Posts Tagged ‘Doghouse Gallery’

Tough decision

July 7, 2011

I never thought I would turn down an opportunity for a gallery show, but after wrestling with my conscience and my reasoning, I just did that very thing.  I was offered a show this coming September, at the lovely Doghouse Gallery on Phillips Road, between Saugerties and Woodstock. Tom Wright does a wonderful job with this place…it’s an old barn behind the Wrights’ home, cozy and rustic, where summers offer a series of beautiful exhibits by local artists.  Back in March it seemed like an easy prospect, such a long time away.  Well, it’s not a long time away now, and the past few months have been so crowded with activities, travel, and obligations that I haven’t had the studio time I need.  I’m currently working on a series of small still lifes and trompe l’oeil paintings, and studying with Chris Gallego…I was worn out by the messiness of assemblages and collages, and felt a need to return to basics.  And there’s a lot I never learned in college or my MFA program about painting.  I’m not sure if I learned anything at all there, actually.  I’m enjoying the process, studying and learning and working slowly, but unless I speed up and “crank out” work, I won’t have enough new pieces for a show.  I could easily show some photos instead, or old work, or drawings…but that just doesn’t feel right to me.  It feels like cheating, like just throwing stuff on walls for the thrill and attention (and possibly sales) associated with having my name on a postcard and a flashy opening.  I feel like I’m learning more than just painting; I’m learning to focus, to let work develop as it wants to without my rushing it, and that there’s a time for showing…and a time for working.

The next show at the Doghouse will feature the work of painter and sculptor Fay Wood, opening July 30.  I just created her postcard (my little job for the Doghouse)…do see the show, it’s sure to be wonderful. 4-7 PM, 429 Phillips Road.

Here’s a little sampling of my new work….

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catching up

October 8, 2009

Well, this is weird.  I wrote and posted, and then saw that the entire first paragraph had disappeared…now, what was I saying?  That the Doghouse Gallery opening was last Saturday evening, and it was a terrific party.  Lots and lots of people came, lots of wine was drunk and cheese eaten.  Mary Anne and I both sold a couple of things, which was wonderful.  I would have liked to sell more, of course…had  hoped to pay for my framing costs…but I didn’t really expect to, and I’m delighted to have sold anything at all. Nice things were said about the work, and it was gratifying to have it seen, and to be in the company of so many dear friends…and some new friends.

These events are draining for the artists showing work…I am NOT complaining, mind you, not at all, and of course it was great fun…but after the stress of getting everything finished, framed, hung, polished, cards and invitations made and sent, and then the high of the opening itself where you try to talk to everyone and remember names and not spill wine on yourself, or drink too much of it…well, then there is a sort of crash.  It takes a few days for the adrenalin to depart, days in which all I want to do is sit and stare into space.  I’ve learned to accept this period and just go with it; I’m going to be unproductive anyway so I might as well enjoy the little island of calm.  I am managing to do some much overdue house-cleaning; I can’t seem to get work done in the studio AND keep the place tidy at the same time, it’s gotta be one or the other.  There’s more to do, but the bills are paid, the cobwebs brushed from the corners, the papers cleared off my desk.

And then there’s the reflection, the doubt…why do we artists keep doing this?  I think of all the hours spent making stuff, sometimes full of joy and sometimes anguish, the expense of framing, the hauling and hanging, only to bring home yet another pile of pictures no one wants and find a place to store it.  I can only say I do it because it’s what I do.  I don’t think I can say I love it, though often I do…do I “have” to do it, as many art-makers say?  Maybe.  I don’t know; I wonder if that’s just a romantic myth.  I do get grumpy if I go for very long without making something, that’s true.

So what’s next? — a question that follows every such event. I’ll have a show in the next few months at Oriole 9 in Woodstock, and next November a solo show at WAAM, more reasons to keep on working.  Right now I need to shift my focus to figuring out ways to make an income; having recently been dropped by my longest and most faithful illustration client, my financial situation is on the verge of being dire, and my job skills are nil.  Well, there’s always Wal-Mart; they might need a greeter!

Opening, me with guests, and Tom, the gallery ownerwe drank a bit of wine...gallery door