Monday, June 15, 2009

Cape Cod gallery research

We were in Cape Cod for several days visiting Carl's parents in Wellfleet. We visited the Wellfleet galleries for two days in a row - Cove, Blue Heron, and two Left Banks. I looked and looked, trying to find somewhere that I "fit." No fit. I have deduced that my work is too strong for those galleries, that I put much more of myself into my work than feels - well, "polite" is the word that came to mind. I am generous and not very critical, so I tried hard to find work that moved me. Nothing. A few were definitely skilled, inventive, and I could almost call them art (now that's loaded....). But they didn't speak to my heart, gut, soul, spirit, or mind, deeply.

One exciting thing - Cove has rented out a part of it's space to "The Farm" - an exciting space with real art in it!!! Now that's not fair. But that's what I called it - . I'm not going to even describe it, but to say that it was drawings on paper exploring line, figuration, and space - but nice and viscerally so the lines, and the human touch, really speak to the viewer.

Yesterday we went to Provincetown galleries to research further. We went first to the Strand - and guess what! It is the old Provincetown Workshop space that I attended in 1967 when the teachers were Leo Manso and Victor Candell. Lifetimes ago. The director was absolutely friendly to me and the art was the real thing - nourishing, unpretentious, some of it edgy. The Strand is actually a co-op of nine long time locals. Good ones.

We went to the Provincetown Museum and - what a surprise this was - there was a huge 20 year retrospective of work by Tabitha Vevers, who I met at VCCA in 1992 or 1993. And she was THERE so we got to talk a while. Her work is not at the moment describable by me - maybe tomorrow. It is - let's say it's high end real art. You can google her.

We popped into a few galleries that looked good to me from the Provincetown gallery guide, and in one, Kobalt Gallery, we saw a bunch of work in encaustic. I was genuinely excited, because the work was good, and used drawing and painting skills, not just "pushing the wax," etc. I talked to the owner, who was putting up some work. She let us look at the stored encaustics, handle them, etc - very trusting and Carl says she could tell it was ok. Also I'd told her that I work in the medium. We had an interesting talk about sales - and I left her my Ceres card. I liked her a lot. This was a gallery where my work would fit - at least some of the recent work.

I'm definitely on an active search now. My long term goal is to continuously create good art and to find ways to get it into the right homes and institutions - and to have money flow my way in return. How that happens is open....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's art thoughts

This morning I made a CD to send to York Arts. They are having a show of work using wax, called Hot for Wax. I like the title. I wasn't going to apply but Carl says there is a lively art scene there. Nothing to lose.

Yesterday one of my oldest and most favorite art friends from this area came by my studio: Bobbie Staat. She is such a wildly creative fine artist, and her work is so fine! We traded art years ago, and she even found and gave me a lamp when I was making latex "skin" lampshades - shades of Nazi shenanigans. She loved the result and now owns it. Now that is guts, as gutsy as I had to be to make it! I own 2 paintings by her and she also owns a "spirit ladder" by me. So how cool to reconnect. I asked her if my present encaustics look claustrophobic (they are pretty dense) and she said no, it looks like your face is right in the middle of the dogwood blossoms. Great! Just what I'm after.

Now I still want to say something about my Ceres Gallery show. Despite the lack of sales it was terrific. At the opening a serious collector looked carefully at every piece and ALMOST bought one. Unfortunately I didn't get her card, and I can't find her on the web - she's from Miami.
Then there was a couple, older than I am, so close to the work I almost had to ask them to be careful. The man then talked to me a lot about the work, how much he liked it, and THEN tried to get his gallerist to take me into his upscale NY gallery. Well, it didn't manifest, but - somehow those experiences and several others registered as success.

I do want to be earning real money for my work, which looks like the real thing to me. It IS the real thing, just like Carl's music is. But barring that coming in a steady flow, appreciation from the right people goes a long way. It registers as support.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

arts in the neighborhood

Friday night I went to my pal Alice's big project unveiling, the Takoma Mosaic Project. Pretty amazing gathering, filled with all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors of people who had worked on the mosaic which now makes up the outer wall of the library. Some of my old artist buddies were there, including one extremely talented (I don't love that word) painter who is not doing any art now. I hate when people give up. Everything seems to try to make us give up, especially the lack of "care" of the general public about whether we make art or not. I'm not going to rant about this right now.

Today Carl and I went to the open house of an artist down the street. I've been eager to see her house and work, because the best outdoor sculpture in our part of Takoma Park is in her yard - a beautiful bottle tree. Her work is lovely and full of feeling - also full of Black musicians and funky Baltimore scenes, all done in a Grandma Moses kind of technique/aesthetic. Kristen Helberg is her name. Carl met a bass player there who remembered him from 20 years ago. This guy remembers EVERYthing! including everyone he's ever met it seems - at least musicians he's met. They talked a lot while I poked around and talked to even more artists who aren't doing much art. No wonder I was feeling so down and disoriented when we came home!

Monday, June 1, 2009

artists liberation for everyone

The workshop yesterday went terrifically well. At least eight writers, six visual artists, several musicians and movement/dance people showed up. Funny to say this on the blog (I am a beginning blogger) and not really want to describe the whole workshop. One interesting part was about oppression and internalized oppression of artists - all the junk we carry around in our heads that makes us think artists are different, lazy, childlike, crazy, "special," etc - what nonsense. Then there is the idea that only a few talented people can really "make it" in the arts - everyone else is wasting time doing such a useless activity which won't bring any real money to them.
The Washington DC area has its own way not supporting arts people who live here. We are peripheral to politics, marginal in general.
I hate how people repress their own, and others', creativity. I don't think it really helps the overall energy of the world.