Difference By Chris Voss, Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, My Year of Rest and Relaxation By Ottessa Moshfegh, Out East By John Glynn for a few titles.
- Staycationing has been something I have avoided since moving back home to Newport. I think partly because I was so busy and partly because I was vacationing elsewhere when I could. Recently I took my own advice to do some of the things I have recommended to so many tourists and shop visitors over the years and have carved out some time to spend on the Belafonte. I even have a slight hint of a tan.
- Painting. I think I have painted more this summer than in recent years combined. And last month my studio mate moved to a larger space and now my studio has become so much more productive and filled with work I did not know I had in me. I also did not realize the importance of space until I had more of it.
Cote d'Azur, 2017
I guess that’s how I feel about the Bellevue store too. I spend so much of my time catching up and marketing and updating that I forget that just the change of space has been so good for me and my soul. Even if my summer has been spent on the coast of Newport rather than French and Italian Rivieras.
Images: Kristen Coates