Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm designing the posters and postcards for the exhibit I'm curating, "The Bones Show," opening in just a few short weeks! The gallery emailed to let me know that a couple of artworks have already arrived for the exhibit---yay! As faithful readers may know, I've gotten almost 40 artists to participate in this venture and I've 'hired' a juror and am giving away various awards in the form of Alaskan meat and fish. (The artists LOVED this idea.) Above is the postcard rough.



This is a draft for the poster that doesn't quite 'work,' I think....


Another draft for the poster that I like quite a bit. Perhaps I'll print up a couple of versions to put up around town...


The poster to match the postcard. I was trying to stay away from images that were too dark and forboding, thinking that they may dissuade potential gallery visitors from checking out the show....and here I go with a full black background! Still, this one has the most drama....

Monday, September 10, 2007

The tough climb...

Tight detail of new painting, "Reading." This area of the painting is perhaps 5"x5".

This painting has entailed more detail and effort at realism than I've attempted in a very long time. Today---just few more touches and it's done, after 3 hours of touching up the background, finishing the shadow areas on the last three rib bones and highlights on a few others.

With every painting, I tell myself that it's worth the effort. I remind myself that creating any new thing opens up a new vista of possible events and outcomes. Who knows where this painting or that drawing will lead? Also, I remind myself that every artwork is a step in some direction---with every piece, I'll learn more about my craft and that knowledge will lead to yet more artworks and more learning.

Gotta keep myself going.


Especially in light of continued, demoralizing rejections. Some of you might remember my post on my quick and dirty method of charting art successes and failures; a list of my show, grant, exhibit, school and competition entries with a happy or frowning face beside each. (Very elaborate, very mature...) If I'm accepted/win = happy. Rejection = frown. I do a count periodically to see where I stand in the overall scheme of things. Lately, there have been a lot of frown faces to color in. Most recently: not chosen for the annual NW New American Paintings competition and my paintings not chosen to be purchased by the Anchorage Municipality to be permanently installed in the Eagle River High School. (I kind of loved the idea that my artwork might potentially influence some young minds....)

Being an artist is kind of like climbing Mt. Everest naked on one of it's more cliff-like approaches with a piano tied to your back. It hurts, it's difficult (to say the least), and you feel mightily stupid sometimes. You often ask yourself why the hell you put yourself through this shit. You think of other people that don't torture themselves with this seemingly overwhelming and ridiculous task and envy them their apparent ease and comfort.

I suppose if you do ever make some altitude, the sense of accomplishment is pretty great. If you summit, you've made some notoriety for yourself, some fame, some lasting impression. With a task this daunting, every foothold and inch of ascension makes for some personal satisfaction.

I'm off to go do something truly satisfying like haul firewood....