Monday, April 25, 2011

A Day Away, A Haircut, and Crawl

Life has certainly been a juggling act lately, with not nearly enough time for working in the studio. I try really hard to spend those days I'm not working or busy with outside appointments in the studio...but sometimes a day away refuels the creative fire more than anything else can.

Last week I had a day just like that. I left home in the morning and didn't make it home till bedtime. It was a day spent with artsy friends and even time all to myself. I had time to catch my breath, treat myself just a little and just enjoy being away from the pressures of life in general. It was the kind of escape we all need once in a while.

I started off the morning by meeting with my mentor, Brenna Busse, to take a trip to Circa Gallery in downtown Minneapolis to check out the Barbara Gilhooly show that is there till the end of this month. Barbara was a Lowertown artist (she moved this past summer) that still exhibits locally. I love her work and this show was inspiring--to both Brenna and myself. For one thing, I was just amazed by how productive she is as an artist. A large chunk of the exhibit included 100 6x6 paintings--all completed this winter, I believe. Even if they were small--that's a lot of work. They were painted on birch wood panels. Part of what I liked about them was how she built layers upon layers of color, carved into the wood and even used sandpaper to reveal multiple layers of paint. 

Seeing a show like that makes you want to run right home, lock yourself in the studio and get busy. But then I remembered ... this was my day.

I said good-bye to Brenna and made a call to see if I could make an afternoon appointment for a hair cut. I've been dreaming of a new cut for a couple of weeks. I felt the need to get rid of some hair. Really. On so many levels, I just needed to get it cut off. It felt too long, too bushy, too everything. And I felt like a new hairdo would put me in a spring-sort of mood. I've just had enough of  snow and winter (I had to wipe snow off my windshield that very morning, damnit) and even if it didn't look like spring outside, I needed to feel like it inside. And hooray, I got an appointment with a new person who finally gave me the short haircut that I've been wanting to get for the past year (there were several failed attempts). I left the salon feeling like a new woman. I got my sassy back.

From there I met up with one of my WARM buddies...we hung out, talked art until it was time to go to our very first Critical Response for two of our fellow Protegees. I think I will write about this more in-depth at a later date, but basically it is a process developed by dancer Liz Lerman for artists to give one another feedback about their work that supports the artist rather than tear them down. (I do not have fond memories of critiques in college many years ago). It was an interesting experience. It definitely felt good to connect with other artists and experience a "critique" that could be both supportive and informative. 

It's been several days now, but the experiences of this one day are still swimming around in my head. I want to spend time in the studio and work on the projects in my head...and while I have done some painting, what I'm really focused on is getting things ready for the Art Crawl. Bigger projects will have to wait, cause the Crawl is next weekend!

I'm not quite sure how it's all going to come together, but I just keep going. I've made my lists, keep finishing things on those lists, and know that somehow it will all get done (more or less) and I'll be ready for another Crawl.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Waiting on Spring

This past winter I've become a bit of a blogging slacker. It's been a tough winter on several fronts. Weather wise, it's been one of the snowiest, coldest winters we've endured in several years. Besides all that, I've been juggling ongoing changes/transitions in my life...we're still settling into our new loft and I'm still adjusting to my new part-time gig at the nearby Science Museum . 

The doldrums of winter have worn me down, but things are starting to look up. For a little bit this past week, it actually felt like spring had arrived. It was so hot and humid last Sunday that I was ready to get a new spring hairdo! But alas, snow has found it's way in the forecast one more time...enough already!

It's been hard to get motivated, but as I said, things are looking up! Last week I enjoyed one of those magical days when everything just seemed to go right! I needed one of those days to get me moving in a more positive direction! 

On Thursday last week, I had an appointment with the owner of the Artist Mercantile for a studio visit to check out my work. The Artist Mercantile, located in downtown St. Paul,  features an eclectic mix of gifts, as well as the work of local artists. To make a long story short, the Artist Mercantile is now featuring some of my smaller paintings, including the work pictured above. I was very excited today to deliver these paintings today! I can't wait to take a walk downtown to take a peek at my work in the window!

The same day I was getting ready for this studio visit I received a phone call from the Mpls' Egg and I about showing my work in their restaurant. Nearly a year ago, on a lunch date with my co-workers, I got my name on their list of artists to show work. I was actually there for our final team get-together before my layoff took affect. We were actually in very silly moods, had a great time and I wrote a thank you to our server on the back of one of my postcards. She invited me to get on the list of artists willing to show their work...and so I did. Recently I've wondered if I would hear from them and had come to the conclusion that they had lost my info. And then wham, I got the call!

Originally, I was invited to be their May artist, but when the April artist failed to show I agreed to come in early. So on Tuesday, I hung some work at the Egg and I (2828 Lyndale Ave S, Mpls). They are an awesome breakfast joint, so I suggest you go down there and enjoy the kamikaze pancakes (while also enjoying my art)!

And there's more! I've gone from a relatively quiet time on the art front to super busy in the blink of the eye. I have the St. Paul Spring Art Crawl in two weeks at my home studio. And then in May, I'm participating in a one-day crawl in south Mpls (see the sidebar for details). Of course, all these events are motivating me to get busy in the studio...which is really the best cure there is for the winter doldrums.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring, please!

Spring is coming here oh so's like she's dipping her toe in, testing the waters. C'mon already! 

Here in St. Paul, spring has brought the rising waters of the nearby Mississippi...the back entry of our building has been sandbagged shut for over a week now. I have actually been thankful for the colder temps this past week--it kept the flooding to a manageable level. But I am done...I need sun, warmth, the sight of trees budding and flowers trying to make their way up through the earth.

Winter has had its grip on us long enough!