12 June 2011

Time is your extra medium.

Phew, if it is not one thing, it is another. I am lucky to be in good health this year because I have over-committed myself in every way. Of course there is my job which always takes precedence due to a thing called bills. But then there are all these shows and events I am involved in. So once the year is over I am going to start phasing out a few things and streamlining others. With time so scarce, it becomes invaluable. Moreover, I need time not just to paint but to paint well.  I am a fast painter according to friends and I can "crank them out " as my quick-draws would attest but time is a mental thing a well. Driving, scouting new places, carpooling, framing, meetings, ...it can get so messy that by by the time you pull out your brush, your mind needs to travel from outer space to look at what you are doing. It rarely works.

"Barn and Silo" 9"x12" Sonoma. A quick painting due to weather.
-Choose two or three organizations you'd like to work with and work with them. Aspire for the best, the most difficult to get into or the ones that touch a nerve with you (they are local, you have many friends...) . Do not expect them to do all the work for you.  If you don't feel you are selling enough (while you are selling with others) or can't be bothered to volunteer a couple of times, it's time for you to leave .

"Veranda Breakfast, St Regis Hotel" 10"x8" An example of enhancement of a venue  through art events.
- Community events are nice and helpful but they are a LOT of work, ArtWalks, Demos, Fundraisers and such. These are events that want artists to enhance the community/organization so they are counting on you to make them look good. That's perfectly fine. But if you sell nothing, well, you just added to the excitement. This might be worth your while if you actually live in that community but if you are an outsider it might be too small a reward.

"Sworks, Eagle Rock" An example of a painting done quickly due to dwindling light.

-Painting plein air doesn't need to be a solitary event but painting alone allows you to not be tied up buy others people's schedules. If you paint with others, scout beforehand,  be ready to  accept physical limitations  and people with different schedules. Plan lunches and other buffers, you could even drive separately. Workshops are a different thing, the more the merrier.

05 June 2011

Lummis Day Print Show. Curated by me.

       I just came back from the first show I have ever curated. I was assigned to enhance the Lummis Day celebrations in Highland Park with an art show. My concept was simple given the space and budget limitations and the environment: Invite 8 accomplished printmakers to display and sell their work.
       Quite a lot of preparation came into this, form choosing the printmakers to designing postcards and acting as a liason between the Lummis Home Foundation , the Historical Society of Southern California and the artists. I can't say I enjoyed the process but what I can say is that it was a treat to deal with the wonderful artists that gave 120% of their effort to make the show a success. I even got to meet my (third) Consul General of Spain. After all, Charles Lummis had been knighted by King Alfonso XIII with the Order Of Isabel La Católica for his writings on the Californio population of this area of the world.

The artists that we displayed were, in no particular order,  Linda Lyke, Olivia Barrionuevo, Roderick Smith, Don Newton, Cidne Hart, Kathy Mas-Gallegos, Poli Marichal and Sonia Romero. The worked with our limited space and resources and were infinitely gracious. LOTS of people came by and admired their work, bought some and enjoyed the historical site.

 I am not sure I'll ever volunteer to do an event like this and I am so glad it is behind us now.  I really need to get painting and preparing my own shows but I think it is a bit of a duty to help  organizations like these that bring art and enjoyment to so many people.