Monday, November 08, 2010

Pushing Forward on Too Many Fronts

This post's title pretty much describes my life these days. There are just too many irons in the fire right now, and I didn't choose some of them. But then, that's life, so deal with it.

Last week we took our two dogs in for their annual physical. They were NOT happy about it, but they're good dogs and put up with the poking, prodding, shots, and things stuck up their butts, all without a whimper. Soozee has had a skin condition for quite a while: a growing number of scabs all over her back and sides. We thought it was an allergy, but it appears to be a bacterial infection, so she's on antibiotics for the next three weeks. This in addition to her meds for Addison's, and Indy's meds for Addison's and bladder control. I swear, the dogs are on more meds than Janis and I are. On the good side, their blood tests came back just fine, so the Addison's medications are doing their job.

Winter has moved in with a vengeance. We had snow this past weekend - just a dusting around my house, but my studio partner, Christine, who lives about ten miles west of us at a higher elevation, had over four inches. It's a bit warmer today, though, which is good. I'm not ready for winter yet. We barely had fall, fer crissakes, and I don't like the sudden shift from highs in the 80's to lows in the 20's!

I'm continuing to work on the painting that I showed you last week. We had the model come back the next night and I was able to pretty much complete her figure. Here's how it looks right now:
I decided to make it a "model in the studio" painting, clearly showing the things that normally get left out. I'm going to add the floodlight on a stand on the right and a table on the left with a wineglass. Once the brickwork was added, I realized that a big part of the painting was going to be about hard versus soft - in this case, the hard bricks contrasted with the softness of the figure. So to emphasize the softness, I'll try putting in some soft things: pillows, maybe a sheepskin rug, maybe one of my dogs, that sort of thing. Haven't got it all figured out yet, but I don't think that getting it "figured out" is the right thing to do for this one. The painting seems to have quite a life of its own, and it's telling me a good bit about what it wants, so my job will be to listen to it and help it along. So far, I'm really happy with how it's going. This very well could be the first in a whole new series ... quite a change from the usual "downer" paintings that I've been doing, about war and politics and so on.

In other studio news, our semi-annual Studio Stroll is coming up this weekend. This is where the artists of the River Arts District open up their studios to the public. We're up to 150 artists now. Back when I became President of the group, we had about 45 artists; three years later, when I turned it over to somebody else, we were up to 90. Amazing how it's continuing to grow. (The current President keeps trying to talk me into taking the job again. No, thanks!)

Our group is helping to give artists more influence with Asheville city government. Not that we're taking over or anything, but events like our Stroll, and several similar events (Leicester studio tour, East of Asheville studio tour, Weaverville Art Safari, a West Asheville studio tour, along with older events like the Southern Highland Craft Guild's shows) are proving to the city fathers that arts and crafts are a big part of the economy here because they're big tourist draws. The state government had an economics study done not long ago, and it turned out that arts and crafts contributed three times as much to the state economy as tobacco did.

So this week, I need to get this studio ready for the Stroll. That means cleaning (again) and shifting artworks around. I think I'll have my Forest Nymph photos on display this time ... they've been put away for a while, so maybe it's time to get 'em out again. We'll see. I better get to work - can't make any of those decisions if I'm sitting here, banging out a new blog post.

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