Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Accepting rejection

It's somehow reassuringly old fashioned to receive a rejection letter by mail instead of eletronically. Still sucks, but in a retro kind of way. For about the 16th time my application for the RI State Council on the Arts didn't get awarded a grant, or even runner up status. Oh well. The money ($5,000) would have been nice, but what I was kind of hoping for was the little uptick in status that grant recipients get. Not that I should care about status, but it also seems to get you invited to show.

A few days later the Maccoll Johnson Fellowship saw fit to reject my application. That money would have been more than nice, $25,000 is nothing to sneeze at. Not that I had a chance to decide to sneeze or not. That was one of those cutting-edge email rejections...damn.

Oh well, I bitched and moaned already about rejection in a previous post so will wipe the dust from my feet and think about spiders.

Monday, December 27, 2010


It nearly killed me to put the insulation up (see last post) but post-blizzard I'm glad I got it done. Believe it or not the studio is looking very inviting, and now that Christmas is over, I just might get in there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pretty in pink

Somehow in the chaos of painting every first floor wall of my house and the usual holiday insanity I managed to find time to insulate my studio for the winter. I was lucky to get a relatively mild day off so opened the big garage door and proceeded to cover the screened wall with those big pink planks of insulation, the ones with the pink panther printed on one side. I did the neighbors a favor and put the printing on the inside, leaving a beautiful pepto-bismol hue facing the street. The panther smiled approvingly as I trimmed the pieces to fit and used lattice strapping to mount them snug against the screens. Hours later I finished, exhausted and relieved to finally be able to hit the switch, close the garage door and go inside for a nice cup of tea.

CLUNK!*. mmMerrMMaaMMmaahrMMm

That was the sound of the door hitting the panels and jamming the motor. I quickly shut if off. This door doesn't go back up till it goes all the way down, so I had to pry the panels loose to free the door. Not that I jumped right to it. I first had to fight the urge to say to hell with painting in the studio and decide to just draw in my house all winter. But it was getting dark outside and unless I wanted to try again on a frigid day in January—it was now or never.

Luckily I had another plan, or as I like to call it, my original plan, which was to mount smaller panels inside of the screen windows. Which was a great plan until I had the brilliant thought that it would be easier to mount the panels over the entire wall since there was PLENTY of clearance.

So after another few hours the panels were up again, I held my breath and closed the door. It cleared. And I hadn't burned the motor out. Now my studio is better insulated than it's ever been for the winter, and although it will still take a few hours to heat it from its winter temp in the low 30's to a workable 50's, it should hold the heat longer. I just wish I was able to hold the brush longer!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Painting myself into a corner

OK, here's my excuse for not posting. I've been painting up a storm. Last night I started right after work and was up till 1am, brush in hand.

And I have to say, my walls look wonderful.

My studio, on the other hand, is dark and cold.

I know, my work is more important than my walls, but what's a painter to do when her house starts falling apart around her? I've been meaning to paint my interior walls since I moved in 10 years ago, and now they have started cracking and crazing and it's not a matter of cosmetics anymore. Since I'm the fix-up partner in my relationship (my husband is the brains of the operation) and with a lower tolerance of disrepair I decided that the few weeks before our big holiday family get-togethers is the perfect time to tear the house apart. Which explains the 1am.

Of course it would be sensible just to hire a house painter to do it, if sensible didn't cost so much money. I AM compromising and hiring a professional to do my kitchen, with its walls shedding flakes as thick as tortilla chips, so money will be spent, just no so much. And who needs a kitchen two weeks  before Christmas anyway? It's not like I have 10 people coming over Christmas Eve and 30 or so Christmas Day and a traditional English Christmas cake to make. Oh wait—it's EXACTLY like that.

But I have a tendency to create chaos on my way to order, which can lead to fascinating journeys in my studio, so I know that's where I should be spending my energy. The other morning, sitting at my kitchen table, flakes of paint flinging themselves off the walls, I saw an art magazine opened to a page with this quote circled. "Art is not what you do when everything else is done, everything else gets done after your art".  I won't say who circled it but it wasn't me. Because I don't know how you can put off everything till your art is done. Art is never done. And sometimes all those little life tasks join all their voices together and nag so annoyingly that it seems worth it just to lock up your studio and shut them up. And look forward to January.
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