Thursday, September 28, 2017

Large Stained Glass LXXX

 (Above:  Detail of Large Stained Glass LXXX.  Click on either image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Happily, I'm ahead of schedule for the work I want to make for the upcoming Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show!  Plenty more pieces are in various states of progression.  Thus, there will be more blog posts in the coming days.  Today I finished mounting Large Stained Glass LXXX.  Once a piece is mounted to acid-free mat board, I am able to photograph and frame it.

(Above:  Large Stained Glass LXXX.  Inventory # 4087.  63" x 23" framed with crystal-clear, anti-reflective glass.  $1300.)

Once a piece is framed, I make a label for the reverse and enter the work into my inventory book.  When I did this, I realized that LXXX is Roman numerals for EIGHTY!  That's eighty pieces in this very large series.

I couldn't help but to think of the first four.  I remember them very, very well ... from my very first museum show at the Sumter Gallery of Art, Sumter, SC.  That was eleven years ago.  The show was called Blues Chapel.  I started this blog in order "to hold on to some of the wonderful, artistic things that have happened to me".  Back in August 2006, my second blog post included that phrase and a single image from this installation ... showing the first four "Large Stained Glass" pieces.  (Click HERE to read that short post.)

At the time, I knew I'd tied up quite a bit of money framing those first four pieces.  I never thought they'd actually sell.  Selling wasn't the point.  Creating a the sacred feeling of a real chapel was my only intention, but later they did sell.  Even later, I got other shows for Blues Chapel and needed additional "Large Stained Glass" pieces ... depending on the venue, I sometimes needed eight.  Eventually, they were picked up at the Grovewood Gallery and are now important works in my Pro Panel booth at high end craft shows.  Sort of amazing!

Yet, when I realized that I've made eighty pieces in this series over the past eleven years, I also started thinking about time and documentation and writing ... whether on a publicly available platform or in the privacy of my house.  That's when I realized another, important milestone.  I've been writing "Morning Pages" for the past ten years ... since September 25, 2007.

Morning Pages are a daily exercise from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, a twelve step program for creative discovery.  Julia Cameron advised writing three pages of long-hand, stream-of-consciousness thoughts as a way to tap into one's truest, creative self.  I wrote long hand the first time I went through the program (summer 2004).  Then, I stopped writing for a while.  In 2007 I joined another group.  The group didn't last but I knew something good would come from it ... because I started writing Morning Pages again.  This time, however, I cheated and I'm still cheating! LOL!  I type them.

My laptop sits on my dining room table.  After breakfast, I type.  (By the way, I learned to properly type in high school.  I didn't take the one-semester class for college bound kids.  I took two years of daily, executive typing like business students took.  Back in high school, I regularly typed 100 words per minute ... five minute drills ... no more than five errors.)  For me, typing is the easiest and best way to tip into my self conscious.

There's another benefit to typing Morning Pages.  It is easy to dip back into myself because the entries are nicely organized.  There's a folder for every year.  At least once a month, I read about what I've done the year before, two years before, five, seven, and now a decade.  It is amazing to me to read about my own inspirations, doubts, and the many, many things that have happened in my life.  I have an accurate description of my own thoughts and feelings.  I am constantly amazed to read about art ideas that really did come into existence ... sometimes months or even a year after I first started thinking/writing about them.  I know what I thought of the art shows I've seen and the opinions I heard.  I know I never thought the day would come when I'd finish the eightieth Large Stained Glass piece!  Simply amazing!

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