the end of this beginning…

Many artists around the country have had the distinct opportunity to participate in a Creative Capital Professional Development Weekend.  And this last weekend was my chance. (big shout-out to Beet Street for bringing in a second annual one)

The presenters, Maureen Huskey, Colleen Keegan, Aaron Landsman, Jackie Battenfield, and Byron Au Yong, were all incredibly generous and helpful- I think everyone felt like they took away quite a bit that was not only useful, but truly personal and meaningful to each participant.

At the wrap-up, Colleen used the expression the “end of the beginning” to refer to our impending activities- filtering all this good stuff, starting to address issues unique to our own practice and moving forward, armed with clearer intentions (can you say “strategic planning?”) and optimism.

As it happens, I have been following “Communicatrix”,  Colleen Wainright’s blog for a while  (although it is much more than that) and today, something arrived in my mailbox with her last in a series of “embracing the tiny” observations.  Coincidence?   I think not.

For my part, I left the two days, filled with new energy to lead myself back to work that was more personal and meaningful to me- something that made me excited to keep moving forward, not something that I assumed would be embraced by a too-specific audience.

I (re) learned that I need to make the work that matters, and then move it out into the world, so the right audience can find it.  I will feel blessed, and I think those finding it will feel fortunate when they do.

working in/up a storm

we are having the first thunderstorm of the season… (usually afternoon/evening storms are common in the late spring around here) and we really need the rain…

I’m working on things that need taking care of, and there’s no way round it, and I’ve been forcing myself to sit down and deal. It helps to have a head cold- don’t feel like going to run or ride a bike-

Working on stuff like sorting through years of art files/documents- changing the last remnant of Appleworks to Word / images- seeing what I have and what I need to capture-

Doing inventory – making things up-to-date and better organized- leaner and not meaner, but cleaner!

lap top screen

I am not a great one for being sedentary- in a chair or on the floor – for hours, so I took frequent breaks today to finish transplanting strawberries, and use the rowing machine.  Talk about attention deficit! Anyway, it makes me glad for laptops and wireless connections, no worries about lightening striking the house and wiping out the computer.
I’m planning a marketing blitz soon, but want to get all my images and information up to date on a couple places, including this blog, before I charge out there asking for attention. People make their first impressions in about 7 seconds.

What is a studio…. are we there yet?

yes there's crap everywhere.... but it's getting better

I was discussing the notion of “re-invention” with some friends… and it seems that’s what going on here.  At one point in the not so distant past, I was in more of a funk…

well, you put out  a thought, and all of a sudden you have company. My “perhaps it’s time to quit painting” thought brought a response from a grad school friend, and two other local artists…  we all seem to be in a quandary- either feeling the life and art sucked out from teaching demands, or, what…. questioning the point because there’s no audience for what you do,  questioning how professional you can be if you hardly ever sell what you do, finding yourself tempted to pander to folks wanting very “affordable” prices

Then, I finally realized that I don’t want to stop making art, I just want to shake things up a bit.

First week without a space I’m renting outside of my house.  No more retreat from the domestic environment. No more being gone for hours each day.    Now I get up and don’t have to plan on leaving to go downtown- I just wander down the stairs!  Still putting things away and getting organized… I am one of those people who has a hard time working in chaos…. but looking forward to drawing more, getting reacquainted with my etching press, spending more time reaching out to new audiences for the completed work and generally mucking around with all sorts of things.

best Christmas present everrrrr / expanding the painting racks

Just tryin’ to get over the hump… and thoughts on being “creative”

Well . . . it is Wednesday after all.

But also the last step of putting together my packets for a mailing seems to be taking forever to get together. It’s time to choose the images, edit so they all look accurate and in a similar scale, and then perhaps add in a tear sheet of other images, like drawings. I keep telling myself that there is no “real” deadline, but maybe that doesn’t help. Yet, also want it to all work well together and be a great package.
Also, the Photoshop app is on my husband’s computer, and I need to pry his little fingers off the keyboard for a few hours to have access to that. Do other people run into an aspect of a larger project that seems to slow things down?

But, I’m making progress.
Brought a couple new paintings home to shoot, and hopefully…… next week it will all go out. . . . .

On Sunday, I loved the message that came from Academy Award winner, Michael Giacchino who wrote the score for “Up”..

. . “never once in my life did my parents ever say, “What you’re doing is a waste of time.” Never. And I grew up, I had teachers, I had colleagues, I had people that I worked with all through my life who always

told me what you’re doing is not a waste of time. So it was normal to me that it was OK to do that. But I know there are kids out there that don’t have that support system, so if you’re out there and you’re listening, listen to me: If you want to be creative, get out there and do it. It’s not a waste of time. Do it. OK?”

so, hopefully, lots of young folks were listening, and will take it from there!

putting it on ice…

No studio painting for the last few days… we’ve been enjoying some late winter snow, watching a lot of Olympics, and taking care of my daughter who is home recovering from ACL surgery. The night before her surgery, we watched the women’s downhill racers come crashing down and wondered, “how the heck do they get up and walk after that?”

I’m using the time to put together pieces for a large mailing to art consultants/designers who might be able to place some work in more public and commercial settings. I’m going to burn images on CD’s, and include the nice tear sheet from my page in the Guild Sourcebook.

Now that I am more in charge of my own fate as an artist, with no galleries showing my work, the way forward is up to me. It’s kind of like an Olympic event – training, training, training- put it out there!

The days have largely been filled with shuttling ice back to the room where daughter is confined to bed, making meals and snacks and keeping the machine that pumps the ice water around her knee running on schedule.  In a few days, I’ll get back to the studio again more full time, but for now, I’m trying to enjoy/make use of the time being home.

keeping up with …

well, if you have tried to click on the artists register link, you know that it is not operating at the moment.  I got an email notice not too long ago, apparently my subscription had expired without me knowing.

So, now I decide if it’s worth the $75 a year to basically repeat what I have here.

I guess I’ll go ahead and do it, but it takes a week or so to go live after putting things up for “review.”

I also just finished straightening up my resume in the document form at least, in preparation for getting the aforementioned promo packets together.

One of the coolest things I finally learned how to do, not that it was that complicated, was to print CD labels with a full color image background and type on them.

They look rather spiffy and professional.P8120007

Which is the idea.

Also trying to keep up with this site, although I understand that it takes a while to drive traffic this way- but hopefully more folks will come and visit.

For fun- just took my daughter’s cruiser bike out for a spin.

She just moved home for a month or so, before getting her own place, and it was interesting to merge her small household into ours again somewhat.

Let’s just say there are lots of boxes and bags of stuff in our basement now!

And there wasn’t even that much furniture involved this time!

It made me remember the days when my husband and I were rather nomadic and big proponents of Victor Papanek’s ideas on nomadic furniture. I remember things made out of corregated cardboard, and constructed so they either came apart or would compact, or you could make more in a new location…