Saturday, May 09, 2020

Reboot

When I was a young child, I watched Looney Tunes cartoons on Saturday mornings. My favorites included Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote. I actually felt bad for the coyote, always losing out to the mono-syllabic roadrunner, even when he had the best-contrived schemes. The worst was when he got an ACME anvil dropped on his head.

Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I sort of feel like I've had an anvil dropped on my head this year.

What does the future hold? There will be brighter days ahead,
although it will take time and adaptation.

I thought things were off to a sufficiently rocky start when we abruptly lost our dog, Marlon, in early January and then elective hip surgery brought with it a very protracted recovery that I didn't fully appreciate beforehand. I spent a lot of frustrating time laid out on our couch. And that was just in the first couple of months of 2020, before the pandemic really hit. Duh!

Since that time, like you, I've been re-orienting myself to a world transformed by Covid-19. My hip is doing better now - that's me hiking in a Tennessee state park just last week. I am extremely fortunate. I have not gotten sick and I'm able to continue working. I am grateful. I've really focused on washing my hands and keeping a low profile. As an artist, this whole "stay home" and "social distance" thing really isn't that much of a leap (!)

Nonetheless, my heart aches for what this country and the world are going through. I take my news updates in metered doses these days and I'm trying to regain my focus. To be candid, although I've had more time to spend at home and not be on the road to various art shows like I usually am at this time of year, I haven't exactly been super productive. I've been anxious and sad. Although at least my garden is the best it has ever looked in all of the years since I began doing outdoor art shows.

As more time goes on, I can see that it will be quite a while before outdoor art shows and other social gatherings return to our lives. For this reason, I will soon launch a new portfolio web site to reboot my fine art business to this new reality. Among the enhanced features that will be available on my new portfolio web site:

  • Print On Demand - Select prints of my artwork in the sizes, media, and presentation (matted, framed, etc) that you want.
  • Wall Preview - Visualize my paintings and prints on the wall of various room settings
  • Augmented Reality - Preview my artwork on the walls of your home or office

Just as restaurants have adapted to our world with enhanced carry-out options and we've all become well-versed in Internet video conference calls, there will need to be an evolution in how artists connect to interested patrons. I look forward to sharing this next step forward in my business and I thank you for your support and interest.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Downtime

Since 2005, each summer and fall has been a flurry of activity for me with my artwork as I travel throughout the eastern United States to exhibit my paintings at outdoor art shows and festivals. But with the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in the United States, these events are now thrown into disarray as are so many other aspects of our everyday lives. The change has been swift and jarring, to say the least. As I write this, it's not clear to me whether there will be any outdoor art shows in 2020 given the severity of the threat facing us.

I am fortunate that my spouse has a stable income. So while this pandemic will definitely take a bite out of my livelihood, I am able to continue painting and working. Many of the artists with whom I've become friends over these past years while doing outdoor art shows are not so fortunate and my heart aches for them. This crisis is an existential threat to their livelihoods and work. Every artist who participates in these shows works extremely hard and routinely accepts a level of uncertainty concerning weather, national politics, consumer sentiment, and more. But this unforeseen circumstance is utterly devastating.

Without my usual schedule of shows to do, I'm treating this downtime as an opportunity to create some more ambitious works based on ideas that I've had in my mind for a while, sometimes years. When I get caught up in my show schedule, it's not always possible to tackle big ideas or to take the time to experiment, a true luxury. Perhaps one silver lining in all of this virus disruption is that I have the time now, and I intend to use it, much like a sabbatical semester for an academic. In addition, my hip surgery earlier this year kicked my ass with a longer-than-anticipated recovery, so the additional time to rehabilitate has come at a good time. It is hard to do art shows on a bum hip, that's for sure.

If you are reading this, then I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well and staying healthy throughout this challenging time. Let's all hope that we can get past this while keeping family and friends safe. After things return to normal, please remember to support your favorite small businesses, artists, and performers as best you can. This is an unprecedented time in the world, and your support will be needed.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Patient Patient. Sort of.

Marlon my beautiful and beloved studio mascot, 2014-2020.

Well, the new year of 2020 is off to a "mixed-ish" start, to use a trendy term. My husband and I unexpectedly lost our beloved dog, Marlon, in early January. He was only 6.5 years old, far too young, but he had heart cancer, a nasty, silent killer that didn't reveal itself until the day we had to say goodbye to him.

About a week and half later, I had hip surgery. It was planned and elective following some issues last year. But then my designated driver and husband got into a minor car accident with our brand new car. Luckily, he was not seriously injured.

Blech-hh, to quote Charlie Brown.

So, I'm looking forward to February. February will be a much-needed reboot on this new year. I'm still rehabbing from hip surgery and it's going well, but too slowly for my taste. I'm excited about my art show schedule as it shapes up with favorite events that I've done in the past together with brand new events. But I'm not well enough to paint yet, so the hardest thing right now is to just be patient. I'm not a very patient patient, but I'm trying.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for new paintings. I've been sketching and working out new ideas that I'll tackle, just as soon as I'm off of my crutches. Uff-dah.