Trip Reports

July 2019 Trip Report

This has been a weird month. Summer is not a particularly productive time for me (probably that summer break mindset) but it is a great time for reflection. Half the year is over and the next half is going to FLY by… it’s time to get my priorities straight and focus up!!


  • Summer Doldrums. I know I’m not the only one who suffers from this! It’s just been hard to find the motivation to do anything very creative. I let myself off the hook during the last week or two of the month because I was just frustrating myself. As the weather cools I predict my energy will increase!


  • I sold THREE paintings! 🎉🎉🎉 This is AMAZING and encouraging! And it helps offset the cost of vet bills, haha.

  • I raised my pet portrait prices. This was a scary step, but I’m worth it, haha. 😎With my busy season coming up (fall/winter) I wanted to make sure that it would be worth me making the time to make these portraits, and after crunching the numbers I realized I was undercharging for my time. So, up the prices went! We will see if it staunches the flow of orders or not… fingers crossed it doesn’t do too much damage to sale numbers. Another plus is I won’t need to do as many to make as much money. 👍

  • I’m taking good care of myself. Despite my lack of motivation in creative areas of my life, I’m getting good sleep, making better food choices, and going to the gym/getting exercise regularly. I will not take any of this for granted! It’s way easier said than done, as you know.


  • Decided what paintings to take with me to my show in Durango, Colorado in September.

  • Bought my plane ticket and make a rental car reservation for my show in Durango.

  • Painted four pet portraits.

  • Knitted a scarf, a cowl, a sock, and a hat or two, and started a fair isle cowl, the other sock, and another hat.

  • Went on a hike: Old Rag in Shenandoah

  • Started to reach out to First Friday Richmond venues


  • Get back into plein air painting

  • Daily sketching

  • Making a painting a week


  • Income: $2343.31

  • Expenses: $1116.37

  • Profit: $1226.94

Expenses this month included plane tickets, car reservations, and costs of goods sold. I also bought bubble wrap to ship paintings in August and a bunch of canvas boards to start plein air painting on. Expenses next month should be minimal (just COGS), but in September I’ll have to pay for the rest of the car reservation and travel/food expenses for my trip to Santa Fe! Hooray!

I imagine August will be similar to July! It’s summertime, y’all. Time to do a whole lotta nuthin. ;)

June 2019 Trip Report

June had fun summer times AND plenty of painting and portrait-making!


  • Client work/Art work balance. This is always tricky, but things were especially busy with client-work this month, and there were more than a few days where my own projects fell by the wayside. Every day is a new chance to achieve that sweet spot between working for a living and living, haha.

  • Cat Surgery. On the last Monday of the month, we took our cat, William Blake, to the vet for lethargy, vomiting, and lack of appetite… he had a huge piece of ribbon from one of his toys lodged in his stomach, which the doctor had to surgically remove. STUPID CAT! Thanks for making us prove our love to you with our finances.


  • Got 7 paid commissions this month. Hoo-yah!

  • The anti-depressants are working. Which is amaaaaaazing! I still have bad days but holy moly is it so much easier to dust myself off and move on. I’m feeling clear-headed and focused, full of energy and loving it.

  • Made my second “art therapy” painting. I had a diabetes scare earlier in the month (it was just a fluke, don’t worry) and immediately went to blaming myself for bad eating habits when I heard the initial news. The result was messy and kind of embarrassing, but it was hella cathartic. I think I’d like to do a series with these, but we’ll see if they continue to show up.

  • I feel like I have a handle on my technology. After reading “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport I did a few of the exercises and am MUCH happier with my day-to-day life and feeling like I am back in charge when it comes to device useage. I did my 30 day digital declutter and am loving all the extra free time I have!

  • I’m planning like a boss. Charlie Gilkey’s digital momentum planner has been a total game-changer. I LOVE this system. There’s quite a learning curve, but his approach is realistic and effective, which is hard to find in a lot of life-hacky planner gurus.


  • Thing I DIDN’T do: keep track of the things I did in a list! Oh well. Here are some things from memory/looking back through my planner:

  • Painted four more pet portraits

  • Made two more paintings and finished a third from last month

  • Reorganized my desk/workspace

  • Started knitting (and I am obsessed)

  • Read two novels

  • Started cooking more vegetarian meals at home

  • Kept up the kayaking, and got Jamie into it, too!


  • No-spend July (after our vet bill - $$$$)

  • Sew a summer dress

  • Knit a hat and scarf (winter is coming!)

    Repeated items:

  • Keep a consistent art practice going

  • Book a First Friday venue in 2019/2020

  • Stronger promotion of Print of the Month club in June


  • Income: $1,064.19

  • Expenses: $643.93

  • Profit: $420.26

I had several expenses this month: upping my subscription to my social media scheduler, buying more art supplies (paints and paper) from Blick Art, ordering more business cards, plus normal operating expenses (sales taxes, 10% donation to the Camp Fire fund, shipping costs, and costs of goods sold).

But, I was able to transfer $300 out of my account into our joint account after last month, which felt amazing, and it looks like I’ll be able to cover my plane tickets and car rental for my Durango, CO art show in September, which feels even better.

To summarize, my June was awesome and full of fun. Here I come, July!

May 2019 Trip Report

Another month in the books! May was awesome, and you’ll see why:


  • Fewer new Patron sign-ups than I hoped for. I did get some new patrons joining the Print of the Month Club, but of course I wanted more! The more the merrier (and the more = the lower my cost of producing the prints). Still working on getting the word out about this… follow-up is tough.

  • Depression. This one hung around for a couple of weeks into May, but…


  • I started taking anti-depressants. The drug I started on had some annoying side effects (restlessness, twitchiness, weird muscle tension) but so far my mood has improved and stayed consistent. I met with my doc about the side effects and we’re trying something new… we’ll see how it goes!

  • I made my first “art therapy” painting in years. I’m not ready to share it yet, but let’s just say it was actually really fun and very cathartic!

  • I’ve got opportunities lining up. I haven’t even had to LOOK for them, they just keep showing up in my inbox! An artist residency in Italy reached out to me, a cool AR-hosting site offered me a free artist account, my friend Ann sent me an art fair application, and another friend Michele hooked me up with a gallery up in Fairfax that I’m planning a trip to visit and in talks with.

  • I feel like I’ve got a handle on life. It’s a great feeling, lemme tell you. I have energy, I have clarity, I’m letting myself do more of nothing and using my screens less and with more intention (I highly recommend “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport which I got from my library and could not put down!!)

  • I’m painting consistently. I have two paintings almost finished, a third completed, and a fourth started. That feels great! I’m saving the new work for a big reveal at my Durango Art Center (DAC) show in Durango, CO, in September!

  • The Art of the Cosmos updated their site (and I’m on it!). This is a show coming up in April of next year in LA that I am really excited about!!


  • I made several updates to my site throughout the month, including adjusting links, adding images, and migrating my entire “Scoutaroo Zine” site onto my main site and upgrading it.

  • I started two ad campaigns, one for pet portraits (and have received lots of great inquiries and even a couple of orders from it!) and one for the PotM club.

  • I reached out to Olly Olly Art Gallery, Hey There Gallery, and submitted to Create Magazine, Banditto Art Residency, and an art fair in NYC.

  • I followed up with a couple of past buyers to see how they’re liking their work and if they’re interested in anything else I have available.

  • I started and (have almost) finished three paintings and started a fourth


  • Keep a consistent art practice going

  • Book a First Friday venue in 2019/2020

  • Stronger promotion of Print of the Month club in June


  • Income: $875.84

  • Expenses: $443.06

  • Profit: $546.88

  • I have flights to book, a car to rent, and art to ship for Durango in September - profit is going toward those expenses and to supplies (been buying a ton of canvases and new paints this month!)

I’m looking forward to a quiet couple of months this summer to put my head down and focus on making some new paintings! I’ve also discovered Waller Mill Park which is just five minutes from my house and has a few miles of trails and KAYAK RENTALS!! I went kayaking for the first time in years last weekend and I can’t wait to do it again very soon (as soon as my shoulders aren’t sore anymore from the first time, haha).

Thanks for being along for the ride!

April 2019 Trip Report

Ok, first official monthly “trip report” for those of you interested in following along in my journey to becoming a full-time artist. I have a lot of background to get through and a lot to report this month, so BUCKLE IN for some long-ass, radically-transparent bullet-points!


  • Depression - I am seeing a therapist and seriously considering medication. My depression is actually relatively mild but it can be debilitating and it seems to be happening more and more regularly, and I don’t got time for that.

  • No Sales at my Glen Echo Park/Park View Gallery show - This was a huge blow for me. I knew I needed to manage my expectations better and I should have realized the space was too out-of-the-way for a lot of foot traffic, but I still had too much hope and self-worth banked on selling something. I always do. I’m working on it.

  • Scarcity Mindset > High Expectations > Self-fulfilling Prophecy of Perceived Failure - I’m realizing how much this pattern affects my mood and my day-to-day activities, and I’m actively working to change it. For example: I give myself way too much to do on a daily basis, can’t do it all/feel overwhelmed, and then feel like there’s “never enough time/money/energy” and I feel like a failure. This madness has to stop! I am starting by only giving myself one “extra” task to do a day (writing this blog post counts as a big extra task), and also trying to repeat mantras and affirmations that there IS enough time/energy/me to make it happen, whatever “it” happens to be.

  • Rest - I suck at this. I’m trying to be better about letting myself rest.

  • Dropbox - For some dang reason my dropbox has been having syncing issues. This is stressing me out and I need to schedule some time to just deal with it already so I know my stuff is safe & sound (that stuff is my livelihood!)

  • Making time to create vs. time to make money - I have a couple of clients who I do virtual assistant work for and I am SO grateful to them because they are basically bankrolling my artistic endeavors, and they are awesome to work for, but I always wish I had more time to make. On the flip side, I have a bad habit of using client work to procrastinate on my creative work (because let’s face it, creative work is HARD and it’s easier to use the “too busy” excuse than to maybe waste a whole painting session).


  • An Amazing Opening Reception at the Park View Gallery - which also happened to be my birthday! My friends were there and all super supportive, I gave my very first Artist Talk (so fancy!) and I got lots of great feedback and comments from the folks who wandered through! I was walking on cloud 9 after that event.

  • Learning About Myself - between The Artist’s Way, therapy, and my new favorite planner and the amazing team behind it, I am figuring out the mental traps I find myself in and how to get back out of them (see “Struggles” section). I’m also realizing that maybe I need medication.

  • Got myself a Totem - his name is Noah (they have a medium-sized, multi-colored one at my therapist’s office and I got an identical one and I love him)

  • Got myself a mani/pedi - I’m trying to be more generous with myself and treat myself more. Also I forgot how much I love pedicures.

  • Sold 2 pet portraits - My most expensive options, too! That felt good! I love doing those so this was definitely a win.

  • Got some new Print of the Month Club Members - Always a win! I love it when people love my work enough to want to buy stuff on a monthly basis, it feels great!

Things I Did

  • Talking to people at my art reception (a novel idea!) - this worked WELL. I approached almost everyone who came through armed with the question, “which piece do you like best?” which requires a positive response and is not a yes-or-no question… I got some great feedback that way!

  • Pet Portrait Ads on Facebook - did not work well, partly due to budget. I did get a couple hundred clicks on the ad, which is promising! I do have more of an advertising budget going forward so I’ll be able to experiment more with this in the near future

  • Started the Print of the Month Club - I got a couple of new patrons and several upgrades out of this re-structuring of my Patreon page! Definitely worth it. My husband and I came up with this new tier structure together and I am so grateful that he shared the initial idea with me, because this is so much more sustainable!

  • Applied for the Harpo Foundation Grant - funny story on this one… I remembered I had written down some grant urls and thought, huh, I should check the deadlines on that, and this one was due THAT DAY. So I stopped everything and applied! It was an easy application and only cost $15 so we’ll see what happens!

  • Started a painting of Craters of the Moon - I like how it has turned out so far! I’m not 100% on what I want to do to finish it, but we’ll see. I’ve got plenty of time before Durango and all it needs is the final finishing touches.

  • Consolidated into my main website/upgraded my main website - Thanks Squarespace! Also, I am SO grateful to myself that I decided to stop making Scoutaroo for a while. It’s allowed me so much more time and mental space to try to figure out what I’m doing next “fine art”-wise.

Things To Try Next Month

  • NOT sharing everything on social media - It feels like if you aren’t posting something new every day/week you aren’t doing enough, and it drives me crazy. Between now and the Durango show in September I’m keeping my works-in-progress close and only sharing in my newsletter.

  • Follow up with previous buyers - I need to go back through my Etsy shop and send out little convos here and there to folks who have left good reviews and have purchased from me in the past, and maybe redirect them to the new site & the newsletter. I’ve actually made sales doing this, so it’s worth it!

  • Apply to First Friday Events - Between Richmond and VA Beach there are plenty of places that I’m sure need artists to fill their walls! I need to make a list of the participating galleries and start sending out feelers (I’ve already got a good conversation started with a gallery up in Fairfax, maybe for a 2020 show!)

  • Experiment with FB Ads - I mentioned I have a budget now (thanks to a friend & benefactor on the inside at Facebook), and it’s on my list next week to spend some time thinking about an ad strategy for pet portraits and for print of the month club. This was another reason for upgrading my SQSP site - now I can use that powerful Facebook Pixel tool and put my ads to work. Muahahaha!

  • Related to above - integrate MailChimp and SQSP - I know I can do a lot more here, too. It’s on my calendar in May to take a look into.


  • Income: $663.57

  • Expenses: $351.51

  • Profit: $312.06

  • I am planning on saving money for the Durango show going forward (I have to ship the work and get myself halfway across the country) so I am grateful for that profit!

I really have a lot to be proud of from the last month, despite not selling any original paintings! And that just means I have less to do for the Durango Art Center show in September, anyway, so I can’t REALLY complain. Till next time, keep on keepin’ on, friendos!