Sunday, January 29, 2017
I didn't admit my secret desire to "become an artist when I grew up" until 2001. I was forty-two years old at the time. I worried that it was just a pipe-dream, that I started too late, and that my lack of an academic background would prevent me from being taken seriously. None of those things impacted my creative endeavors ... amazingly ... not in the least.
Back in 2001 I was wonderfully mentored by impressionistic landscape oil painter Stephen Chesley and other well established, professional artists. I was told that storage would become an issue. I didn't believe it. Well ... guess what? Storage has become a significant issue. My husband jokes that I need at least one solo show at all times. Otherwise, all my finished artwork will not fit into the nearly 4000 square feet that is our home/business. Right now, I have twenty-four pieces on loan for a show at Benedict College. (I'll blog about this later!) I delivered the work five days before I had to pick up the vast majority of artwork from my solo show at City Art. Thus, I found places for all the returning work.
Back in 2001 I was also told that most serious, professional artists spend as much time on "the business of artwork" as in their studios actively engaged in the process of making the work. I didn't believe it. Well ... guess what? It's true. Between writing exhibition proposals and various artist statements, articles, and researching residencies, juried exhibitions, and other opportunities ... blogging and website maintenance ... photographing and cataloging the work ... sharing images to social media ... and keeping equipment and materials in order ... well ... I spend as much or even more time on these activities as I do in my studio. Art is HARD! In 2001, I had no idea.
There was one thing, however, that I wasn't told in 2001. I wish someone had mentioned that using Roman numerals is a true pain. I'm mildly to moderately dyslexic. IV and VI look very much the same to me! XI and IX are problematic too. No computer program sorts file names accurately when Roman numerals are involved. Some of the numbers are impossibly long. Others are oddly short. Forgetting a digit is easy too.
It's too late to undone my system. So, I will continue despite the many issues. To date, I have four sizes of "Stained Glass Windows" with Roman numerals: Windows, Lancet Windows, Lunettes, and Large Stained Glass Windows. I have my "In Box Series" which is now number over two-hundred-fifty and there are "Relics" and "Artifacts" too. They all have Roman numerals.
If I had to do it all over again, I would NEVER have started with Roman numerals! (Okay ... I kind of like them. They seem so steeped in history and remind me of elementary school days and the tales of the ancient world. LOL!) Still, if I have one piece of advise for an artist just starting out: DON'T USE ROMAN NUMERALS! They'll drive you crazy!
This blog post includes the work that was finished during last week and over this weekend. I'm already making other pieces. Everything is headed to either my solo show at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, NC, February 17 - March 26, 2017 or to the American Craft Council Baltimore Show, February 24 - 26. I'll be at the Grovewood Gallery doing demonstrations on both February 17and 18 from 11 - 4. I'm excited!
Posted by Susan Lenz at 2:59 PM