Saturday, April 24, 2004

It's been an interesting couple of days. Thursday night we had the big opening reception for our group show at Tierney Communications. Tierney's offices occupy part of the 9th floor and the whole 10th floor of the Bellvue building at Broad and Walnut.

It was a huge event for Bridgette and us, the artists. It was the most upscale event I've been involved with since being with Bridgette's gallery. Thier client list reads like a who's who of big business in Philadelphia and the surrounding region and most of thier clients were there. The food spread was big and the drinks strong. Lots of good looking women, also. I didn't get to really talk to any of the clients but there were some people there I didn't expect to see and had conversation with them for a short time. Besides them, I mainly hung out with the other gallery artists or friends (Corwin, Tet, Jackie, and Adam, aka Botany 500, the dj for the night).

I didn't know where all of my work was hung so I had to go on a little expedition to find them. The office is like something of a maze because of it's size but once you go through it once or twice, it's fairly easy to negotiate. Anyway, I found my paintings and with the exception of one, I liked the display. The one painting, 'Daylight Meltdown' is on a wall with absolutely no light on it. I also happen to be the only artist with work on the ninth floor. Three paintings from my 'Foundation Point' series are hung next to each other directly in front of the only staircase that connects the ninth and tenth floors. Very good spot. My only wish is that they were hung a little farther apart from each other.

Office spaces are difficult places for a lot of artwork. There is one hallway where there are works by four other artists that is really dim. Rebecca Rutstein has two 66"x66" paintings there and not only is the lighting bad, but you can't step back more than two feet from them. To be fair, most of the lighting in the office is good and a lot of work is well hung. Bridgette tried to get better lighting for those few in dim areas, but the company wasn't too keen on adding lighting fixtures.

That part of the evening was done around 8:30pm. A bunch of us walked over to Caribou Café where Bridgette had reservations for thirty. I think about 20 of us wound up there. The menu was a little limited and pricey so I opted for a couple of appetizers and drinks. Dinner over, the last of us went to Doc Watson's for a few more drinks and shots to end the night.

I spent yesterday barely able to do much of anything since I got home around three and woke up at 8:30am. I was still tired but I just couldn't stay in bed. I get all of this light in my apartment because of the skylights. I got up, did laundry, then went to Sabrina's for brunch. I had planned on looking for some short-sleeved T-shirts for summer but had plans for the evening and the afternoon was quickly slipping away.

I made my way around to the new community gallery on South Street to see Jason's video project. It was good. Mainly consisted of short films where he took old film clips, re-edited them and added his own soundtrack to them. There were some good moments but a couple of them were a bit boring. Then again, my attention span was pretty shot due to lack of sleep and being hung-over so I may not have given them the chance they deserve.

Stopped by the store for a little food and returned home for a much-needed nap. Went out to Mike Stifel's opening at the Print Center on Latimer Street. He had some embossed prints on view. Minimal, but beautifully subtle. Stayed for about 30 minutes before heading over to the gallery for an introduction to Landmark Education. I've resisted investigating this for a good while, but when Miriam invited me to this seminar, I decided to be open enough to go. I'm not sure about doing the whole weekend series later in the summer but I'm thinking about it. Honestly, I think it's something I could benefit from. We'll see.

Today, I'm meeting up with Jim Erickson and we're going to do some gallery hopping this afternoon. We've been trying to do this for a while but life kept getting in the way. I really need some studio time but this could be good also. I don't have many male art buddies I hang out with so I've stayed committed to keeping this day open for that. And going to the gym.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Received an email from someone in Harrisburg who saw my work in the latest edition of 'New American Paintings/ Mid-Atlantic') and is interested in purchasing something. Apparently it came out on Monday according to Bridgette. I haven't even seen the book yet but it's good to know that it's making an impact so soon.

Things have hit a little snag with Gabrielle moving into the studio, at least until Friday at the earliest. Long story short, Deb and Allen were moving some of their stuff into the space in Kevin's living area next door to where we are now. Well, the building's owner and his wife happened to be there at the same time. The wife had a fit, yelled at Deb who told said the wife would have to talk to Kevin and not her to straighten things out. So Kevin is supposed to be meeting with the owners some time over the next couple of days. Every thing is on hold until Friday or Saturday.

The problem stems from the fact that the owners didn't want Kevin to rent out the extra space. This could be bad, but maybe not. We'll just have to see what happens. I just hope the owners don't get so pissed that they decide to unload the building and we all have to find other places. That would be a serious pain in the ass to deal with. Then again, this is Old City and I'm lucky to have the space I so for such a good price.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Alright, the mail comes this morning and I see that my return envelope from the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council is here. I open it to discover that not only did one of my paintings get into the 'Art of the State' exhibition, it's the same painting that was accepted in to the annual exhibition at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts. Luckily, the Harrisburg show begins after the Cheltenham show but the delivery date for Harrisburg overlaps the tail end of the first exhibition.

That's what happens when you send out slides all the time and forget which ones you send where. It's ok. I didn't think I'd get into both shows, let alone have the same painting chosen for two shows. It's a good thing.

I need to find the phone number of a fellow artist. We tentatively set up tomorrow as a studio visit day, but I forgot to call him earlier this week. Then I noticed that I hadn't put his contact information in my personal phonebook. I know I have it, I just have to find it anomgst my pile of folders next to my desk.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Rebecca's show opened last week at the Bridgette Mayer Gallery(BMG). She had a great turnout despite the rainy night. The funny thing is I had the same weather conditions and good attendance during my opening reception in February. Her work has grown and she's embraced color like never before. There's a nice combination of her graphic design sensibilities (silkscreening directly onto the canvas and wood panels) and straight ahead painting.

The residency she had last summer in Canada seems to have reinvigorated her love of painting. I remember her telling me after her first solo show at BMG that she was burned out and wasn't sure that she was going to continue painting. I'm glad she has continued.

I thought I'd experience a period of emotional letdown after the end of my recent solo exhibition but that hasn't occured. Some of that may be attributable to my having sold some work and having received the great reviews. It may also have to do with my still havng a lot of new ideas for more work. There was never a point after the opening where I had any doubts about what I was going to do next. That said, I never knew exactly what I was going to paint, just that I still had a lot of ideas I wanted to pursue.

I still don't know what else may come out of the exhibition, but certainly I have a stronger resumé with the show sales and reviews. Now, the thing to do is capitalize on the success of this show and move on to other markets in addition to Philadelphia. Most importantly, I've solidified my relationship with Bridgette, we're very happy with how things turned out, and are looking forward to continue working together.

I'm excited to get back to painting on a regular basis. I've done a couple of things since the show opened, but now I'm ready to resume my former work schedule. There have been some changes in my life as of late, like returning to working out in the gym and re-doing my apartment. I'm trying to be as efficient as possible with my time without being anal about it. One thing I've learned as I've gotten older is to let some things go or to allow for last-minute changes when it seems my preplanned agenda isn't going to pan out. I've saved myself a lot of stress this way.