On such a winter’s day

It’s been a fairly cold stretch of days recently.  The sort of cold that puts your shoulders all up in to your ears and dries out your nose and lips.  When the weather gets this bitter, my studio is uninhabitable.  There is just no warming up an uninsulated room that is 3 sides windows… no matter how good the old fireplace!  This yearly hiatus of studio based work is not bad timing really.  I got the show for the Pleasant Perk finished and up before the weather got too unbearable to melt wax and there is something about winter that puts me in a pensive, planning sort of mood.  The way gardeners get when the seed catalogs start to arrive….

The Perk show has been a success thus far – I have sold 11 paintings!!  They are all relatively small paintings, which I figured would work well in that market (I was right!) There has been plenty of good feedback as to the quality of the work and that it seems to resonate with a lot of people.  With a good chunk of that work going to new homes at the end of the month, I naturally am wondering, what next ?

So, the dogs and I went walking a bit today, in spite of the cold, and did some thinking.  Luckily, some of the answers are already in place.  Making paintings is a rather solitude filled activity and I am looking forward to beginning the collaborative effort with fellow artist Tina Westerkamp and some ArtWorks students.  We will be creating a large scale indoor relief mural for the Cincinnati Convention Center. Starting later this month, this project will be on the proverbial front burner for a couple of months, allowing for the weather to warm up at home to eventually get back to the wax work later in the spring.

The other work I am excited to continue and nurture is that of my sketchbook.  The Art Academy class will be starting up again in February but this time will have a book making element to it.  I am excited to be team teaching with amazing artist/book maker Cody Calhoun and will certainly post more information about this new class as it approaches.  Also in February, I will be a visiting artist at UC Clermont to introduce my sketchbook process to a drawing class.  So many wonderful opportunities are coming together at what seems like all at once!  But I know it’s been years in the making – and I need to keep on making.  Beyond the current plans, what could lie beyond?  Not only what next, but what after that?  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to over plan my life.  But I believe in tossing things out there that could be possible and seeing what comes back around.  With that spirit in mind, I am looking into residencies here and there.  I could see spending an entire season (adventure loving family in tow) somewhere entirely different than Ohio.  Like Maine, or northern Michigan.  Who knows?

As I ponder the possibilities of going some place for the sheer point of exploration and art making, I will avoid my cold, cold studio and focus on some cozier fibery work like quilt making or embroidery.  Who knows what lies around the bend?!  This from a girl who idolized Jacques Cousteau back in the day.  I wonder if artists ever get to go on scientific oceanic explorations?  Hmmmm, now there is a thought.

Stay warm if you can….

In Situ

Greetings from an unusually snowy day here in Southwestern Ohio.  This weather has the kids off of school and the pace slowed down to a more artful clip and I am relishing it.  Last weekend I hung my recent encaustic paintings at Pleasant Perk Coffee Shop in Pleasant Ridge and I am happy with the results.  As much as I enjoy making the art and playing around with materials and researching the concepts, my least favorite part of being an artist is the whole business of showing it off.  To put it mildly, it makes my skin crawl.

One would think that I would have gotten over this in art school, and to a certain extent I guess I did while I was there.  But it has been quite awhile since I have made a point of showing what I might consider a “body of work” and this coffee shop show is a baby step in that direction.  I am approaching this show as more of a works-in-progress kind of thing versus anything epic.  And I am comfortable with this.  You may recognize some of the works in these snapshots, while others have never been photographed.  If you are in the area, I encourage you to stop by the shop and see these paintings in situ. There will be a small opening this friday from 5-7 pm.  I hope to see you there!

With this show up, I have the studio cleaned and ready for its next burst of activity.  The next few months are likely to be extremely busy as many projects and labors of love come to fruition.  One of my New Year’s resolutions this year is to be a little more frequent with the blogging so that when I sit down to catch up on it, it doesn’t seem so daunting a task.  So stay tuned and keep an eye out for news on new work, new classes, benefit concerts, drawing for the corporate set, and large scale commission work. It should be pretty exciting!

In the meantime, Happy 2010 to all.  I’m going to go play in the snow and make some art.