Thursday, August 28, 2008

The end of summer

It's the end of summer and a little busy.

First off, it's State Fair time. I've made three visits thus far and have, of course, made three visits to the Fine Arts Building. I always go to the Fine Arts exhibit and just because I didn't make the show this year has no bearing on that. In fact, I figure taking in the show is a good opportunity to see what type of work was accepted--maybe help me with a strategy for next year. There is a wide variety of work at the fair, featuring many different styles and mediums. I did note some common themes or subject matter at the Fair this year. There were several pieces depicting the bridge collapse. Landscapes and still lifes are popular subject matters. Birds are frequently featured. Not a whole lot of abstract-type figures like my painting. It is a family show after all.

This week has been our Annual Training Week at work. For those who don't know, my day job is working as a social worker at a therapeutic preschool. My agency works with families who are at risk for abuse or neglect (and the family must include children under the age of 5). I work with the parents, making visits to the home to provide parenting support and education. Visiting families in their homes, where families are struggling with poverty and high crime rates in their neighborhoods...well, it isn't easy, but it's something that is important to me. I enjoy the work that I has meaning/purpose. I work with great people. I enjoy working with the kids and moms and dads that are my "clients". I hope that I help make their lives a little easier.

And doing this work, at the place that I'm doing it at (Southside Family Nurturing Center) fits my life right now and is allowing me the time to work on my art. We get a ridiculous amount of time off. That is time I can spend in the studio. Making art is meaningful to me. So is the work that I do at Southside. And that makes me very happy with my life.

So our long weekend at Southside started after work today. I am taking next week part because I don't want to deal with the hassle of coming/going to St. Paul/Mpls during this Republican Convention just down the road.

But first, I am enjoying a visit with my best friend and fellow artist, Julie. Julie's in town because one of her pieces is in an exhibit at the MN Textile Center. Today we stopped by to check on the installation of her piece. It is beautiful. Then later we took a drive out to Hopkins to see my painting. I have to admit that today, with fewer people (well, only us) in the gallery, my painting looked much felt like it had more run to breathe.

It was interesting having Julie to talk to about the feelings you experience as an artist when you walk into a gallery and see your work displayed. I walked into the Hopkins Art Center and was immediately disappointed with the location/specifics of how my painting was hung. Similarly, Julie walked in and saw that her piece needed to be adjusted. It's hard not to feel protective towards your work. After all, you know the work best and want it to be seen in the best possible light.

So, I'm going to enjoy these last few days of summer. And I'll be back in my studio shortly.

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