PLAYA in the remote Oregon Outback.)
It's 2017! Where has time gone? I just realized that I passed my tenth blogging anniversary about six months ago. Later this year will mark ten years of writing daily (or at least five times a week) "Morning Pages", an creative exercise developed by Julia Cameron and detailed in her 12-week Artist's Way program. Writing, whether for myself, on a blog post, or for any of the many requests for "an artist statement" is at the very heart of my creative life. It is how I remember visions of inspiration, the ideas for artistic exploration, and especially my feelings on any given day. At this time of year, I also think about the future ... where I want to go, who I want to be around, what I want to say with my artwork, and how to be accountable to the resolutions I put in place.
Past years' resolutions have included: Getting gallery representation, submitting solo show proposals to at least fifteen venues, and exploring 3D found art sculptures. Last year I wrote: This year, I plan to change the way I work, my very schedule and the
location in which I operate. With luck and good planning, I might find
myself busier, happier, more excited, and working in productive ways
with the respect I want most ... my own. (To read the entire blog post, CLICK HERE.)
Well, early last year I moved my studio ... from Gallery 80808/Vista Studios back to my house ... which actually meant I had more space but the challenge of daily interruptions and sharing the building with my husband/business partner Steve. Fortunately, we work very, very well together. After a year, I am pleased to say that I am constantly working, happier than before, definitely excited, and more productive than ever. I'm still working on my issues of low self-esteem but that will likely remain a lifelong battle.
Yet part of last year's resolution was to WORK BIG. I'd seen installations at the Renwick in Washington, DC and thought to myself, "Susan, you could do that! Why don't you?" I knew my own answer; it is a limiting factor. I don't work any bigger than I can afford ... in terms of both finances and storage/working space. I don't trust my own dreams enough to throw them open to the world with an expectation that the needed assistance will be found. So ... I'm going to keep that part of last year's resolution for this coming year. I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to tackle this ... but I'll try!
How would you dream up a project that you can't do alone and can't pay for with your own resources? How would you pitch such an idea to others? Who are "the others"? Ah ... these are my questions!
This blog post also shows the last art created in 2016. I shipped two large, heavy boxes back home after a profound experience at PLAYA, an art residency program in the remote Oregon Outback. One box contained my Bernina 1008. It was "dead". I think I ran it into the ground (or at least wore out one of the internal belts. I checked. It isn't damaged ... just loose ... as if stretched beyond its limits). Berninas have superior motors but perhaps this older one didn't really want to run constantly for at least seven to eight hours a day. Yet, in doing this I managed to create thirty fiber vessels. They look great.
The two Lancet Windows were made in as many days ... working hard and long hours ... because the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville requested more work! I'm happy to report that the Grovewood is honoring me with a solo show, Susan Lenz: In Stitches, Feb. 17 - March 26, 2017. 2016 was a very, very good year at the Grovewood and I'm hoping 2017 is even better! Best of all, the Grovewood will be introducing my fiber vessels to Asheville during this exhibit! I'm thrilled.
Today while thinking about my New Year's resolution and the desire to WORK BIG, I got an acceptance from ArtFields, a nine-day art competition and festival in Lake City, SC that happens to award over $100,000 in prize money. It will be held from April 21 - 29, 2017 ... and it will include my installation Threads: Gathering My Thoughts. While this installation is "big", I know I can think "bigger". Here's to 2017!
I am linking this blog post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber artwork.