The Fort Collins Studio Tour is approaching- June 27, 28 and 29, and this is the third year I’ll be opening my home to the public. One interesting change this year is the addition of an evening on the front end of the tour. There are so many artists (52 stops), we hope this makes it easier for folks to get around to visit more studios. (note the different times for each day)
The tag line for this event used to read, “revealing the mysteries of fine art and craft” which has always made the activity seem rather alchemical….
How do we do what we do? What divine intervention occurs behind closed doors? Sometimes I wish I could say there is a mysterious component at work. Sometimes it would be nice if the elves came in at night and resolved some sticky problem.
In fact, perhaps there is no mystery behind it any more than there is a mystery behind how someone learns to cook with artistry, or balance a set of books and figure out the IRS tax code, or manages to leap over a set of 3 foot obstacles while running on a circular track.
You find something you like. . . something you might be good at. . .something you have an aptitude for…something you develop a passion for… and you spend a lot of hours doing it. Then you find you want to keep doing it.
Is some of our work inspired? Perhaps… when we don’t over-think it. When the world drops away. When the mechanics come from a life of experience, visual and sensory memory, things that catch the eye, things that irritate and stay lodged in our brain, combined with the nerve to keep at it, and lots of thought and lots of screw ups. Watching someone paint is actually a lot like watching paint dry. All those tiny and not so tiny decisions hopefully leading to some sort conclusion. The sum total of years of effort, constantly training the eye, not settling for mediocre, and constantly questioning what we are up to.
I like having the time to talk more in depth with people who are seeing my work for the first time, as well as those who have followed me for years. Sometimes it’s like a little mini-reunion! I like showing people work “in-progress” and explaining that even though it may look like ‘something’ already, I probably haven’t had enough of the experience of living with it and having a conversation with it to call it finished.
This year, I’ve been busy carving lots of linoleum (13 different images) which has been a very satisfying manual activity! The process is also rather reductive, like much of my painting, but cannot by its nature involve so much reworking. I’m making calendars with hand pulled prints for each month. It’s a nice way to have original art work at an affordable price that can later be framed.
Hope you will join me!