Monday, May 30, 2011

Nourishing my creative soul

Since I've been trying to nourish my creative soul and Friday was my only free day of this holiday weekend (working the rest of it at the museum), I decided to enjoy a day trip to Hudson, Wisconsin on Friday. Our first stop was The Phipps Center for the Arts.  These first photos are of work by fiber art students at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. .

I also wanted to check out the Phipps galleries to see the work of former Tilsner artist, Jill Van Sickle.  Beautiful, as always.

Following our visit to the Phipps, we visited several other shops in Hudson and then made our way across the river (and state lines) to Stillwater--where we also visited several galleries and shops. We wrapped up our trip with a drive to Marine on St. Croix--another town I love. Of course, we drove through the Jackson Meadow community just outside of town...which always inspires me. 

As an artist, it's always important to nourish my creative soul. Honestly, I think we all need to do that on a daily basis. I do it many ways, often without much thought. But when I find myself in a slump, creatively or otherwise, I try to pay more attention to filling my "creative bank". 

Often that can be as simple as visiting places where I find beauty--a favorite gallery/museum, a garden in full bloom, or spending time with family and friends.

I'm starting to feel my creative spark coming back. I'm starting to think about more projects and dream of new paintings. My task this coming week will be to clean and organize my studio...I think that alone will open up some creative energy!

I'll try to have new pictures of my working space soon (there's a challenge!) 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting back to work...

I'm not quite sure where the month of May has's been a rather odd, not exactly spring-like. I've been busy recovering from participating not only in the St. Paul Art Crawl, but another one day crawl in mid-May. Both crawls required a great deal of my time and energy and pulled me away from working on new stuff in the studio. 

It's time to get back to work.

It has also been a discouraging month. The Art Crawls were good avenues for sharing my work and getting feedback from others, but didn't net much in the way of sales.  And then there was the disappointment of the grant opportunity. Along with all that, I've been dealing with the difficult realities of being laid off for a year. Sometimes it feels as if life just won't right itself.

But what I know serves me best in difficult times is painting, creating.

And it's time to get back to work (in the studio).

I have been using this time to think about about what direction I want my work to go in. Ideas are swirling around in my head, but not making it onto canvas (yet). I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do, but fear and feelings of being stuck and discouraged are keeping me from getting started.  

Sometimes it's hardest just to get started.

 So my goal this coming month is to spend lots of time in the studio working and getting things started.

As always, I' ll let you know how things go along the way. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

At the Egg and I...

Today I switched out my art at the Egg and I restaurant located in Minneapolis (at 28th and Lyndale). The lighting wasn't the greatest for pics, but I snapped a few before I left. 

The show will be up till the end of May. Stop by and enjoy a killer breakfast while also enjoying my art. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Email Update

Well, the anxiously awaited email did NOT arrive on Thursday. It did not, in fact, arrive until the dinner hour today! Since I was out on a Date Night with my Honey, I did not receive the news till late this evening.

The news was not favorable. I did not make the cut. Only 51 (not 100) finalists were selected. About 32 of those will be awarded grants.  I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a friend who's a finalist!

I'm still in the allowed "feeling lousy" phase. I've had a good, long cry and I'm starting to feel a little better.
I know, in my head, that's it's silly to let my self-worth as an artist be determined by a panel of folks who have never even seen my work. And I know this was super-competitive. But just like everyone else who applied my hopes were high and my ego just got bruised a bit.

And yes, I have already placed that consolation order to Dick Blick.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Waiting on an Email....

Today's the day the BIG email comes letting me know whether or not I'm a finalist for the MRAC Next Step Grant. I applied for the grant back in March. (It's an individual artist grant totaling $5000). 

It's hard, really hard, not to just sit by the computer watching for a new email to pop up. I'm sort of failing at that right now. I'm sitting here, watching a House marathon while also watching my in-box. Every time a new email comes in, my heart skips a beat, and then my heart drops as I realize it's not THAT email.

370 artists (of various mediums--visual artists, writers, performers, musicians...) applied for this grant. About 100 applicants will be selected as finalists. Finalists will then have a week to submit work samples (not needed for the initial application). And then approximately 32 of the 100 finalists will be awarded a Next Step grant. That announcement won't come till the end of June.

Obviously a lot of talented folks submitted a grant application, so I'm prepared for the very real possibility of not making the finalist cut. If I'm out of the running, I will give myself a day to feel lousy and then move on. Actually, I also plan to put in a large Dick Blick order, because grant or no grant I am still a working artist (a starving artist, but a working artist nonetheless).

Stay tuned for an update tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring 2011 Art Crawl

the view into the studio from the doorway

art just outside the studio

A few days have past since this past weekend's Art Crawl. For those of you who couldn't make it, I thought I would give a little mini-tour of my home studio space as set up for the Crawl. Welcome.

Furniture was rearranged (and put away) to make our home feel more like a gallery. This was the first time I've shown my work in our new space, so much work was done to prepare the space (including painting our outer door and entryway).  Many visitors were wowed by our space--especially with the huge brick wall and all the light pouring in through the floor to ceiling windows (even on a cold gray day like we had this past weekend).

Most artists, myself no exception, prefer to work on their art in isolation. Sometimes it's a good thing to peek your head outside the studio and see what others think. The Art Crawl provides me with that opportunity to share my work with others. It's a great time to talk about my work, talk about my process and what I'm working on...and get a feed on what people think about my work. It's exhausting and energizing all at the same time.

I had new, as well as older pieces to share. There was a lot of interest and positive feedback about a number of pieces...and that definitely felt good. 

With the Crawl over, I'm enjoying a few days in recovery mode--resting and relaxing--before I start getting ready for another show in a few weeks. This show will be at an outside studio and will be a one-day event, so a bit easier to do. 

And sometime in between all that, I hope to clean & organize my studio and start working on some new pieces.  So much for resting and relaxing.