People who are new to my work often have questions about my paintings and art life (people who know me may have them as well.) To cover some of that ground, I've decided to post a few of the questions I get most often. This first post covers FAQs of a personal (but not too personal!) nature, and next time I'll cover the more technical types of inquiries.How do you find time to do all this stuff--painting, teaching, exhibiting, blogging, writing?
I think it works because it is all related and fits together. Painting gives me the material for all of the rest of it and of course, it's my most essential activity. I would be painting even if all the rest of it were to fall away.
There are definitely times when various tasks and commitments pile up and I feel overwhelmed, pulled in too many directions. And there are chores that get neglected like paper work, updating my website and data files. But when I look at what actually does get accomplished, it gives me confidence and momentum. And the bottom line is, I like doing all of these things and there is nothing I want to cut out. How long have you been teaching workshops? Do you plant to teach in my area?
Teaching is a relatively new addition to the mix--my first workshop was in April of 2009. I enjoy it very much-it provides income plus many intangible benefits. I travel, I meet fascinating people, and sharing my experience and knowledge is very satisfying. I have been very gratified by the response to my classes.
But teaching is also something that I can and probably will cut back on in the future. Recently, I counted up all of the classes I've done or am scheduled to do in 2010. I came up with thirteen, including all formats and types--about twice what I anticipated when I started out. I plan a more restrained 2011, with an emphasis on classes held in my studio. (As much as I enjoy traveling, it takes a lot out of me.) I do have a few other interesting locations that I'm working on, though, and have accepted one return engagement. I intend to post my teaching schedule for next year on my website by December.How do you find your galleries, or do they find you?
There's a different story behind each gallery that represents my work or has done so in the past. Usually I approach a gallery because of research I've done or on the suggestion of an art friend, and send a packet of photos and information. Sometimes I'm contacted by a gallery...last October I had a call from Telluride Gallery of Fine Art
in Colorado. I checked out their website, and looked over some material they mailed me, and was very pleased to join the gallery. Other times, when I do my research, I decide that the location or type of gallery is not what I'm looking for. I think it's important to choose representation carefully, and also to reevaluate it periodically.
Locating and approaching galleries, and evaluating how they are working once you're in them is a huge topic, and an evolving lesson. Each artist seems to have a personal and anecdotal take on it. So far my experience has usually been along conventional lines, researching galleries and locations, and sticking with established ways of submitting my work. Do you ever do art fairs?
I've never gotten involved in the art fair circuit, although I know of many artists for whom it works well. I'd rather work with galleries because I don't enjoy marketing my work directly. But that does mean that the people who purchase and collect my work usually remain anonymous to me. Sometimes I wish I knew them a little, and could talk. That is a great advantage to selling face to face.
And finally...how can you find anything on that messy paint table?
Ha, ha, my favorite question. There actually is organization here, it's just hard to detect under the layers of crud.