I know, I’ve said it before, it’s been a while since my last post. I guess when I started this blog I thought I’d never run out of ideas. I haven’t run out of ideas, just time. And so while I was thinking about all this, I thought I’d sit down and blog about something no one wants to talk about when they have a blog, which is that some of us are okay with not blogging the commonly accepted minimum of twice weekly posts.

I’ve read all of the blogs that encourage me to blog. I’ve gotten newsletters that tell me the way to build a following is to be a faithful and frequent blogger. I’ve listened to creative coaches, successful people with “brands” and lots of others that talk about how they got there through blogging. I am happy that worked for them, but the truth of it is that I don’t always have the time and energy to share and be on “transmit.” So there, I said it, and I know some of you are sitting there shaking your heads and others are nodding in agreement. Don’t worry, you don’t have to tell me which one you are unless you really want to.

I figure I only want to take up space in the blogosphere if I have something that I think is interesting to share and is worth your time. So here are the highlights of the last several weeks:

In May I was in New York to attend the opening of the show, Making their Mark, I curated at Susan Eley Fine Art. Included in the show was David Kidd, Chase Langford, Audrey Phillips, Maria O’Malley and Lisa Pressman.  Here are a few snapshots of the opening, courtesy of Maite Agahnia, an amazing painter, who flew out to hang out with me and see the show.

Maria O'Malley, SOLD!

Chase Langford

 
Lissa Pressman, Audrey Phillips and me

In June, I taught a lot. I had a beeswax collage workshop that was a huge hit. I spent a weekend in Three Rivers California teaching monotype for the Three Rivers Arts Alliance, an organization that proves you don’t need a ton of people and a boat load of money to infuse art into a community. If you have never been to Three Rivers, which sits just outside the Sequoia National Park, add it to the bucket list. I stayed at the Sequoia Motel, a charming place, the kind with the pool in the front, owner on site and a dog to greet you.  It reminded me so much of the kinds of places we’d stay at when on family road trips. There weren’t a ton of restaurants in town, but then again everyone was so friendly and hospitable that I had dinner invitations every night. The workshop was at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center, a peaceful place up in the hills with amazing views. I can’t wait to go back.

The classroom view from St. Anthony's

Sequoia Motel

So that’s what I’ve been up to, oh, and painting of course. Don’t know when I’ll blog again. I’d love to say that it’ll be real soon, but seeing as how I showed my cards in the first paragraph, who knows when that will be. I do, however, promise to try and make it worthy of a blip of space in the blogosphere.

“I feel so bad I couldn’t talk to you!” was the message from my friend Maite Agahnia this morning. She and her fellow artists of the art group Art6West had an amazing opening last night at India Street Gallery in Little Italy here in San Diego. I was thrilled she didn’t much time to talk to me, but not because I didn’t want to talk to her.

Maite Agahnia, 5th Ave., 9:44pm

Maite Agahnia, 5th Ave., 9:44pm

To my thinking, it meant that she was sharing her work and inspiration with people who didn’t already know her or know her work. That’s the point of an opening – it is a chance to share your work with new people. I’ve been lucky to watch the work progress over the last several months. I know about as much as a third person could know about the work, which is a real privilege. Last night was the chance to share it with others and by the crowds that were there, plenty of people now know her and her work and I couldn’t be happier we didn’t get to sit and chat for very long!

I also got the chance to briefly talk with the other ladies in the show, three of whom I know as well. Cree Scudder has some amazing new work that is pushing into new territory.  Brenda York continues to inspire me with her smart whimsy, both in her work and her life. Bronle Crosby blew me away with her technical skill in her portraits of the other 5 women in the show. I had to laugh as my husband and I walked over to see them. I had introduced him to Cree and Brenda, both women he’d never met before, and when he saw their portraits on the wall it was great to hear him react, “Hey, that’s the Brenda we were just talking too! Oh my god that’s good! And the other woman you were talking to!!  And there’s Maite’s portrait!!” If I ever needed a portrait of someone, she’s the one to do it without a doubt.

It’s an amazing show. Go see it if you can, it’s up until February 20th. They’ll have a closing event on the 17th from 5-7pm if you want to chat with them in person which I highly recommend. So I am curious, who do you talk to at openings?

This past weekend was the LA Art Show. I try to go every other year, and this was an “on” year. I was curious to see some of the new galleries, all of the Chinese galleries and the work in general. My friend Maite Agahnia went with me, it’s always more fun to be astounded with a friend.

First stop was Chase Langford‘s studio. I’m curating a show in New York, more on that later but I wanted to see his work.   Amazing work, check it out, and you’ll be hearing and seeing more as the show gets closer. It was a highlight of the day to be sure.

We arrived at the Convention Center, grabbed a bite, and headed into the show. The crowds were large. It was hard to see some of the art, I felt herded through some of the aisles, taking on the pace of the crowd because everyone was so packed in. The crowd was mixed, some collectors, general public curious, the occasional art student and the artists dressed so as to be sure to be spotted as the creatives in the crowd.

Maite and I made one round, chatted with Sue Greenwood and Maria O’Malley with Sue Greenwood Fine Art and then decided it was time to have a drink and a seat. We grabbed a beer and found a small spot in the lounge to hang out and chat. We sat down next to a young woman who was having her ear chatted off by a man in a UCLA track suit, talking about college and tuition and such. I over heard her mention that she wanted to go to UCLA art school, that she had just sent in her application and was waiting to hear. He proceeded to pontificate on all of the perils of the art world, apparently he was a biochemist at UCLA and knew all about how hard it was to make it in the art world. Call me a skeptic but I didn’t think he knew his ass from his elbow when it came to being an artist. I asked Maite, “Do you think I should interrupt?”  “Good luck, it doesn’t look like he’s going to quit anytime soon,” she said.

I made a break for it, tapped her on the knee and told her that I overheard where she wanted to go to school and that I went to school there. You’d think I told her I was Santa in the off season. Instantly the old man glared at me, how dare I break his trance over the young impressionable! She had numerous questions for me, and so I answered them honestly. She wanted to know was I glad that I went there? Was it worth it? What am I doing now?

All of a sudden felt like I was seeing myself as a 17 year old girl, curious and scared and unsure but charging forward anyway. It was like I went back to give myself advice I so wished I’d had then. Check out the faculty, know what you want to learn and see if they are going to teach it to you, be true to who you are and find the school that fits you. I assured her that she could make it, not to listen to people who tell you all the reasons why it’s not practical to be an artist, why they should just do it on the side and be responsible and get a proper degree. Gratefully, this is when the man got up and left.

I probably should have given her my card, but I was so in the moment that I didn’t think about it. I suppose it’ll be one of those instances we’ll both look back on later, a coincidental passing, a momentary connection. And I wonder if she’s telling the story today, about how a woman who went to UCLA sat down next to her and answered a bunch of her questions about art school. What are the odds? Indeed, what are the odds.

I was lucky enough to have four amazing women in an impromptu printmaking session last week.  We were working with carborundum collagraphs and monotype. Since it was only two days, we really tried to pack in as much as possible, with almost everyone bringing their lunch day two so that they could work straight through lunch.

It’s funny when you have such a short period of time to work.  Sometimes it works in my favor – the pressure makes me focus and be efficient. Other times, I cave to the pressure to produce and get very little done and feel quite frustrated, which usually leads me to call a friend and talk about getting a job at either Costco or Home Depot.  This was one of those times. I needed to get a commission done and I just wasn’t feeling it. It could have been because the series is about 4 years old. I’ve moved on and it just doesn’t excite me anymore. I also didn’t really feel giddy about the color palette, I remember that I made the work in the early spring and since it’s summer the palette didn’t feel right.

My friend and fellow artist Maite was in class and I think the morning of the second day she felt about the same.  She asked me to step outside and see if I could find her mojo, that it had mysteriously disappeared from the day before. I suggested that maybe my mojo left with her mojo to go get a cocktail?  In the end, I decided to put on some Sinatra and see if that didn’t cure it. By track 2 or 3 I was reminiscing about my honeymoon, the day we sailed around the Dog Islands wing on wing and anchored off that private island that drew the attention of the security guards that interrupted our turkey sandwich lunch….

Anyway before you know it we were both back “on” and working with less angst, especially Maite, who produced out some super amazing work by the end of the day. Was it Sinatra that brought back the mojo? I can’t say for sure, but the next time I get stuck you better believe old blue eyes and I are going to be belting out “I’ve got the World on a String” at full blast!