Friday, September 18, 2009

Not A Slacker, Thanks To Friends

Don't ever think artists are slackers. I thought I understood that when I was getting to know a young, successful artist named Hilary Williams last year, seeing first hand how hard she works. Hilary is, in a word, awesome. How many artists do you know who not only create beautiful work but support themselves with their art? If you do know of any, I'm not one of them. Yet?

For now, I am beginning to feel the weight of that heavy tidal current as it ebbs and flows. For much of the year I was happily creating creating creating and showing off my work to friends and family, and then show opportunities arose that I couldn't pass up. That's where the real work comes in: preparing to take advantage of "opportunities." I'll describe them from most recent to now, though all of the three shows are currently on view.

Cafe La Tartine, Redwood City. This popular downtown spot has nice dark brown walls, which offer up a rich foil to many of my current pieces-- and is right in the middle of the RWC Second Saturday Art Walk. My express thanks for this solo show opportunity goes to Bill Vinci, who is curator of La Tartine, a faaaabulous painter, and just really nice guy to hang out with. Getting ready for it meant printing and framing 13 images, which took weeks, and then carefully packing them in my little car, and hand delivering them to the cafe in the morning. While I had sketched
a plan for the relative arrangement
of them, Bill and the
walls had other thoughts, so I just went
with the flow. Here's a picture of Bill, too,
'cause he deserves it and makes
everything look good.

Gallery House, Palo Alto. This gallery is a surprise, not just because many visitors happen upon it unexpectedly as they walk through Printer's Ink Cafe (where Printer's Ink Bookstore used to be; the new owners, a la Silicon Valley, spell is "Printers Inc."), but because it is the oldest gallery in Palo Alto and was previously located on Ramona.

This show is titled "Paper, Paint, Canvas, Ink," and I was invited to join it by the three other featured artists -- Cassie Gay (monotypes), Sandy Cochran (oils) and Patricia Nojima (watercolors). It's really an honor to hang with them, and I am enjoying it in the literal sense too, as we've slurped margaritas while affixing stamps to the promo postcards, lunched and otherwise had moments to discuss our art processes, joys, disappointments, and everything
between. Being a part of this group and being a member of Gallery House has been a great experience -- but, still, a lot of work.

Here I have 7 of my pieces hanging, and the rule here is that feature shows have to have 90% new work--so I was working until late many nights to finish them in time before printing, drying, matting, framing, and all that there. The show comes down this weekend, but my learning experience of it will last. Oh, yeah-- my husband (the faaaabulous Darrel Rhea) deserves credit for racing over and helping me hang this one--already on the way knowing I would need the help even before I made the call. So, here's his cute self with hammer in hand for you to gawk at.

Then, before all this, several of us hung our work at Stanford Blood Bank, Palo Alto. This is thanks to Trevlyn Williams, who paints lovely landscapes, is also a member of Gallery House and who curates for the blood bank, organizing new work there every quarter. This was my second time there, and is somewhat ironic. I try to donate blood to this very facility (Hillview location) as often as possible, but because I visited some rural areas in China last spring -- including a goat breeding farm, and yes that is another story -- the blood bank tells me I am not a viable donor. Goat virus? Billy flu? Don't know, but for the next few quarters I can at least offer up blood, sweat and tears in another medium.

Next time I'll talk about all the other donations having to do with art...

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