Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pulling Everything Together

A vignette from yesterday...

If you follow this blog you know I have been working on a project, visiting a local bird sanctuary and taking photographs, then using the photographs to inspire watercolor and encaustic paintings. When I started visiting the sanctuary last summer I was not thinking about a show or even a series of artworks, I was just painting my interpretations of this special spot. But this body of work took on a life of it's own...

Yesterday morning - woke up and made the dreaded phone call to the gallery where I submitted my show proposal a few weeks ago; I followed the specific requirements and postal mailed my CD, my show theme idea, and realized the theme had changed slightly since then. I want to include my photographs that inspired me and lead to the paintings. I wanted to check in with the gallery. Of course you never can get through to humans so I left a voice message just to inquire as to when they will be reviewing my proposal (the website says reviews are only 4 times a year). Think I will hear back from the gallery? I have also submitted a proposal to a second gallery with the hopes that maybe I will be accepted to one of them but I will have to make sure I don't commit to 2 places at the same time (that should only be my problem!) If neither gallery accepts my proposal, I can always fall back on the local exhibition opportunities that exist in my community but I am working on "moving up a notch". The gallery that shows my work in Boston has been interested in seeing my original encaustic work but connecting with the gallery owner is almost impossible. I doubt she would give me a solo show featuring all 3 mediums (photographs, watercolor, and encaustic), she would possibly take a handful of the encaustics so I have not even pursued meeting with her. Maybe I am being stupid?

Time to print the photographs - later in the morning I go visit my friend, a local giclee printer, who is printing the 16 x 20 photos for this series of work; 2 photos for each season of visits, each of these photos was used for my watercolor and encaustic interpretations. Initially I printed 8 x 10's and was disappointed that they did not create the feeling of wanting to take a walk into the bird sanctuary and I realized they were too small. I am a painter, never printed photos before... which paper do I use? smooth or bumpy? bright white or warm white? how much border do I want around the image? do I sign the bottom of the photo or leave it blank? so many new things for me to think about, but the one constant is that I know I want this to be a show about Transitions - new art mediums, the seasons, and my life. I now have a theme for my show. :)

Next stop - my favorite framer, and I need to price out and choose the correct framing for these large color photographs that will be part of my show. I know I want the frames to be the same for all the photos, simple black wood with a warm white matt (and a different frame to be the same for each of my watercolor paintings. I already have the same type of floater frames for each of my encaustic paintings). It all adds up; size, gallery space requirements to hang these works, and the cost involved in coordinating everything. It feels so bold and "gutsy" to spend the time and money on framing large photographs for a show that still has no place to hang! I also have 1 more season left to visit at the bird sanctuary (spring time) and remind myself in April I will take my final group of photographs and can then paint my final group of watercolor and encaustics. I wont even think about the frames for the watercolors until the series has been completed but that will be easy for me. The cost of planning for a gallery show is easier to manage when it's spread out over time. I predict this series of work will be completed and ready to show by summertime at the earliest.

Time to reflect - am I nuts? do I really think my photographs (and encaustics) are good enough for a gallery show? at least I know with watercolor, I am experienced in how to put a show together, I have been doing it for many years, but new mediums and combining them all into 1 show brings me a whole new insecurity with my art.

Phone call - my accountant has questions, business expenses, business deductions, she calls me in between my trips back to the giclee printer then back to the framer, and I am reminded about the financial realities of pulling a show together. The one thing I can't do is think about sales and profit. I am driven to pull this body of work together as professionally as I can and my passion and commitment to my art has taken over; my business sense of how this show is going to make (or loose) me "X" amount of dollars can not be a factor.

Yesterday afternoon - I am a step closer to completing the show necessities. All I have left to do is paint the spring season, and then find a venue (which is out of my hands for now). Designing a show postcard and announcement is easy once the specifics are worked out and I am not looking to exhibit this work until end of this year or early next year. Now I can focus on the watercolor classes that I start teaching on Thursday nights at Montserrat College of Art, starting tonight. Then I can finish reading the book assignments for the class I am going to be attending all weekend for my master's program (as student).

Last night - reassured myself that framing the photographs had to be done, that they will look great, and that they are better protected under glass. The show is coming together, and one way or another I will find a venue. I also know I may want to include several of these photographs in my graduation art show this May and now they will be framed and ready to hang. Shifting gears to teaching class... I want to use the autumn pathway photograph for my class demo.

I have a plan, I am organized. I can't complete this series of work until April when I visit the bird sanctuary. All I can do now is wait to hear from the galleries, and continue framing works so they will be ready to hang. I can comfortably switch gears; my job right now is to be teacher and student.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunshine Award

I have been out of town and came back to a Sunshine Award on my blog - thank you Deborah! (Deborah's blogspot)

The Sunshine Award is given to blogs that are creative, positive and inspirational, and I'm honored that mine has touched someone in that way. Now it's my turn to pass on the award. Here's how it works:

Choose the blogs that inspire you
Create a post with links to the nominees
Include this logo on your post
Let the nominees know they've been chosen by commenting on their blogs
Link back to the person who gave you the award

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

same movie, shorter version

After hearing feedback on my original video I decided to shorten and simplify it. I think this new version works better.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Pathways", a video of my artwork

Technology class ended this afternoon and I am walking away with new found knowledge and understanding of so many applications and programs that I can't even believe it! We spent today presenting a lesson plan that demonstrated usage of the technology of our choice and I have decided to share my video.

I designed a slide show presentation of my current work: encaustic and watercolor paintings inspired by the photos I took from visiting the bird sanctuary. Once I have painted the spring season and completed a year of visits and artwork, I will incorporate those works into this video (probably will shorten each image to a 5 second viewing rather than the 10 second timeframe I am using now) and I can then submit my work to galleries in the video format along with jpg's. I will probably have to edit and revise as I continue to learn more about technology but I love being able to show the photos that inspired the paintings, then include background music to help set the tone of the show.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blog Etiquette

The reading I was required to do for my technology class this weekend enlightened me to the true concept of blogging. For the first time, I realized proper blog etiquette is for me to respond to my follower's comments rather than just reading them before my next post! The interactions between the blogger and the followers is the reason blogging has become so popular in this day and age.

I now have a better insight and understanding and hope to become more interactive in my future posts.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Winter Stillness", another version

8 x 8 encaustic image transfer

I felt the need to paint the winter path in both watercolor and encaustic - these paintings are mirror images because the image is reversed as it is burnished into the wax medium. I also did several more smaller works (2.5 x 3.5) and I now feel that I have a sufficient body of work to convey the winter season at the pond.

The past several weeks I have been preparing for my second half of the technology course; we finish the course this weekend. My presentation will be focused on teaching artists how to prepare for the solo show using several different technologies... how to create a poster promoting the solo show, and how to design a price list brochure to be used at the show opening. By determining the artworks for a show in a brochure, the body of work can be evaluated, refined, and changed in order to make the most cohesive statement. I used my own theme of a year of visiting the bird sanctuary as a guideline and it has helped me immensely to figure out which pieces will make for the best show. I still have the spring season to paint and as time goes by I can refine and adjust accordingly.