Saturday, February 18, 2012

down to size

Oh. I haven't posted since Tuesday. There was activity, but nothing I could describe until I thought about it more. In the past few days there were more 5-min resident slide presentations, including my own. We scrolled through 16 images, but because they were all at least a couple of years old, I felt more detached from them than I thought I would. I had lazily used the CD returned to me that I'd submitted with my application last year as I couldn't figure out how to re-size my more recent images. I'm glad it feels to me that I've made certain progress in the past year in my treatment of subject matter and ways of creating a composition. Painting in different places contributed to this, as well as the plain fact of getting to paint more regularly. Considering how much I like old things, I am often more excited to show my newest work. Maybe many artists feel that way. I tried to give a quick 'overview' of my work as the images flashed past (15 seconds each), but this proved elusive and I was getting distracted by the sight of my small paintings blown up to billboard size, or so it seemed. This did show me what jurors see when they review my work, for I had never seen it that big. Startled, I kept interrupting myself, exclaiming, "Ah! This one is really only 9"x12"!" (or 6"x6", or 11"x14"..) and the next day people asked if that made me consider working bigger after seeing that. It did, but then I crept back to my studio and started 3 more small canvases.
We also opened our studios to each other this week, doing a tour of all the buildings, and received visits from the 'visiting artist' ("I thought YOU were the visiting artists," my friend emailed me when I told him, to which I replied- or did I?- "No, this guy knows his stuff, he's a longtime working painter and critic, etc.."). It was indeed a constructive visit, as much for what I said to him as for what he said to me. These things do get me to try and articulate things about my work that I don't often get to do. I may stammer, but I still have an idea that what I'm saying makes sense, even if only to me.
I learned of some new artists whose work people told me mine brought to mind. This is fun and sobering too. I read a thoughtful review of one artist's show that, if it'd been written about mine, I'd have felt like they completely nailed what I was going for, except that this has not happened yet. It's a nudge towards finding new venues... but also just simply to keep at it.
I am feeling the push and pull of new ideas and information, ah, let's say, lapping against the shores of my consciousness, I am receptive and focused and hopeful, but February is just a cloudier month than others, inside and out. And even though I was right about this VSC experience helping make this gray month productive and extraordinary, I am still quieter, still coping.

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