Friday, June 11, 2010

Hard Labor

I've been working my butt off this week. Most of my time has been in the studio: cleaning, vacuuming, mopping, and painting (the walls, not art). You know it's bad when you have to vacuum your artwork before you can even wipe it down! Ugh! The place was nasty. But it's clean now, re-arranged so that it's more open - my studio partner had set the place up to suit herself, since I wasn't around for a year and a half, but now I'm back and need open space.

Janis came down and worked in the studio a couple of times this week, too. Together, we got the wall repainted and it looks pretty good. She "advised" me on which artworks to put on display ... her eye is a bit better at public-relations aspects than mine is, and I remember some sage advice given to me by one of her lifelong friends many years ago ("just do what you're told and everything will be all right"), so I did what she suggested.

I also threw out a lot of old work. Old drawings, paintings, and prints - things that were really mediocre at best and pretty bad at worst. Stacks of old drawings and drawing pads. I mean, why keep 'em? For my future biographers? (It is to laugh ...) No, there's something about throwing out old crap that helps make way for new crap. I had planned on ordering a lot of new canvas and panels, but now I have a bunch of old artwork that I can just paint over. So next week, after the Stroll, I can get to work, gesso over a bunch of paintings, and get to work on ruining them for the second time. (If that sounds defeatist, it isn't, really; it's realistic, for two reasons. One, it's going to take me a while to get back into the flow of things in the studio. It's like an athlete: they don't go from off-season straight into a game, they have to hit the gym, do their practices, and work themselves back into shape. Same with artists. So I'm using these canvases as practice sessions, not as a regular-season game. Second, it seems to me that once a canvas has been deemed to be a flop, then any later painting done over the top of it is going to be a flop, too. Don't know why, it just happens, so now I can plan on it and put it to some good use anyway).

So tomorrow we open our doors to the Great Unwashed. Looks like it'll be a pretty hot and muggy day with a chance of thundershowers. Pretty much like this whole week has been. I expect to see a moderate crowd that'll come in waves. Some will ask interesting questions, too many will rhapsodize about how wonderful my studio is (they have some idyllic fantasy about how "relaxing" it is to be an artist ... ha!!), and most will wander back out without saying a word. Hey, that's just the way it is.

So if you're in the Asheville area this weekend, stop in and say hello!

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