Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mini Victories

Soho No. 5 24x24 2008

An artist's life, it seems, is made up of occasional "mini-victories". These victories sometimes seem far and few between. But when we have them, they are sweet. I was thinking about this today, while "talking" to a fellow artist about disappointments. (I correspond with all of my artist friends online - one of the joys of living in a small town...there's no one who thinks like me for MILES.) My friend, Lisa, was extremely upset about not making it into a festival that she has been in for the last three years. She was really counting on it - and the potential sales it would bring. It is particularly rough when you expect a victory and then it doesn't happen. It is so hard to have no control over this particular aspect of our careers. Jurors are unpredictable. Work that seems very strong as you are creating it, gets waved away with a simple X beside the UNACCEPTED box. UGH! I have to take breaks from entering juried shows sometimes. They can be real confidence killers. On the flip side, when we reach for "impossible" goals and the X is by the ACCEPTED box. WOW! I knew when I painted Soho no.5 that is was fresh, spontaneous, and a nice little painting. But when it was accepted into the S.C. State Museum's 20th Anniversary show - only then was the wow! Victory! When my new gallery, Ellis-Nicholson in Charleston invited me in - victory! It makes all of those rejection letters from the other galleries and the "thanks for applying - try again." cards from juried shows - sting a little less. So- the trick is - learning to accept defeat, without letting it break you and bracing for the next little victory. I save all of the cards.... no matter where the "X" lies. It let's me know how far I've come - and keeps me on my toes.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Counting Down the Days 'Til Summer Vacation

A couple of my 8th grade students - and their American Gothic Parody

My fellow teachers and I have the countdown going. I don't know who is or our students. The difference is - we are planning all the WORK we're going to do over the summer. We don't dream of sleeping late and jumping off of docks... or lounging around the house... (well maybe a little). Some of my teaching friends are planting their gardens, some are attending seminars (what?), some are doing home improvements. Me? I am going to paint, paint, paint! (And clean out my horribly messy studio- sometime or another!) I am fortunate that I have the teaching gig and the restaurant with the hubby. And I am ever so grateful for a steady income - but I am sure ready for some ME time! Woo-Hoo...19 school days to go....and COUNTING!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Between Blogging, Twittering, Teaching, Working and Mothering...When do I paint?

Asheville no. 1 2005
My twitter friends and I seem to spend A LOT of time online. When exactly are we painting? It's always been a challenge for me to balance work, family and art. Likely it will be a challenge until I'm an old woman. The thing is, if all you do is paint...and you don't put it out there....what's the point? Sales (aka -dollars) allow most of us to be able to do what we love. And sales come from networking. So much of the art business revolves around who you "know". And even though through the web we only sort-of know each other - I can't help but think that one thing will lead to another and another and eventually through web-networking I will make the connections I need to be truly successful as an artist. Not only for what it might do for me financially in the future, social networking has become a very important part of my day. I don't feel so alone in my own little bubble. Making art in the past, was such a solitary adventure for the most part. I find that I'm a better artist when I'm inspired by others. Twitter has brought so many things on the web to my attention that I never knew existed. Instead of being on the outside... I gradually feel more and more a part of the art community. What an exciting world we live in! The people I'm connecting with now, would not even know my name ten years ago. I will just have to figure out: when to blog, when to tweet, when to paint and when to eat!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beginning in the Middle

hellomoto 36x36 2008

So, now that I've joined the blogging bandwagon....Now what? Do I go on and on about how important art making is for me? Do I risk putting my most intimate feelings out there in cyberspace? I guess, as usual, I'll just jump right in and start somewhere in the middle. This modus operandi has worked for me thus far. I guess I'll need to let you know why I'm here, what I do and why, and let you in on a few choice tidbits here and there. So why am I here? I'll get my thoughts together and get back to you on that. In the meantime you can check out my website: