I have noticed a trend; due to time restraints it is always longer than I hope between blog entries, hence my often beginning with an apology. The truth is, I haven't found the balance between art making, sharing my thought process and the needs of daily family life. There always seems to be more on the 'to do' list, than hours in the day. I haven't written my thoughts down, I have been painting them. My posts won't always be regular, although I hope more frequent, they will perhaps be able to share what has been happening in the studio along the way. When I am painting I need to allow myself to stay focussed on what is happening there, not what to write about it. I do admit to having wished I had written more of the journey's along the way.
The past couple of weeks have been spent finishing the last of the exhibition details.
For paintings to be ready to show, they need to be strung with wire, titled, catalogued and priced. Invitations are printed and distributed and an artist statement made. The paintings also need to be photographed, documented as an archival reference when sold. Before the opening, the paintings need to be transported to the venue and hung with title plates.as well.
Here is a picture of my husband loading the car with some of the work to take down to The Wine Therapist!
There are a lot of hats to wear and I am eternally grateful to my husband who wears many of them for me, and better than me. :)
As usual, when a show is hung, due to my working on a number of canvases at once (to maximize drying time with the veils of color), a canvas or two remain in the studio unfinished, in some cases, just begun.
These paintings are usually the one's I go on to play with next. I like how this ties all series together, as a unified body of work over a period of time. I see the connections more in hindsight, at the time of making the paintings, making the painting is all that is apparent.
I am currently enjoying playing with a couple of those unfinished canvases now. It is fun.
There isn't the same pressure you have when painting to a deadline, it does feel a little lighter. It doesn't yet have a momentum that runs itself. It is the beginning of an adventure.
The finishing of work in time to dry for a show requires dedication and commitment that is hard to maintain for long periods. I joke that my family eats baked beans a lot during those times but it is not far from the truth!
Most artists will tell you, there is a certain type of ennui with the closing of a project. Once it is on show, it is a finished body of work and you can feel a little flat. The adrenaline built, while wrapping it up is no longer present, and you can either rest or move right on to the next. The left over canvases allow me to bridge that divide gently.
Over time, new idea's emerge, painting continues and at a certain point it becomes evident that it is time to show the work and so on. It's a cycle.
I personally find after an opening, I relax a little and then after a day or two I find it hard to motivate, a little like running the track and then sitting down on the couch to catch your breath and not wanting to get up again. After a couple of days, I usually get itchy fingers and want to paint again, just because that is what I do! The unfinished paintings are a wonderful way to wake up!