Sunday, October 14, 2012

getting home

We have been home from Spain for ten days, seven of which passed by as I dealt with worse-than-usual jetlag. My activities were mostly limited to settling into domestic rhythms and patterns, and any effort to focus on either painting or cello were fruitless; my mind just would not engage. Finally, last Friday, I began to feel fully normal, mentally and physically.

Although I didn't break out the paints during that week, I did address other studio-related issues, mostly thanks to my now weekly (or so) telephone conversation with Phyllis. We are both still working on artist's statements, and are reporting in and getting feedback from each other. Discussing why we paint and what we want to accomplish naturally leads to talking about more specific matters, such as what is happening in the studio and on the canvas. After years of isolation in daily work, with outside contact only at occasional workshops, the opportunity to talk with another artist and friend on a regular basis is a godsend to me. It helps immensely to verbalize my thoughts to another person, and Phyllis is skilled at giving useful feedback. Doing the same for her also helps me, opening up new areas of thought and new topics for consideration.

As a result, even though I have only been back at the easel for three days, the time before that produced a series of decisions about goals and their achievement, some organization of time and activities, and actual progress in some of my off-easel projects, such as getting my cataloging process under way again, revising my website, and continuing to read and research areas of interest relevant to my artwork.

Administrative work is part of being an artist, yet I have frequently ignored it because I felt that I should be spending the time in the studio, painting. This new clarity about priorities and a sensible approach to them is allowing me to address the issues and tasks more rationally. Three days ago, I broke out the paints and got to work again, without my usual sense of time wasted. Perhaps as a reward, a client purchased three paintings of mine from Gallery 24 on Saturday -- the last day of the 2012 season! The image above is of Paredes Viejas, 16"x 16", one of the pieces that found a home this weekend.

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