Last year at this time, I was at the beginning of a steady stream of activity and commitments that carried on right through November. For better or worse, I had accepted nearly every teaching gig and exhibition opportunity offered to me for the summer and fall, which left little downtime, and resulted in a lot of travel and complicated scheduling. In one three week period in late September through October, for example, I had two shows, two workshops and a speaking engagement, all far from home. I learned some things from this crazy-busy time... I know first hand now that this kind of pace is exhausting and occasionally mind-numbing, and I'm learning to say "no" when I sense that I'm getting in too deep.
At the same time, though, when my schedule does get heavy (in spite of all intentions otherwise) I feel more confident that I can
handle it. Gradually over the past year, I've realized that I do not need to worry about getting everything done, because...well, I always get it done. After years of feeling anxious whenever my schedule got full, it finally dawned on me that, in fact, I'm pretty good at time management, and I always meet my commitments. Considering that, I've been able to keep more calm when things get busy, and just count on myself to pull through.
Prior to last year's busy time, I told a friend that I was feeling nervous with so much ahead to do and all the logistical juggling involved. Her reply-- "Actually Rebecca, it sounds like you will have a lot of fun and adventure,"--proved to be right on target. That is exactly how it turned out. Exhausting and difficult at times--yes--but overall it was an exciting and memorable season. My friend's take on the situation made me consider how much my own attitude could influence the outcome of the months ahead. Of course, I had some frantic and stressful days, but her words were helpful, and remain so.
The summer of 2011 now looms--not as packed as last year, but I do have a steady flow of plans, and only small stretches of down time. Although travel is tiring for me, there is plenty to look forward to...and like last year, I expect the highlights will include meeting a lot of wonderful artists in my classes, visits with old friends and family, and spending time in some of my favorite places in the country (and elsewhere!)
First on the schedule is an exhibit that opens July 3 at Woodwalk Gallery
in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. The painting above (Stripes #4", 12"x12" oil and mixed media on panel) is one that I will be taking to the gallery along with a dozen others of various sizes. Woodwalk is in scenic Door County, the "thumb" of the state that extends into Lake Michigan, and it's always a pleasure to visit--I will drive the work over and then visit with a friend for a few days before the opening. I have shown at Woodwalk for a number of years but this is the first time I've had an exhibit there, and I've been working hard to get the work ready.
Later in July I will again pack up paintings in the car, this time bound for Santa Fe, and an opening at Darnell Fine Art
on 7/22--this one is a two person show with painter Bill Gingles
, whose work I admire and am eager to see in person. I think my work and his will be very complementary--we share in interest in rich, organic surfaces and gestural mark-making.
A few days after the opening, I will head up to Telluride, CO to teach a 4-day workshop at the Ah Haa School for the Arts
. I had a fun time there last October...Telluride is a beautiful town with plenty of charm and character, great food and good art. There are still some openings in this class, if anyone reading this would like to join.
August will be dedicated to finishing work for my exhibit at Gormleys Fine Art
in Dublin, Ireland. I've already started quite a few of these paintings--there will be a dozen or so, mostly 16"x 16" works on multi-media board, and I'll need to have them ready to ship by the middle of the month. The last weekend in August, I'll be at Shake Rag Alley School of Arts and Crafts
in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, teaching a Level 2 Oil and Wax Workshop (this class is full) and then, after relaxing for a few days with a couple of art friends from out of town, I'm off to Ireland for a 3 week residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Center
, followed by the exhibit in Dublin, and a little touring around with my husband who will join me for the last week or so. When I return to the US in October, I'll have one more Level 2 Workshop to teach--again at Shake Rag Alley (there are still openings for this class, designed for those who have already had an intro session) and then, I will be quite ready for the quiet part of the year, late fall and winter, when I avoid planning anything other than painting...