It’s been a couple of years since I last showed at the Lost Dog Cafe in Binghamton, NY. Although it’s awkward for people to look at the art when there are diners at the tables (and there are always diners at the tables in the Lost Dog!), it’s a lovely space, with three distinct exhibit areas, each with a nice hanging system. So this morning I parked my car full of art in front of their door, hauled my goods in, and set to work. This is the last time I’ll exhibit my Unlikely Dance series for a while, I think. But it looks wonderful in the Lost Dog space, as I knew it would, along with a couple of studies for the series and two new dance-themed pieces — The Grove and Three Musicians.
This First Friday night I’ll be in the Lost Dog Lounge holding forth at Meet the Artist (or so I imagine; this will be my very first Meet experience). And this month I’ll have a good excuse to have lunch and perhaps a dinner at the Dog — yummy!
I also have a few pieces in a November group show with the Fine Arts Society of the Southern Tier, at the Krembs Gallery, UHS/Binghamton General Hospital, not shown here.
Binghamton JulyFest has come and gone once again, and I’m seriously considering skipping it next year. It is So. Hot. It is So. Exhausting. (If they decide to move the “Artists in Action” section back to the shady courthouse lawn, from the brick oven of Washington Street, I’ll look on it more favorably.) It takes me almost a week to recover. It was fun, of course — not party-city with Mary Robertson & family, as I’d expected, but there was good company all around. I spoke to some lovely people, shrugged off the inevitable idiots (“Did you paint all these by hand yourself?”) for the most part, and made some sales — enough to pay for admission and a little more, though nowhere near what I made last year. That may have been partly due to skipping Sunday, however — violent thunderstorms were forecast and Ron Sall, the super-hospitable festival coordinator, told us we were free to go if we felt the need. I felt the need, as did many others. Of course the thunderstorms didn’t materialize until late afternoon. Of course. This coming Saturday is Johnson City Carousel Day.
My booth at JulyFest 2014
My booth with improvised sunshad
Under the sunshade, but still — too much sun, overheated and dehydrated
View through the Artists in Action alley
Mary Robertson wanders by
Would you believe… JulyFest 1974? Yes.
The class list for my Introduction to Oil Painting course, at Your Home Public Library in Johnson City, was filled more than a week before the class starts, due partly to the handouts I distributed at JulyFest, and also to the distribution of the class description to the FASST (Fine Arts Society of the Southern Tier) membership, for which I’m mightily grateful — also, I presume, to the Library newsletter, events calendar, postings, and Facebook event. So looking forward to it (it starts a week from today) and a bit anxious — having to rein myself in so I don’t spend all my earnings on class materials I didn’t think to include in the initial price!
Meanwhile, I’m about ready to start on a commission — a piece ordered through the “Custom Order” function on Etsy. (See my shops at www.greenboat.etsy.com, and www.GreenBoatVintage.etsy.com .) I am so psyched about this painting. It started out vaguely enough, with a request for “a painting of a contra dance,” and I rather expected it to disappear when the client saw pricing and started answering hard questions… but that didn’t happen! She’s made a down-payment, signed a commission contract, and for the most part approved the initial composition sketch — some minor changes forthcoming by request — and I can’t wait to get started painting. It’s a very ambitions composition — will post progressives here and on my artist/designer Facebook page (click “Like Me on Facebook” in the right-hand column) — and a real challenge. You know how I love a challenge!
My eyes are still not working right and it looks like I’ll need to fit in retinal surgery sometime soon — and perhaps vision therapy to re-train my brain — but that will be as it will be. I just need to see better.
This is a studio snapshot of the newly re-named Green Skirt, adjusted as well as possible in Photoshop — the lighting in my studio just isn’t conducive to good-quality photos of a piece this size. I’ll continue wrestling with this issue as the Unlikely Dance series progresses… but I’m so pleased to have finished the first piece!
I’ve re-titled it because I just don’t care for portentous artwork titles — I like the viewer to provide his or her own emotional content, free of the murk in my own brain. The work is no longer mine to interpret — it’s yours. Here’s the complete process:
And now, on the the next. After cleaning the detritus, debris, odds and ends from my work table and drawing table (no small task!) — I’ll tint two more 30×48″ canvases with cadmium red acrylic, and begin two more Unlikely Dance pieces, trading off one for the other during drying periods. That should speed things up — all six paintings are due by November 1 — and keep my interest and spirits high.
Concurrently for a couple more weeks, I’m working on the theme painting for the September Window on the Arts Festival in Windsor, NY — for that I’m commandeering the sewing/guest room across the hall from my studio. It’s my first use of my new plein aire easel, a gift from a friend/collector whose daughter didn’t use it. I’ve always wanted one — such a lovely thing for her to do! That painting is a much-smaller 16×20″.
The “Unlikely Dance” project was made possible by a grant from the Artists Fund of the Community Foundation for South Central New York To follow my progress in Unlikely Dance, just click on the “Unlikely Dance” link under TOPICS, on the left of any page in this blog.