Time to Breathe and a New Painting

I first joined an art collective in 2019 and then soon becoming one of the admins. Now, I’m the president of the board of directors for the gallery, and that is because nobody else wants to do it and I can’t say I blame them. I took the position because I could see that our group really needed some cohesive management and I’m pretty good at that. Also I’ve got tons of experience in web design and web management and those things were non-existent before I stepped in.

Each year the gallery puts on a State-wide juried art show, which was how I got into the gallery in the first place. Now, I manage the submission website for the show, handle the invited artists and the juror, produce image files and videos for PR purposes, manage the opening ceremony, and oversee all the graphic design for the show. (I create some of the ads but not all.) This process all starts many months ahead of the show but it all comes to bear during December and right up to the show opening in mid-January.

In late December, just as things were going into high gear, my kid was involved in a car accident that left her without transportation, without resources to get new transportation, and physically hurt- all after just started her first adult full time job. There’s more to all that but it’s all details- and there were a lot. I am so proud of her. With support from me and her father, she picked herself up, brushed herself off, and went forward. She took Ubers to and from work until we could get a car rented for her. She didn’t miss a day. She went car shopping and found one. She feels physically and emotionally better now and things for her are finally settling into a good routine again.

Understandably I didn’t have a lot of time for art during any of this. Pottery is a different head than painting, and I did try to spend a few hours a week making things out of clay. That almost satisfied my need to create but the yearning to paint is always there.

Also, the winter quarter at the college started right after the turn of the year. I have 25 students in Art Appreciation. As an online-only course, there is no travelling but still lots of interaction with my students. I really prefer it this way. But the timing meant there were new tasks added to the ever-burgeoning list.

The art show opened 2 weeks ago.
It was a success, and the show itself is very good. I actually got in this year, too! (The muffler painting “All That Quiet”) As jurying is always a blind process, there is no identifying info that the juror sees on any of the submissions, so I feel comfortable entering. Each year we have a different juror. Some years I get in, and some years I don’t. It’s arbitrary and capricious, so I try not to take it personally when I don’t. That’s a wee bit hard to do when I don’t agree with some of the juror’s choices, though!

Well here it is the end of January. I spent almost 2 weeks doing nothing much, and then was able to find the mental energy to return to my easel, where a nice big canvas was waiting for me. I had blocked in the basic composition about 2 months ago.

And here’s the painting. This is a peony I saw at Heronswood Gardens in Kingston, Washington. The BLP and I went there on my birthday in June. As always, I took tons of reference photos.
No title yet but I’m sure one will come to me eventually. This is oil on canvas, 24″ x 24″ with a 2″ gallery edge and the painting continues over those edges. I like that this means it looks finished and doesn’t need to be framed.

Next, I’ll probably be working on a portrait of a pileated woodpecker. it will be paired with a poetry entry in an Ars Poetica event the gallery will be hosting in April. It needs to be finished within the next 4 to 6 weeks so it has time to dry.

I’ll let you know how it goes.