Saturday, May 28, 2005

one more

Painted for most of the day. Spent the entire time on one painting. My usual habit is to go back and forth between at least two. Anyway, I was trying something new: an all-over composition of multiple grid matrices. Different layers, different colors. The top layers went towards greens after having pink, blue, yellow and a highly saturated, almost flourescent green as the base. I'd been thinking about doing something like this for a while, and today finally got to working on it. The only problem is I don't think my current approach is working well. I'm struggling with leaving the entire surface covered and not bringing in other forms, thus relying on the usual figure-ground relationship(s).

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

on a mission

After a fitful and not long night of sleep, I got up around 7:30am. I had to meet up with Bridgette and Mark to pick up my paintings from the photographer's place. The meeting arrangements for this morning are what kept me from a sound sleep, or rather, my fears that something would go wrong was the cause. Everyone involved was on a tight schedule so it was imperative that this went off without a hitch. In the end, I was overly concerned and things worked out fine. I got there just as Karen was arriving and it wasn't long before Bridgette and Mark got there. We loaded up the van and I rode down to the studio on my bike to meet them. We unloaded the van again and I took the paintings up to the studio. In the midst of carrying paintings up the stairs, the lights went out. Turns out that the video store downstairs was having some electrical work done. I talked to the owner and he said he was having an air conditioning unit put in and a couple of circuit breakers replaced. I'm just glad that I'm familiar with the stairwell and didn't trip while carrying paintings.

Bridgette informed me that she is meeting with a couple of art consultants on Thursday and they are interested in my work. Instead of us hauling a bunch of paintings over to the gallery, she suggested that they come over to the studio which sounds good to me. Tomorrow, I hope to get some painting done, hang some of them and clean up the studio a bit. It'll be good if something comes of it. The only concern I have is not wanting to release any of the new work before the show goes up in the fall. If they like the newer paintings then that's great, but my position is that they'll have to wait until the show is over before having them, if they decide to purchase any. Something to discuss with Bridgette.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

moving along...

With three and-a-half months to go before my exhibition, my time in the studio is being ratcheted up. I've gone up there for the past three nights after work to stretch four large canvases, two 48"x48" and two 48"x60", respectively. Now I'm ready to move onto some more painting. Even though it's only been a couple of weeks since completing the last large painting, there's still a little apprehension about approaching the new ones. Some of that has to do with the mid-August deadline looming. I'll get over it as soon as I'm knee-deep in paint and moving between one painting and another like usual.

My photographer called and left the good news that the slides and digital images of the first batch of new paintings are done. Now I can pass them on to Bridgette and she can get moving on having the exhibition card and brochure designed. Also, nationally known arts writer, Lily Wei, has agreed to write the catalogue essay for the exhibition. She has written extensively for Art In America and, most recently, Art News. I met her during the dinner after the recent New York exhibition I was a part of. We talked for a good hour or so and I asked her if she'd be interested in writing the essay. She told me her fee, and yes, it's up there and I passed the info on to Bridgette who does have a budget for these things, thankfully. So, it seems things are coming along nicely. I still have a lot of work to do, but at least some of the incidentals are being taken care of.

Still on the list: more paintings, of course. I need to start working on a new business card design since I'm almost out of the old ones. I also need to tweak my artist statement a little. Then, there is the search for some funding via grants. Writing grants is one of the more less desirable aspects of art-making. However, as a creative person, it just comes with the territory if you want any chance of obtaining funding for your vision. I just want to be able to fund myself for a year, maybe two without having to work a regular job. I do fairly well working only four days a week and using the other three for mainly art-related activities, but having a little more time for painting and printmaking is high on my goal list.

Friday, May 06, 2005

creative thinking

Had a late start to the day. Slept in a little because I was up last night catching up with online reading. Anyway, I got out of here after 2pm, rode over to the gallery to give Bridgette a check to hold a seat for me at a panel she's hosting next week. Called Rock Solid: Building Your Financial Present and Future as a Creative Professional, the event's panel runs the gamut from artist to gallery owner to a couple of financial advisors. Basically, just like the title says, it's designed to provide information and tips to artists on how to handle finances, invest, etc...

This is one of the things I like about working with Bridgette; she has a genuine interest in helping artists succeed financially in addition to helping them get their work out in the world. I don't know too many gallery owners willing to do as much as she is. She's really ambitious, supportive, honest, and down-to-earth. Most artists are lucky if they encounter two of those qualities in an artist-gallery owner relationship. While this is a good situation so far, I can't afford to sit on my ass, of course; there's paintings to be done, I have to keep up with finding opportunities to show outside the area, and I have to keep myself organized with slides, updating the resumé, and other paper-work. I'm, well, fair when it comes to organizaition, but there's a lot of room for improvement.

Time is marching on and I've been sleeping a bit. I had a conversation this afternoon with my former studio mates, Deb and Allen just before going into the studio. We were talking and soon the conversations came around to my show in September. It struck me in that moment that I had less than four months to get a bunch more work done. If I stay on track, I'll be done with the rest of the new paintings by the end of July and no later than the second week of August. That's the ideal, anyway, and we all know about the best laid plans.

Tomorrow I have to pick up a case of 48" stretchers from Utrecht and grab a few 60" ones next week. I need to get on the ball with buying some plywood to make panels to paint on and I need to make some time to do some drawings. I'd love to do some prints for the show, but I don't see that happening over the summer. I'll have enough to do with just the paintings.

Today, I spent some time working on some small paintings. One of the things that ran through my mind while painting was that I paint to learn. I mean, I paint for a variety of reasons. However, today's revelation was significant in that during the course of every painting session, I'm continually asking myself how this color will work with that one; how a line or area will look when painted with the round bristle brush as opposed to the flat brush; or noticing the differences in surfaces between paper and canvas and how I'll deal with that, etc...

There's little that's new about this since a large part of being an artist is about discovery. The difference, I think, is that at different points in an artist's life, these questions take on new meanings. In fact, I'd go so far as to say with every new work questioning the process begins anew.