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...feed your soul with art & creativity!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Time Flies

When I was younger, I could get hundreds of things completed in a day.  Now if I complete 10 I feel like I've really been productive.  How could it possibly already be the last week of September?  I really, truly always intend to keep up with blogging, FB, Twitter and other social tasks, but most days, I'm really lucky if I get through reading and responding to all of my emails. 

What's on the plan today?  Return some phone calls, post some items to Craigslist (more art supplies that I'm destashing), return some emails, and write several proposals for teaching. 

Yawn.  I'm already exhausted just from that.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Incompletions

I hear on a regular basis, "You are so creative." And, not to be full of myself, but, it is true.  On the flip side of this is the fact that...I am so creative.  I have so many ideas, so many projects that I want to work on, so many things that interest me to try or explore in artwork, that I often have multiple incomplete projects.

Last week, as I was in the process of bringing yet more boxes to the new studio in the consolidation process, I discovered about 25 incomplete fused glass projects.  I also discovered several incomplete stained glass projects.  In my painting portfolio, I estimate I have about 50 incomplete paintings.  I have a series I'm working on related to what we see as beautiful that has 20 incomplete pieces.  And I have a list that is several pages of projects that I want to work on, a glass show where I plan to make completely new pieces, a bunch of completed paintings that are incomplete in the framing process, okay, so ....you get the picture.

It can be very difficult to be creative and to also finish projects.  From previous experience and various training I have received both in art and business, I know that incompletions are a road block.  They stymie creativity, they suck away vital energy.  I have a belief that each incompletion means that a part of my energy, my brain activity and my focus are attached to those incompletions.  Given all the artistic incompletions I have in my life, not to mention the household, the business details, the fix it up projects, the personal projects, the incomplete written stories, etc., I must be operating on about a 10th of my brain power and vital energy.  It seems no wonder, when I stop to use that 10 percent to think about it, that I am worn out, feel overwhelmed, feel....well, incomplete.

Other than the new glass projects for the art show in December, I am hereby vowing that I will NOT create any new artworks until I have either A) finished all the artistic incompletions or B) destroyed, altered or make the incomplete projects into "supplies" for new projects and let go of the idea that they would be complete in their current form or C) thrown out any that truly have no redeeming value other than as having been an outlet for a creative urge at some point.  It will take discipline.  It will take courage to look at each piece and determine whether or not it deserves to "live or die."  It will cause grief, as I tend to be quite sentimental about my artworks, even the "ugly" or the immature.  But, I know, it must be done.  If I am to be able to focus on teaching, proposals and new artworks, public artworks, and making a living doing art, then I must be brutally honest with myself and brutal with these creations.

Today is the day to begin.  Starting with getting the ATC cards mailed out from the show I curated.  That will be one check mark on the "done" column of my incompletions list...which incidentally, as I write this is now two full legal pad sheets long and still growing. YIPES. 

I highly recommend looking at your life and figuring out where your incompletions are, make a list, cull the ones you no longer have any joy or energy in completing and get rid of any paraphernalia related to those projects, and lighten up, enliven up and complete, complete, complete.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to Multi-Task in the Studio

It seems like lately when I finally get to the studio (and this seems to take longer and longer every day as chores and taking care of household stuff, the dog, the cats, etc. seems to grow more demanding and time more fleeting)...I feel like I'm spinning in circles because there are so many tasks to work on, so many irons in the fire, all of them urgent or at least important.  So lately, since this is how it is happening, I let myself spin around the room.  Today for example, I quickly wrapped and packed up some glass for a customer and dropped it to the post office.  Got back and took pictures of artwork for several art shows, chatted with guests that stopped by my studio, packed up some artwork to take to a new art center this weekend, wire-wrapped and cleaned up several glass barrettes, gessoed some altered books, ground some glass cabochons, took photos for a glass article I'm writing for November, worked on some brainstorming for an upcoming art show I need some ideas for, and attended a meeting with seven other artists to brainstorm ways to promote the art center and our artworks. 

So my solution for multi-tasking?  Look around the room and see what needs to be done.  Do what can be done, leave what needs to dry to dry or cure to cure or cool to cool, let in-progress pieces simmer until the "next step" is revealed.  Don't sweat it.  Don't get overwhelmed.  Take time to really talk (and listen to) visitors, other artists and friends.  Spend time with those you love. 

It's all part of the whole and every thing I do today builds for the completion and successes for tomorrow.  Each piece is important, even if I only get a small part done at a time.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How to keep up with it all

Well, I've got three out of five studios consolidated--still have the collage/sewing space and the glass studio to move to my main studio space...so while I'm taking a pause to figure out HOW I'm going to get all the rest of what I have to fit in the already exploding at the seems new studio, I've been exploring Etsy and finally, finally, finally after two years as a member there, getting some items posted.  Now I'm feeling a little overwhelmed when I realize that it is yet another thing to keep up with.  What do I have to do, have a little morning or evening ritual where I a) check and respond to emails b) write my blog c) post items on Etsy and handle any transactions d) check my website and handle any transactions e) keep up with my facebook and f) tweet.  That takes up the morning hours at least.  And what happens if I don't have the TIME to take hours to do all of this?  How do I keep up, keep current and keep things fresh?  If I miss a day, does it become like a diet where it becomes a guilty thing and I avoid the exercise and eat the donut?  HELP.  I'm feeling so overwhelmed with the demands of our technology littered society and the networking opportunities.  When does anyone have time to do anything else, most importantly, actually speak live with other people and artisans?????  I'm going to sleep.  I just realized I can't face this now and since I've Etsy'd and blogged and checked my email, three out of six isn't bad.  That's operating at 50%.  *sigh*  Time to make the donuts.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Addicted to...

Ahhh, I have to come clean.  I'm terribly, horribly, completely addicted...to books.  And craft and supply stores.  And doing art.  I wish I could say that I have the self-control to stroll through a bookstore or craft store and exit with empty hands.  I wish I could even say that I have a "dime bag" habit.  But alas, it is a rare visit to either a book store or craft store where I do not walk out having paid at least $35 to $50 of my art earnings--usually so that I can learn some new technique or try out some new materials and mediums.

Today was no exception.  I have two new books--one on surface treatments for paintings and one on found object jewelry.  And I fear, my addiction may be spreading.  I was in the dollar store and came away with a bag of $13 worth of items that I will find useful for a) the next class I am teaching on the 12th and b) some of the aforementioned surface treatments I plan to try out.

It's become abundantly clear that I should not enter a book store or a craft shop without adult supervision and a cooler head that can be my co-dependent partner and talk me out of the danger zone. 

But, even with my addiction, I AM getting better.  Really.  I am.  I took back a book that was for an entirely new type of artwork that I don't do but think is really cool.  And exchanged it for the surface treatments book, of which I already do that type of artwork.  See?  That's progress...isn't it?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Productivity Every Day

It doesn't matter that I didn't do anything "artful" today (does creating marketing materials count?  It requires design elements and layout skills!)  I had a productive day.  I wrote two articles and the start of a third that are due by July 1st.  One is for ATCs Quarterly Fall Edition.  The second is for "Heart of Ohio" Magazine's Fall Edition.  And the third is for "Fired Arts & Crafts" September issue. (Speaking of which, I will be writing one article a month for the remainder of 2011 for Fired Arts & Crafts--and more to come in 2012.)

I posted advertising about the Children's Art Camp July 11 - 15, 2011.  I created new fliers to put out for Friday's Open Studio night.  I posted advertising AND made new fliers for the Tuesday Night Art Socials.

I set up new displays with the new slumped wine bottle that are enamel and airbrush painted (they look cool--I'll post pictures later).  And I updated my website some.

So the point here is that not EVERYTHING is going to be a priceless work of art (although I saw on Howard Finster's official website that they are even selling the RAGS that he used when he painted--they are beautiful and interesting and they framed them). Sometimes, it is just about being productive every day, whether it is a little task or a lot of them.  In building a career as a full time artist, it requires energy every day, focus every day and showing up...I showed up today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What's Next?

Recovering from the successful opening of my solo art show "Recycled + Repurposed = Reincarnated" at the Oxford Community Art Center which stays on exhibit through August 5th, 2011.  Got a very nice write up in the Oxford Press.

This week I've had a hard time getting motivated.  I'm STILL trying to consolidate five studios into one and it is a very exhausting job.  Plus, I need more shelving.  Or I need to let go of some of the stuff I have to make room for everything.  It's tough to do...I always think "I'm gonna use that" but sometimes it takes years before I do and sometimes, NEVER use but can't get rid of it.

Yesterday I worked on some bottle cap jewelry--its not done.  Today I have to finish the two collaborative paintings that were started at Oxford Art and Wine Affair a few weeks ago--just have a little clean up/detail work to pull the two together.  Also going to work again on the bottle cap jewelry. 

I find my self asking, "What's Next?"  And I don't have an answer.  But I do find myself missing working on glass and missing painting.  There are always more proposals for teaching and shows, etc. to do and that interrupt the flow of creating.  I find I create in stops and starts and I am trying to balance out the teaching with the creating and also to not get sucked into the "crafty" side versus the artful side.

What really inspires me?  How can I keep that sense of connectedness ALL THE TIME which is what I draw upon for my creative expression....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Recycle + Repurposed = Reincarnated

You are invited to attend the opening reception of Recycled + Repurposed = Reincarnated art show at the Oxford Community Art Center, 10 S. College Ave., Oxford Oh, Friday, June 10th 6 - 10 p.m.  See artworks that are made from items that were destined for landfills and are recycled into fun, whimsical artwork.

See a great write up at
The show runs from June 10th through August 5th, 2011.  Would love to hear what you think.  Photos coming soon of items from the show.

Art Show Angst

The art show is mostly set up minus a small repair and a few corrected labels.  Overall, I think it is an interesting, fun, whimsical show.  Got a terrific write up in the Oxford Press which is a delight.  Spent the day in the gallery which was about 90 degrees (the A/C is still being installed and supposed to be mostly up and running by Friday)--oh I hope I hope or else it will be very short visits with a very sweaty, stinky artist.  Chrissy helped greatly in getting everything hung up and it looks pretty cool.  I spent a lot of time moving podiums around and trying to decide on the best arrangements.  I especially love the stainless steel ruler windchime that is out by the sign in book to catch peoples attention from the other end of the hallway.  I just hope the windchime stays together.  It actually sounds pretty cool....

Now that the show is going to open in two days, and mostly everything for it is done except for an email blast out tomorrow and some other social media stuff, I feel a ton of angst.  One, I'm nervous about how the show will be received--and whether or not the quality of my workmanship is good enough although I double and triple checked most things to be sure that items would be in good shape.  Two, I'm nervous about whether or not anything will sell.  I priced most everything very reasonably even though a part of me wanted to jack the prices up because it is an "art show" and you can't have "cheap" items at an art gallery--but I restrained my urge to do any price gouging and kept things within reasonable ranges in the hopes that many items will find new homes.  I don't want to just be an exhibitionist.  I want to be a fed artist.  I want to succeed.

And the other set of angst issues come from the "what's next" on the list to work on/towards.  I have a number of teaching and show proposals to put together, want to look for some public art venues, and need to see if I can find some sponsorship for the Oxford Murals and educational program.  And of course, I have to advertise for my art camp and classes, Tuesday Night socials, and other various social networking and internet related tasks--like updating my gallery on my website.

And then there are the projects that I want to work on.  Am hoping that when I check the mail, there will be a package with the kiln cement so I can fix the enameling kiln.  I'm ready to get rolling with some enameling.  I also have about a dozen slumped items I am going to do some airbrush painting on with enamels and I would really, really love a chance to do some painting. 

How sad that the Business of Art gets in the way of the Art. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting Ideas

Friday night was our Open Studios night at the Pendleton Art Center (1105 Central Avenue, Middletown OH, I'm in studio #117).  I'm known by my friends for having what they refer to as "Art A.D.D." because there are many mediums and techniques that I love to employ including fused and stained glass, collage with paper and collage and assemblage with found objects, glass enameling on metal, jewelry designs using my digital and painted artwork, painting with watercolor, tempera paint and acrylics....well, the list is a long one.  It sort of reminds me how it was when I worked in Corporate World.  I never was happy if I got stuck doing redundant tasks day in and day out.  I'm a smart cookie and I require a lot of intellectual stimulation....

That said, several sweet visitors were ooohing and ahhhhing over items in my display cases and on my shelves and walls.  We chatted about the classes I'm offering and the Tuesday Night Art Socials and then one of them said, "Where do you get all of your ideas."

This was a hard question to answer and I'm still not sure I gave her a sufficient answer and I'm not quite sure it is one that I really can explain.

Sometimes my ideas pop into my head while I'm driving.  Sometimes I am inspired by a flower or garden tableau.  Sometimes I'll read an article and see something that I think "oh, yeah. That's awesome.  I wonder if that technique would work with...."  Sometimes I don't get any sleep at all at night because I'm busy "doing art" in my dreams and when I wake up in the morning I know what my next project is going to be.  I guess technically, being a spiritual person (though not especially religious), I'd have to say that I am guided and inspired by The Divine Spark, All that Is, God, The Creator (I'm just "the Creator" no capital T)....sometimes I remember some project I did as a child in school or with my Camp Fire Girls group or at camp or....well, you see how it goes?  It's a challenge to figure out the epicenter of creativity.  All I know for sure is that EVERYONE has creative ideas.  Not everyone chooses to act upon them.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I feel like a "Busy, Backson" from Winnie the Pooh

Whew.
Whew Whew.
Whew Whew Whew.

This week has been a whirlwind.  I completed the items for the solo art show that opens June 10th at the Oxford Community Art Show from 5 to 9 and delivered most of them--have another load to take next week when we finish setting everything up.

I submitted 7 proposals for national workshops.

I cleaned up the certified disaster I call my studio after finishing the art pieces and had a successful first friday open studio evening tonight.  I feel like I am on the go, go, go all of the time but think that I've gotten a long way toward accomplishing my goals.  I'm a full time artist.  That's awesome.  I'm so busy with stuff that I have a back log of projects.  I have custom work that I'm excited to do and delivered two customized jobs to two happy customers this week.  I have a developing interest in my work and I'm excited to get going on some new projects and proposals.  And...I'm craving some time to paint.  Was invited to join the Plein Air group in Oxford.  Need to find out more information on it first though.

Whew.  This weekend is dedicated to family obligations. Katie graduates from high school and Wendy turns 50.  And have to try to help Judy not be too depressed as she will be thinking of Bruce and Timothy who passed away within six months of each other.  And of course, tomorrow I will be remembering the passing of my mother 26 (!!!) years ago.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Whew xs 2

Whew.  Whew.  Had to say it twice.  It's only noon but I've put in a full day already contacting 8 workshop retreats about possibly teaching later this year or in 2012.  This is one of the things I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about being part of the Pendleton Art Center--I learned about two of them and got inspired by another artist and decided to research and see what I could make happen--I already have samples for several of the types of classes I would want to teach so we'll see what transpires through the rest of the week.  Sadly, I missed out on a couple of them but I'd really love to teach for the fall and into 2012--not to mention get to travel a little bit.

Catching up on email.  45(!!REALLY!!???!!) emails fromt the Art Shop Co-op about publicity for Alumni Weekend.  Sending updates on my solo show that opens June 10th at the Oxford Community Art Center, (http://www.oxarts.org/) 10 S. College St., Oxford Ohio entitled "Recycled + Repurposed = Reincarnated" (an environmental statement) and also arranging set up plans for the show, getting a photographer and press coverage, as well as choosing the environmental group I want to donate 10% of sales to (The Oxford Society  www.theoxfordsociety.org) and letting them know my intentions.

Watered the wilting plants and the dog--yep, she loves to play "chase" with the water.  Think we'll video tape her and send it to America's Funniest Videos--could use $10G!

Not to mention that my dreams were all about teaching art, making art and my art show.  Only actually slept about 5 hours and I'm feeling a little woozy.  Going to eat some homemade soup and get to the studio--today is finishing/cleaning, photos and packing day for the art show items.  Whew.  Whew.  Whew.

Changing Blogs

After having set up a blog on the website and finding that it just wasn't working well--I never could remember to log in correctly and there wasn't real great ways to access a list through Word Press on my website www.bohemianartcafe.com/blog.html, I'm going to give this a try for a bit and see if I do any better at keeping up to date.  Honestly, between tweets, facebooking, and blogging, I need a full time intern to keep up with my social media!!  I'm not sure if I will add a link or take it off entirely.  I'm going to have to get new business cards in the not too distant future so I could probably add it there.  Trying to keep up with everything is a full time job--Etsy shop needs attention, website gallery needs updating,....when is a girl to do her art?

Am in the final throes of preparations for my solo art show "Recycled + Repurposed = Reincarnated" using all found objects.  Its been a busy couple of months and I'm worn out--ready to deliver the goodies to the Oxford Community Art Center on Wednesday and get my art studio cleaned up again--I know we've been experiencing bad weather over the past month and we were lucky enough to be missed by the horrendous storms that have caused so much heartache elsewhere...but I can't help but say that right now, my studio does look like a tornado hit--call it a localized tornado.  It's been hard to keep focused with the 40+ items stacking up and waiting for final clean up, signatures, and packing.  Tomorrow is the day for that--and a little bit of final work on a couple of last pieces.

Whew.....