Sunday, October 11, 2015

Getting ready for Open Studio

I'm in the middle of the seasonal race to clean up my studio for the big open studio event. With over 150 other artists opening their studios, it's a huge event. Also it's free, free parking, open to dogs, children, and used to be free booze – so we get large crowds.You can't imagine just how messy and hazardous most studios get. The Point Office is always after us to keep them clean and uncluttered and fireproof, which is good. Many of the artists are there late at night carrying boxes in and out of the building. I take boxes of unfinished paintings home, some of the artists store stuff in theirs cars for the weekend.

This year I have too much of my new series for the amount of walls. Can I hang from the ceiling? On the ceiling? But I guess it's not about quantity.

A friend advised me that my studio at the event always looks too much like a gallery. She advises to be like another artist who has paintings from floor to ceiling and in piles; lots of work; and says "she looks more eager to sell." So yesterday, I managed to precariously lean way over on the ladder and hang some small paintings way up near the ceiling. Looks cluttered. I'll take them down if I can get up there again.

In all my time painting, I have only thrown out one piece and that's because I thought it might be radioactive. I have destroyed many works by painting over them – what I call a "sacrifice" – my private, pagan offering. If the piece being sacrificed was quite good, it lends good energy to the new painting. When these paintings go to someone's collection, I know how much is under the surface and it feels like a multiple sale. 

We are asked to donate a piece of art for the auction. That causes me to go through a lot of older work hunting for something that is great but that I can give away. I get a lot of stuff out which needs work, or framing, or matting. Then I run out of time and shove it all back into the cupboards again. Once I choose a piece, it  simultaneously loses its value and goes up in value – which makes it hard to price.

20th and Rhode Island, 12"x16", plein air

I chose a really nice, little plein air landscape this year. It's a view of a steep hill. I was in an emotionally crisis when I painted it, but sat in the car on the corner all day painting for two days. The edge of the hill is a bit furry. I tried repeatedly to sharpen it but it kept going furry. Maybe it's the horror I was feeling right there on the canvas. And some idiot moved the car. (It's not their fault but still...) As a finished work, it an old-timey 1930s naive quality. I already regret giving it away, but maybe someone will love it as I do.

Going through all the old pieces I can't believe I still have so many. I love them all and I love their flaws. They record the feelings I had throughout my life and each one has a story.

People say "They're like your children, ha, ha, ha." They are the stories of my life – more like my autobiography. It's hard to think of an autobiography where each paragraph is being sent to a different home, forever.

- - - - - - 

I bought a new (refurbished) camera to make videos but also shoot stills of my work. So far the camera has turned out to be so complicated and I can't figure out how to get a good focus on the stills. It's taking nice large images but not as sharp as I want. I have read all the directions many times and watched tutorials on youtube. I made my third test yesterday. Close to getting a focus on the smaller works. The big paintings have to go to a professional to shoot.

Anyhow, here is a bad photo of this large new painting, a still life of a pile of stuff with fake fur, animal print and feathers. Needs a title.

What should I call this one?

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,