Friday, August 19, 2011
I am beyond excited because I just got to put up an art show at a bookstore in Old Roseville called Beatnik Books http://www.beatnikbookstore.com. I found the owner, Chelsea, on Craigslist and she is an amazing advocate for 'starving artists,' offering her wall space for the third Saturday art walk, hosting the party with live music, food and beverages. The ambiance in the store is just...warm. I LOVE what she has going on...and excellent supply of used books (priced really affordably), great lighting and colors, and as giants like Borders are leaving our community, it makes me happy to know that a shop like this is available to us. Chelsea is the heart of the bookstore and I'm delighted to have encountered her.
Getting ready for an art show is like getting ready to open your journal for lots of people to browse through. There's always the push during the couple weeks leading up to the show where you're wondering if you can put out one or two more pieces that would really put the show over the edge. Then there's the stress and worry about getting things in the right frames, mattes, etc. Art is expensive...that's one thing I would tell young students wanting to get into art. The supplies are spendy, plus it's usually an investment up front to get pieces made and ready to sell. In art school we had to load up on all the mediums: oils, pastels, acrylics, inks, brushes, canvases, etc. I have made a point of choosing to use materials that I come across in my day to day life. Almost any blank item that looks like it would hold up well under paints and inks becomes fair game. For example, when we had our house stucco done a few months ago, we got to see the sample colors on 12x12 inch pieces of stucco. I immediately thought, "I can use that," and I painted this here:
A lot of the work is keeping your hands moving at creating things. It's easy to get a little stale if you don't create for a few days, and there's nothing more frustrating than to have the artistic vision but to have your brain-to-hand relationship get clogged. I found that acrylics are easy to work and rework...plus, I don't have to wait too long to regroup and approach the canvas again. I can get pretty cranky if my artwork gets constipated, and there's nothing worse than when something starts well but doesn't end great. Sometimes that's just how it goes. It's like seeing a picture of yourself where you look fat and you just want to DESTROY it. Over the weekend I was going through my work and pulling out the ones I don't like and I put them in the trash. My husband asked if I knew I was leaving work in the trash and I wanted to retort with an "I can't STAND to look at that crap!! Why do they torment me with their ugliness?!" Missing the mark can be frustrating.
What is encouraging and inspiring, however, is when I feel like my art is connecting with people, inspiring people and making people think. My husband is my biggest champion, and I don't feel like it's because he has to be. Seeing him moved to tears when I painted him a self portrait and wove in lines from a Bukowski poem for Christmas a few years ago was a rich and powerful moment in our relationship.
He has been promoting my art show also, and when he sent an invite to one gal he works with, she replied with this:
"Wow…thanks for sharing this. This has not been the best day and wondering through Angie’s paintings has been a wonderful adventure - interesting, powerful and calming. I totally left my day behind and took a 10 minute vacation. I feel better right now than I have all day…"
I almost cried.
I heard a woman speaking at a prophetic arts conference I attended last year and she was talking about how a lady she knew who had been suffering from cancer and had a terminal diagnosis looked at a painting and suddenly she felt something change inside her. While she looked at the painting, the pressure in her head released and a fluid flowed out of her ear. She was healed. She knew she needed to get to her doctor, but the cancer had taken her hearing and given her migraines, and when the fluid flowed from her ear she could hear again and her head stopped aching.
I know that my work takes me into a different part of my brain and can completely transform how my day is going, how I feel about a situation, how I vent frustration and anger or express my love. There are times when I paint something before bed and first thing in the morning I pad along down the hallway in my bare feet to see what I painted the night before and if I still like it as much as I did with my sleepy eyes before bed. I feel connected with my Creator when I am creating. I feel like I'm 'the best me' when I paint about something I just learned or felt and I get it right. To have that validated is such an invigorating thing.
Other news...my husband and I came up with this...we're a little peeved at how things have been going here in the USA, so I worked up this illustration/design. Shirts available for sale! Hit it up on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/79980733/uncle-sam-fcks-you-t-shirt