My husband and I are back home after three very full weeks of travel, from San Fransisco to New Mexico to Colorado. Although preparing for this marathon back in September was stressful and exhausting, I guess it paid off --that and a little luck-- because aside from a few car issues, everything went amazingly well. The two Hot Wax/Cold Wax Workshops that I taught with Shawna Moore
were full to the max, with excellent students and facilities. And both openings--at Darnell Fine Art
in NM, where it is always a pleasure to be (bottom photo) and at Telluride Gallery of Fine Art
in CO (above)-- were fun and well-attended. It was especially good to finally meet the excellent, friendly staff at Telluride and the owner of the gallery, Will Thompson, and to find some time to explore the town and surrounding mountain landscape. I cannot say enough good stuff about how we were treated by the gallery and by the school where Shawna and I taught, the Ah Haa School for the Arts.
Our commute to the school from the (really nice) accommodations they provided was by ski gondola. Although I have a fear of heights, I managed to get over it enough to love floating over golden aspens with snowy peaks beyond...this photo was taken from the window of the gondola.
So, I'm back to an emptier studio and (aside from a class I'm teaching next week at Peninsula School of Art
in Door County, Wisconsin) a quiet few weeks before we head for Spain and the Canary Island of Lanzarote in November. I know, I know, it's all a little crazy--a lot of travel, an unusual amount. I'm taking stock of this as I go, thinking about pulling back next year on the number of workshops I teach. But as I've mentioned before, there is nothing that I'd have wanted to leave out, and so far I'm holding up well.
Of course it is studio time that suffers in all of this--the main reason for wanting to cut back on time away. I brought or shipped 27 paintings for my two exhibits, and all but a few were done this year-- most in the past 6 months. I don't exhibit anything I'm not pleased with and feel sure about, so it's not that I think the quality of the work has suffered. The issue of producing so much in a short period (there were two long trips and several shorter ones during this time) is more one of feeling rushed through a crucial stage--the one in which I process and learn from my own work...consider, analyze, and soak it in.
I also had to divide the work into two separate bodies to supply each gallery, and lacked the opportunity to study it all together. Deciding the best way to split up the work was not easy, and eventually it was the result of hours and days of moving things around the studio into various groupings.
The good thing is that I did find the opportunity at each of my exhibits to study the work as it hung, when things were quiet. Viewing it in the pristine and well-lit gallery space was a valuable way to see connections and new directions. I am pleased with the strong graphic quality of paintings like Coiled
(in the top photo) and also with some new color and compositional ideas that have begun to creep in.
Well, it is always a juggling act--how to keep things in workable balance--energy, travel, solitude, studio time, down time. Sometimes I push pretty hard in one direction, but I also feel that things even out in the big picture. I'm looking for a good mix and taking past experience into account as I plan ahead for 2011...