I've been working towards an exhibit which will run from April 20-May 19 at Polderland Gallery
(formerly MB Gallery) in downtown Milwaukee's Arts Building
. The gallery is a wonderful space that is both intimate and light-filled, and doubles as the painting studio of painter Marina Broere
. Opening night, 4/20, coincides with Milwaukee's Spring Art Crawl, when many local galleries hold receptions and events.
In order to create enough work for this show, as well as to supply various other galleries, I've been putting in a lot of painting hours. Things are going well...right now it seems that the more I paint, the more fired up I get, and the more ideas flow into my brain at 5:00 a.m. (or whenever I happen to be lying awake.) It's a time of high energy and productivity...in spite of it being February, a dreary month in Wisconsin. (The studio is a great distraction from gray skies and subzero temperatures.)
With a new gallery on the horizon and good sales of work overall, I think the need to be more productive is probably not just a temporary situation. No complaints--this is a problem I'm happy to solve! I guess that answers will come--they usually do in a "sink or swim" situation.
A couple of thoughts I've had (and it would be great to get a discussion going with others who have been in this situation...let's say a bit overwhelmed with commitments.) One thing is to have a lot of paintings in progress at the same time--going from one to another as things reach a stopping point. My studio motto these days is "keep moving."
On the other hand I hate the thought of just cranking things out--I don't want to lose the thoughtful quality that I value in my work. My solution so far is to keep the "finished" ones in full view (I've had to clear some more wall space) so that I continue to look at them every day. Over a week or so of seeing them in at least my peripheral vision, I notice things that need to be reworked.
The last thought is about mental focus, about keeping higher energy and momentum. What I have now seems to be inspired by necessity, aided by a shot of adrenaline when I think about my commitments. But I'm working on a few changes in my personal life that I hope will help sustain it over time. Nothing too huge, because that never works, does it? Just being more aware how I tend to procrastinate and give in to things I don't really want to do, and being more conscious of scheduling my time.