Sunday, January 17, 2010

New York Attitude

I defined New York attitude for the other guests at the dinner party tonight.

I am the real thing and you are not, because you don't live here!

In the company of arts people

Today I began my second series of classes called Art for the Soul. The two students who were in the first series are doing such advance sophisticated work I am awed. Just awed. The two new students are a bit overwhelmed by the internal self critical voice thing.
I am the least judgmental art teacher I know, so at least it's obvious to them that it's internal. We're working on it. I'm pretty sure that before the 5 classes are over, they'll be WAY looser.

Tonight we had dinner at Burnett Thompson's. We met him maybe 20 years ago when he played piano nightly at the West End in Georgetown. One night at midnight he sat and talked to us. We were griping about whatever - something about being artists. He told us that, in contrast to most Washingtonians who live empty lives of (paraphrasing) quiet desperation, we in the arts live rich and interesting lives. And we were (!!) not to forget that!! I never did.

So twenty years later we actually got to hang out with Burnett and two friends, and talk about art, music, and life. Not a "solution" to the art oppression that is everywhere around, but hey - person to person stuff is the real thing! Same as with my art students. Somehow - the real thing.
Burnett is a mensch. I love that word. It means a particularly good human.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Unknown Territory

I am applying to Jentel for an artists residency. It seems scary, for no rational reason. The CD of my 20 images looks fantastic to me. The place is in a gorgeous area, with beauty all around. Banner, Wyoming. Funny, huh? There are only 6 people max there at a time, and residents stay for a full month, cooking together, etc. Risky. Why?
VCCA now feels like home to me. I could drive there in my sleep, almost. Every bit of it is in my mind, and I know the routine, the studios, the beds, the land and animals, the staff, and even how to manage with 22 brand new people each time!
Jentel sounds like the moon. 80 acres of cattle farm, with no stores nearby to walk or drive to. I'm a city girl who loves the countryside.
I'm feeling a bit proud of the anxious child in me who fears the new. I'm walking right through the fear, will get this in the mail by the friday deadline.
It doesn't really matter if they accept me or not. Just going for it is the thing.