Can I say more?

In 2011 I would tell anyone that’d listen that I was moving to Reno, Nevada “for true love”.

I said it with conviction, but also anxiety. I was leaving my chosen home of Anchorage, Alaska, my first real job, and a wonderful community of friends to give a relationship a go. Even sharing that now, my knee jerk reaction is wondering if it’s a stupid decision.

Just to ruin the ending for you: the “true love” thing worked out. Here’s an early photo of Wes and me doing some light trail work while on a volunteer camping trip. You know, as one does.

My way of dealing with doubt was to blow it up. Not only did I share frequently, and loudly, about my big life move. I documented it.

Almost every day leading up to and through my move to and the process of building a life in Nevada, I wrote a blog. The name, a cheeky reference to my decision making abilities (and also wordplay on “talk back”)? “Smart Alli”.

Here is the very first post, and some of my earliest posts, which are sweet for me to re-read. (Side note: years after I started and maintained it, the blog served as a writing sample that helped me land a weekly column in the Anchorage Daily News!)

Now, in 2023, in partnership with aforementioned true love and husband Wes, we’ve embarked on a new kind of adventure. This one is also foolhardy on its face: we’ve sold our house, bought a trailer, quit our jobs, and decided to live full time on the road. I’ve gone full time artist, and Wes is a backpacking/outdoor excursion guide – neither of these vocations are terribly lucrative, but they are aligned with how we want to spend our time.

This life move, like going to Reno for true love, is bold, exciting, affirming, and the intuitive next step for me and us. It’s also terrifying, sometimes maddening, confusing, and – most shockingly of all – seems to closely resemble real everyday life. Did YOU know that even after you hustle, scrounge, plan, buckle down, and grind in order to make an enormous life change and then you’re successfully “in it”; that EVEN when you’ve made it to that green grass on the other side, the day to day moments of life are still suspiciously recurring, just like always, in beauty and joy, but also irritation and pain?! Did you know, to quote the obnoxious but true cliche that are also words of advice from a good friend in sticker form on the door of our trailer: wherever you go, there you are?

What’s a gal to do?

I’ve decided to take up my former winning strategy in embracing big life change and all the (normal) uncertainty that comes with it, and use this blog as a way to share the day to day experience of actually going full-time-artist.

Yes, I’ll still share the process behind my paintings and the many lessons learned along the way. But I also want to share about how Wes and I have made and continue to make our decisions independently and in concert with one another, particularly with so much in motion. I want to talk about actually building my life and managing my energy to grow and sustain Alli Harvey Art the business, while also protecting the focus I need to actually meaningfully (happily) paint. I want to tell the story of getting to the remote and cell phone service-less North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a three hour drive from St. George where home currently is, and our truck threatening to crap out on us. What did we do?! (We hiked. And then drove home two days early).

It’s all connected. It’s part of the same bigger picture that enables me to inhabit and continue to create this time in my and our lives. And when I wait too long between posts, or wait for something “big” enough to write about and share here, the funny, difficult, human details that actually comprise my and our lives at this time get lost.

So, prepare! I’m going to write more. It’ll be right here. Don’t want to miss out? Go ahead and subscribe by adding your email below, and you’ll get a notification whenever I publish something. Or, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook to get periodic links to posts. As always, comment away! The whole point of this is to share and connect, and I love to hear your stories and reactions.

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