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June 22, 2011

Gallary show wrap-up

So I turned in the keys to the Indi Go Artist Co Op / Gallery this afternoon. For seven days I was responsible for and had control over one of the more beautiful gallery spaces I’ve seen. I took the opportunity to display the best of my studio art from the last 15 months; a period during which I re-introduced myself to a studio practice.  All told I produced over 21 new pieces, and effectively covered two levels of a decently sized gallery. Most importantly, this is my first solo show, and the fact that the gallery wall’s didn’t looked particularly empty is an absolute triumph in my book.  These last few months have been dominated by 1) my desire to make enough good work to successfully cover Indi Go’s walls, and 2) find the time to produce 5 drawings a week for this blog. In the end those goals came into conflict, and with my working on the paintings either very late at night or very early in the morning, my sketch-time diminished. Ah well – at that particular moment, the gallery show is what I needed to be doing.

Basically I’m an average artist who grew up both painting and drawing. I went to art school, got burned out on gallery work, and have largely focused on commercial 2D and 3D art for the past 8 years. Here’s how I made the transition back to a ‘showing’ fine-artist:
 

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– 15 months ago, two things coincided;

  • years of encouragement from the love of my life resulted in my slowly, painstakingly transitioning from strait-sketchbook art to pen and ink work that began to look less like illustration and more life the fine art paintings I used to do (still in a sketchbook though)
  • a very learned friend decided to critique my illustrations from a fine-arts perspective, giving me a solid dose of the old crit feel that I enjoyed back in college

THEN:

– a very large piece of wood fell into my lap. I promptly made a wall out of it, and dramatically set it up in the corner of our living room

– a flurry of purchaces took place. Paper, inks, brushes, ect. I began making a very large ink painting, using said wall as a stable surface

– i severely hurt myself riding my bike and spent over a month and a half on crutches, staring at the half-finished painting. Creepily, it stared back.

– freed from crutches, I completed the first piece, and opened a facebook account for the first time just to show it off. The response was positive, and I was elated.

– 8 months later I had enough work to show friends. The same one who critiqued the earlier illustration work forwarded the photos – on his own and without permission / provocation – to a local gallery. Roughtly 3 minutes later I had a scheduled solo show with 4 months to prepare. And that about brings us up to speed. Choosing to host a solo-show instead of allowing the gallery to partner me with someone else was terrifying, but I wanted to work, not play. I needed to produce art to the beat of a drum, and I feel I did just that. And shockingly (to me most of all) both others and myself seemed to genuinely enjoy looking at the art. That’s not to say it’s particularly fantastic work, but good enough to stand in front of for awhile. To not spoil the food, wine and good company at the reception. And that’s as far as I’ve gotten. If I can make work, and every 12 to 16 months throw a party for my friends, but instead of watching reruns of Arrested Development we can stare at my art for awhile, well then I’ll be very, very happy.

But the first show is done. Tomorrow I’m cleaning my art space and starting a list of new supplies to buy. New colors, new brushes, new paper. New paper?! I can’t wait.

 


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