Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. That’s certainly been the case for me this summer.
An art broker who has seen my work at the Decatur Fine Arts Exhibit these past few years sold two of my larger collages to Emory Healthcare to hang in their clinics and/or offices. I got my asking price, so I’m thrilled. (She’ll probably at least double my price when she invoices the buyer, but that’s the cost of doing business.) She wants me to stay in touch as other large pieces become available. Say goodbye to “Nose Tweakers” and “Wine Before Its Time” unless you run across them at a medical clinic in Atlanta.
Speaking of other large pieces, I’ve been laboring all summer over a 24”x36” wood artists panel of a view of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon done in cut paper collage. It’s coming along very slowly, because, as usual, I labor over the selection and placement of every little piece. I haven’t yet decided how I will construct the wildflowers in the foreground, but right now I’m leaning towards doing them in embroidery floss.
And, last but not least, Art Kudos, an international online art exhibit, has awarded me an Honorable Mention for “Canadian Rocky Mountain High.” The framed original of that collage sold during this year’s Decatur exhibit, but as the artist, I continue to own the rights to the image. If I can continue to make money off this collage even after I’ve sold it, well, then that’s not a bad thing. http://www.artkudos.com/2015/awards.html?imageNumber=9182_1
I know I often speak of how entering juried and judged art exhibitions is gambling because you can’t control the variables which affect the outcome. Even so, it’s annoying when a blatant error or inconsistency occurs. At a respectable exhibit I entered recently, the winner in my category of mixed media was clearly a photograph, and photography is its own category. The catalogue accompanying the exhibit identified the winning piece as a photograph, and even though the label hanging next to the piece said it was mixed media, there was no evidence that the photograph had been physically altered with any other medium. There wasn’t anything mixed about it! But the winner was part of the community hosting the exhibit, and often that makes a difference when awards are given out. No, I didn’t complain, but I have lost respect for the organization that sponsored the exhibit.
Lastly, my crazy idea to translate the style of my collage work into crewel embroidery had some inherent flaws. The fabric I chose—old plain muslin left over from a previous project—was too tightly woven to push through a large embroidery needle loaded with two strands of yarn. So I have replaced the muslin with large-weave linen designed for use with what we used to call “peti-point” (fine counted cross stitch). That works much better. Now if I can just find the strength and coordination in my increasingly arthritic hands to manipulate the needle . . .
The Jury is Still Out
As a parting shot, here’s a project I’m working on at home. It’s the oval top of a small oak drop-sided table that I’m painting. Getting the pattern right was by far the hardest part, and now the painting is painstakingly slow-going. But I love the mindlessness and precision of painting the simple shapes of the pattern. It’s great therapy. I have no idea what this will end up looking like, and how much color I want to add to the other table parts. I don’t even know what we’ll do with it when it’s done. This is my version of a Tibetan mandala, for the joy is in the act of creation.