Friday, March 26, 2004

Went to the Kara Walker opening this evening at the Fabric Workshop. As expected, it was way crowded. Walker was there to do a one-night performance. The exhibition is the first where she is using video projections in her work.

The performance was held in the main gallery but was also projected in the studio area. It was hard to really appreciate her performance because of the amount of people talking and milling around in the lobby. I didn't see the work first-hand, but I'll go back to check it out. It was good that she had such a good turnout, but it was just way too many people in the space.

I'm sure I would have enjoyed what she was doing more if I were closer to the screen and speakers. On the other hand, I think the staff should have enforced a 'no talking' zone in the lobby out of respect for the artist and those of us trying to take in what was going on.

Saw Joni there and talked to her for the first time in months. She's been drowning in school work. Saw Mark Blavat, also. He needs to find another studio soon.
Spent some quality, if not a long, time in the studio yesterday. Sometimes the shorter sessions are more productive and satisfying than the 10-12 hour marathons I sometimes find myself caught up in.

I made good progress on two new 24 inch square paintings and a work on paper. While I waited for one thing to dry, I was on to doing something else. That's my pattern. I like to make the most of whatever time I have in the studio.

Deb and Allen said they are going to move into the space next to where we are now. I'd love to be able to take over the whole space once they're gone, but I just can't figure it into my budget. So, I mentioned to my friend, Gabrielle, that a space may be opening and she's interested in moving in. Gabrielle's needed a space to paint for a while and I think she'd be a good studio mate, so I guess we'll go ahead and make it happen.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Tired but happy. Ed Sozanski's (Philadelphia Inquier) review of my exhibition was published in today's paper. I didn't know about it until I stopped by the gallery this afternoon to drop off a set of prints. It was really positive and having my work compared with Sean Scully's wasn't a bad thing, either. I've admired his work for a while.

Nothing like a little fuel to keep the creative fires burning. Not that I needed it, of course but a little outside validation doesn't hurt.

Heading up to New York to see the Armory Show Sunday. I may go up earlier than I thought tomorrow to see the Whitney Biennial. I'll meet up with Amy and Liz later in the day.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

The second review of my exhibition at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery came out today in the City Paper. The first was in the Philadelphia Weekly a couple of weeks ago. Both reviews are positive and capture the spirit of my work really well. It feels good when someone you don't know looks at your work and is able to connect with and write about it in a way which reflects a careful study of and appreciation for what the artist is attempting to convey.

Though they serve a good purpose by bringing the public's attention to my work, I don't base my self worth as an artist on them. It's really important to see a review for what it is: an opinion. And hopefully an informed one. In my case, I've been lucky in that the writers, Roberta Fallon (Phila. Weekly) and Susan Hagen (City Paper), took some time to really study the work and write honestly about it without resorting to over-intellectualizing my painting. In both pieces, there is a very heartfelt response to the work that I appreciate.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Doing it in the first place. Facing the blank canvas or paper, making a mark, making some more.

The sound of a brush dragging across the weave of canvas is intoxicating. I often get lost in that sound. So much so that I sometimes have to work hard to back away from the painting so I can study if it's working or not. I love the feeling of getting lost in the work. That's the best part of doing anything creative.

I've been taking it easy over the past few weeks since the exhibition opened. I've been lucky enough to sell a few paintings so I've been basically spending time gathering materials (paints, canvas, paper, etc...).

I didn't think I'd take so much time off from producing anything after the show opened but the adrenaline rush of getting the show together just started wearing off last week. And I've not had the mental energy to do much of anything in the studio.

That's alright. I need to make myself take time off every now and then. I was preparing for this show for a year or so and it's natural that I'd be pretty fatigued at this point.

So far, I've begun experimenting with gouache. I've never used it much in the past but I'm really interested in finding out how it will affect my work.