the new year
On a below-zero night at the very beginning of 2014, I look briefly behind and ahead, sharing a bit of my journey as an artist. summing up a few things I observed last year, and considering what lies ahead.
2013 was a very on-the-go year for me, with barely a month at home at any one times between travels. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Alaska, Colorado and finally Ireland, with a few local road trips and a quick jaunt to Ontario on art biz interspersed. Most of the time, I loved these experiences. A few times, I wished I were home instead, and no doubt my family did too! (They are ever supportive and understanding however, which is key to keeping up this pace.)
With all the travel and teaching I did, I experienced some loss of studio time, but still managed to produce work for a my first solo museum exhibit, in Alaska, and lots more. Two extended residencies, at the Serenbe community near Atlanta, and at Ballinglen Arts Foundation in County Mayo, Ireland, helped make up for any lack of focused studio days. This was my third residency in Ireland and the most satisfying to date.
2013 art sales were decent...I joined a new gallery, Thomas Deans in Atlanta, and kept up with others. I also had my best year yet for making my own sales--during workshops and residencies, via studio visits and through facebook. My deep thanks to all who have collected my work in 2013.
As the year came to a close, a new direction emerged in my work, begun as a series of small monotypes in the print studio at Ballinglen and proceeding from memories of the dramatic sea cliffs of County Mayo...all of this documented in previous blog posts, and continuing with newer work such as the 48"x36" painting below.
After the exhausting travel schedule of 2013, I have scaled back a bit for 2014. I'm still teaching plenty of workshops (click here
for my schedule) but I do have longer stretches at home. I especially look forward to my time in British Columbia in late March and early April, to the new experience of teaching at Lake Logan--a lakeside resort in NC-- and to my return to Ballinglen in the fall.
My 2014 schedule also honors my preference for teaching advanced and master level workshops. It's not that I don't love the introductory classes too--but for me the most excitement is in going beyond basic techniques to the deeper inquiries of what makes a good painting, and how to express personal voice in abstraction. With a number of other artists (many of them my former or on-going students) now teaching, I'm feeling free to focus my own efforts on Level Two and beyond.
The constantly expanding community of artists exploring cold wax medium is a great satisfaction to me, and December of 2013 marked the one year anniversary of the launch of the cold wax painting
website. Meanwhile, its companion site
(a Ning discussion forum) has over 2300 members in its third year since being launched. These days it is a very active site with new members joining, and new discussions and posted paintings popping up daily.
Exhibitions of my work in 2014 include a group exhibit opening this month at Elaine Erickson Gallery in Milwaukee, and a few other opportunities yet to be finalized. I'm excited about pursuing the many painting ideas generated while in Ireland, and exploring monotypes and egg tempera, two media I used at Ballinglen, in my home studio.
For those of you on my mailing list, watch for a newsletter later this month with more info about upcoming projects, exhibits and a new critique service I will be offering. If you haven't joined that list but would like to, click here
for a page to scroll down for the sign-up box.