hittin’ the road again

I love this time of year.  In a few days my family and I are hitting the road for the start of a summer of travels.  As we do every summer, we are heading to Maine to collectively fill our wells.  Hopefully we’ll have some sunshine this year after 3 years of nothin’ but rain.  But there is nothing we can do about the weather, and we adore the family-friends we see there each year.  As I usually do before a big trip, I am writing here to catch up on the wonders of what’s happening here at home, and to bid my few but loyal readers adieu until my next post which may be a month or more from now….

Being an artist requires a person to become something of an observer.  Whether that means observing one’s inner landscape, or observing the magic all around in one’s environment doesn’t really matter.  We simply observe.  And sometimes, capture that magic – with a photograph, a poem, a song, a work of art.  This is really what artists of all kinds do.  They (we) capture a brief moment in time, and manifest it into something more timeless.  In order to make room for this capturing, you’ll often find artists doing a tremendous amount of wandering.  For it is in this wandering that we are inspired.

This week I walked in Spring Grove Cemetery with Lisa like we often do and it was quite the nature day.  We came across a turtle laying her eggs just off the side of the road.  And a little fawn, who seems to often be around Esme’s Place at Spring Grove, peeked out at us this time and looks to be growing like a weed.

At home in the studio, in spite of the heat outdoors, I have had the wax table heated up a great deal recently and here’s what’s come of it….

Above is a work in progress that I hope to have finished before I leave for Maine for entry (should they accept it) into an “Earth” themed show at the Kennedy Heights Art Center.

Meanwhile, my old work, Tubular CM, has found it’s way up onto the walls at Salon Cherry Bomb in Hyde Park.  I put two installations of them up, one larger than the other, and they seem to work well in the space.  At the very least, they are out of storage.

The hardest part about leaving for a vacation is, well, leaving.  I hope that someday I can take my dogs with me to Maine and make a summer of it.  But alas, they’ll be staying here at their Kingdom across the Magical Bridge of Hope and Wonder with our house-sitter.  Caskie has not been well lately and we are waiting to get some test results back about what might be going on with him.  He’s been losing a lot of weight recently and just doesn’t seem to feel very well.  Today however he ate some chicken and rice and even played a bit with the other dogs in the yard.  So maybe we’ll get to have him around for awhile longer.

As the evening cools to a balmy, potentially storm-ridden night here at Chez Bogard, I wish a happy summer all around, with time enough to enjoy the company of family, friends and self.

I’m sure I’ll have lots to write after Irish Week at Swannanoa….

Up with the old and on with the new

One of the problems that plagues a visual artist is the question of what to do with all the art work that gets made.  It’s possible to give some away to unsuspecting, er, supportive loved ones.  And occasionally, a piece of work or two gets sold along the way.  But most of the artists I know, including (and especially) myself, have artwork just sort of laying around, often in pieces.  I have casts of my hands that I made for “In Any Language” propped into some of my house plants.  Sometimes when casting, there are bits that aren’t good enough to put into the work, but are still too cool to toss out.  And so I have creepy looking hands growing out of my houseplants!  And of course, there are the works that are languishing in storage, gathering dust in the attic in boxes or bags.

A favorite of these bagged up works is “Tubular CM“.  It was a pretty successful student work of mine but in spite of all the positive feedback it received, it never sold.  I had it up on my own walls at my old house and even for a bit here at Chez Bogard prior to the renovation.  But mostly the “tubes”, as I lovingly call them, have been in storage.  So fast forward a few years and I’m at the hair stylist with my boy Jack.  Our stylist, Shannon of Salon Cherry Bomb, happened to mention that she needs some art to put on her walls.  “something sculptural, that sort of comes out of the wall a bit, I don’t really even know what I’m looking for, but I’ll know it when I see it.”  The tubes came to mind and I pointed Shannon to my website.  She stopped by the studio the other day to meet the tubes in person and loves them.

So here’s the deal, I’m installing the tubes on her walls for an indefinite period of time.  She gets cool, free art to display.  I get to lay a pile of business cards out on her desk and maybe get some patronage from one of the many varied and interesting clients who come to her salon each day and find themselves (potentially) drawn to my work.  And an interesting work of art gets to come out of the attic.  I am not sure if this is proper artistic protocol, this notion of resurrecting old art work.  But frankly, I don’t really care.  I don’t want to give away my work, but I don’t mind lending it, especially if it brings some traffic my way.  I often say that if you don’t stir the pot, all the good stuff settles to the bottom.  So I’m stirring.

Meanwhile, I continue to find inspiration in other artists.  Kim is working on a new album and I am first in line to get a listen to it.  Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, is my new personal guru, whether she knows it or not.  I have watched her TED talk a number of times when I need a reminder that doing what I do is worthwhile and important, even when it’s undervalued (read, unpaid).

Summer is in full swing around here with a lighter kid-running schedule and a little more room for studio play.  It’s wonderful. I am taking full advantage of the time, finishing up odd projects and tackling new.  Continuing to explore things in the wax world and finding my own voice in that tricky medium.

Happy Summer to you too.  Get out and draw something!