Monday, December 28, 2009


Well, the English Christmas Cake is baked and eaten, the family has come and gone,  presents opened, toasts given, and the yule log is ashes. It was nice hosting our two large family groups Christmas eve and day, but it was a lot of work, and I'm looking forward to getting back on track with planning my Bert exhibit. Invites will be printed soon, so if you like one by post office, or by email, just send me your address and I'll add you to my list.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2009


A nice mini-blizzard this weekend has completely snowed in my studio. Although it's just a dozen steps from my back door, it doesn't seem worth shoveling out, at least until after Christmas.  I'm trying to not let that depress me. The fact is, I haven't worked in my studio for awhile. Between Christmas and one, possibly two, shows coming up in January,  I'm not sure when I'll get back in there.

I'm thinking February. I'll fight the cold and dark, fire up the propane stove and PAINT.  I can't wait.

Friday, December 18, 2009

How would you like your rejection?

I can't decide what kind of rejection I like the best; an email message or the kind that comes back in the S.A.S.E dutifully included in the application.

I suspect the email version will become the new standard, as everything moves online. I do like how much easier it is on the application side, but after waiting forever to get a response, it's somehow more satisfying to open an envelope, see the nice thick paper with the rejector's letterhead, throw it aside, then retrieve it to add to the file of rejection letters. So what do I do now — print my rejection emails to add to my file? 

That would be silly. I think I will.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this because I got two email rejections in two days. The first was...sniff...the Denali artist residency (I don't really cry on my emails—it's not good for the keyboard).  In previous postal rejections I've had little notes slipped inside telling me how close I came, and to try again. This email began with "Thank you for applying..." Always a very bad sign. Then came the standard Don't-Feel-Too-Bad tag line... "We had many strong applications from all over the U.S. and abroad, making this year’s selection especially difficult." So after thinking I was ALMOST heading north for the last few application cycles, I'm now feeling Denali is further away than ever.

The second rejection was from a local group show, no big deal really, but it's a place I always feel a bit surprised to be rejected from.

But I still have my show at Bert coming up next month, and yesterday I was contacted out of the blue about another exhibit opportunity. More on both of those later...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gathering Moss

I bought a little moss garden this weekend to bring into my cubicle for just a BIT of nature. Even though I sit by a window, the horizon and most of the sky is blocked by buildings, the sun is on the other side and the only growing things I can see are six saplings in concrete. So I'm enjoying my little bit of moss and two rocks.
Then a stupid job jacket falls off the cubicle ledge and gouges out a bit of the moss.  I carefully smoothe over the moss and  give it a good water misting to soothe it. So I'm misting away, thinking of the moist forest floor, watching the rocks glisten when I catch a strange smell, sort of antiseptic.  I check the mister.  Argh! I used the HAND SANITIZER spray instead of my nearly identical water spray. So I just dosed my poor moss in god knows what. I hope it survives, but as I well know, between boring tasks and germ-phobia, cubicle life can be deadly. Good luck little garden. Good luck me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Great Sand Dunes Journal, Second Installment

I took a l little trip to NYC Sunday to walk around and see the Kandinsky show at the Guggenheim. It was fun watching the landscape speed by from the train window again. It made me think maybe I hadn't quite finished painting the northeast corridor landscape. The streets of NYC were freezing when we got there, this time of year the sun doesn't get high enough in the sky to be able to penetrate the valleys between the buildings.  The wind, however, manages to race through and chill us to the bone. Once we got to Central Park though, the sun shone on the snow dusted landscape and the wind dispersed, so we decided it was nice enough to continue our walk of the 54 blocks to 88th street.
Kandinsky was great, the Guggenheim is a perfect place to see it. It looked like a big Kandinsky wedding cake, turned inside out.
Anyway, here's the second installment of my Sand Dunes Journal. Hopefully I'll post it all before the holidays, but they do have a way of barreling over everything...

Tuesday, Sept 22

We are lucky that our internal clocks are still on Eastern Standard Time, since we're awake by 5:30 to look out and see the dunes glowing pure white like bone china, the mountains dark behind them. Realizing that this phenomenon will not survive the rising sun we grab our cameras and head down to the road to get an unobstructed view. The sun is already peeking over the Sangre de Cristos and lighting the valley, and as it creeps toward the western end of the dunes the cold white turns to frosty ochre. The mountain's shadow contracts and the highest dunes reflect the pale morning sun with rosy glow.

It's chilly so we keep moving while we watch and I turn to the east to scan the plains. A few hundred yards off I see a pair of elk, shy of us despite their distance.

We stay until the dunes are almost fully lit then return to the apartment for breakfast before heading down to the Visitor's Center to check the forecast. It predicts a chilly, windy day, so a hike to Revelation Point seems like a good way to take advantage of cool climbing temperatures without the danger of sandblasting.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The business of painting, hold the paint...

I was hoping to have my next installment of my Great Dunes journal by the next time I posted, and it's close, but not done yet. Sorry to keep you in suspense (as you say—oh, there's more?) But, if they're not literary masterpieces, it's still good for me to labor over them. I did write down my impressions every day while out there, but in trying to make something of it, and going over it again and again, it really helps me sort out the experience and remember my residencies more richly.

I got an email this week from the latest residency I've applied for — Denali National Park— but was afraid to click on it, being at work and all, and not wanting to switch my mood from stupefaction to disappointment. But it was just a notification that I'll hear in the next few weeks, so there's still hope!

Meanwhile I've been working on a video for my upcoming show at the Bert Gallery in January. They've been filming interviews with the artists to go along with their recent shows, and the thought of having to go on about my work in front of a camera made me immediately volunteer to work with my husband (a filmmaker) to come up with a little video that hopefully will be more interesting than my talking head. So we returned to the shoemaker's shop and took some shots, and will film in my studio, and perhaps I can edit it together in something approaching a coherent piece.

Some of the pressure is off for now though. I found out I misunderstood about the Providence Art Window gig, the letter asked if I COULD install by December, it didn't say I would be SCHEDULED  to install in December.  So it's still on, but sometime in the future...and out of my head for now, where it's safer.
I am in a holiday show at Imago gallery in Warren though. I submitted these 3 little paintings of the Badlands National Park, so stop by their lovely new gallery if you get a chance.
My pieces are recession priced...such a bargain! Warren was hopping last weekend when I went, too. Granted it was the lighting festival, but it really is getting to be a very arty scene there, and it will look so festive with the colored (not snooty white) lights strung across Main St.
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