Saturday, September 29, 2012

For Rufus

 Rufus being silly (how I want to remember him)
Hello Dear Readers,

I am sorry if you checked in here last week and you missed my blog. I didn't write. Last Friday, I found out the bad news that my beloved cat Rufus was terminally ill and would probably only live out the remainder of the week so I turned all my attention to him and took care of him until the end. My sweet, lovely Rufus died at 12:45 am on Tuesday morning, September 25th. I know I didn't mention Rufus on my studio blog but I want to mention him now.

Rufus was an extraordinary cat and a huge part of my life. I love and miss him very much.

It's fair to say I haven't been thinking too much about art lately. At the same time, art is about life; the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad and devastating.

I hope that next week I will have some happier news to report.



Friday, September 14, 2012

In this together...

 Detail: The Trial Years: Scroll Number One.

Dear Readers,

Thanks for joining me this week. I hope your own art world is treating you well.

This past week has been a bit unusual as I started a new side project that I wasn't really expecting to start quite yet. The piece is called The Trial Years: Scroll Number One. It is an 8x3ft work on paper. The goal was to create four of these scrolls, one for every decade I have been alive. There may only be one in the end, as working on this scale is quite physical. I don't have any studio walls that are that large so I am having to tape the paper on the floor of my studio and work on my hands and knees or straddle the three feet width of paper and bend from my hips and paint on the paper on the floor. Fun times as you might imagine. I decided to document this project solely on my facebook artist page. Have you liked my facebook art page? Well if not please consider doing so as I am going to try to use it more for the latest updates and photographs of what is going on in my studio.

So this week I have been prepping and adding layers to this behemoth/hellion/monster (these are just a few of the pet names, I have given this latest experiment). It has been exciting to have a bit more of a focus in the studio and to just be exploring and making art for arts sake. It seems a bit like a luxury to just be playing around in the studio and working on a perhaps unsaleable painting in this economy/these trying times/recession but for some reason it is what I must do right now.

Things are a bit of a shaky mess financially and I hate to say that as I don't want to focus on the negative when I am a positive spin type of person usually. This week, there was that moment where I saw a "we're hiring" sign outside of an office type building at a strip mall and I wondered "Should I pull in and apply?" I quickly came to my senses and drove on. I have a job, it just doesn't pay that well right now. By being an artist I assume certain risks and this just happens to be one of them. I still wouldn't quit this job or trade it in for another.

I have a bit of an all or nothing personality and that works pretty well with the feast or famine art world. I just keep riding the waves, making my art, focusing on what I can control and hoping for the best.

Thanks for checking in.


PS. Here are a few ways to help an artist even if you can't buy their work right now:

1. Share their work, website, etsy shop, facebook pages with your friends via social networks and your own personal blogs, email, and word of mouth.
2. Encourage them, let them know how much you like their work and what it means to you.
3. Keep your eye out for opportunities for your favorite artists and share them. (Grants, residencies and galleries that are looking for new work.)
4. Barter and trade with artists.
5. And never be afraid to ask the artist if they might consider payment plan options. Most artists are glad to work with you on this.
6. Refer your favorite artists to design firms, architects and encourage people you know in these professions to use original and local art when they can.
7. If you have a connection with a gallery or a potential venue share this with the artist.
8. Be an advocate for the artist. Sometimes you have connections that artists haven't even thought of and you can connect the dots and get that artist's work seen.
9. And if you are an artist yourself, don't hesitate to do these things for your fellow artist. There is enough to go around and the attitude of being all in this together feels good and is helpful to all.
10. Share supplies that you may have that are gathering dust and that might truly inspire someone else!

Thank you! We really are in this together!
Until next week, keep fighting! The world needs your art!

Friday, September 7, 2012

A simple story

What? Friday already? Hello dear readers, lovely to find you here as always! What happened this week you ask?

Well, I completed 18 new works and listed them all in my Etsy shop! Last Friday's post really helped me to solidify my goals with the new small works I was creating. I love it when I sit down here to write my blog and suddenly I have a much clearer idea of what I need to create and of what I want the work to convey. I have said it before but keeping this blog for the last five years has helped my art in ways too numerous to mention. I think next to actually making the art, sitting down to write about the process as well as the experience of being an artist is something I would recommend to all artists, no matter what stage in their careers.

Three of my new pieces have already found homes and I am grateful. Please visit my Esty shop and have a look at these latest works. "The absence of words." 

And with that, I will let the new paintings do the talking. Next week, there will be more works in progress, this time in the form of larger 12x12" paintings on panel mixed with maps, at least that is my goal. I must keep moving and let the momentum carry me and remind me of all I want to say and of my certain purpose.

Every day we paint is a victory and many days it is a hard won battle but we always get there in the end. Always.