I gotta say, it's been really great having an actual rewarding goal to work toward. I need 10-15 pieces for the sudden joint show in November, and I know that I will get it done. This last week, an 11x15 painting tried to kick my ass but I showed it the scissors and it relented. That is to say, I messed up the 3-hour background, and simply cut the entire thing out with my scissors. Because paper is very forgiving of mistakes like this! Try that on a stretched canvas or a wood panel? Good luck!
Honestly I'm more worried about getting time off from work for the gallery reception (and possibly the drop off/pick up process) than I am about completing all of these spur-of-the-moment paintings. My productivity this year has blasted previous years. I am pretty much "in practice" now.
Framing can be time consuming, even when I'm using pre-fabricated frames. This is why I paint to standard sizes! A good deal of my frames were wired in a landscape position, however, which meant rewiring half of them. My last show had a bunch of small canvas work as well, so I don't have enough frames for sure. This is why I'm doing some of this now, so I am better prepared for late October. There are a bunch of 8x8" frames, which means I may have to do some of the paintings to fit those. Yeah, this is really backwards for an artist! But I do work better with specific guidelines, and I don't have limitless storage for frames upon frames upon frames. Let it work for you!
A final trial and error, I'm addressing some shipping changes for the ACEOs. Remember those? I need to remember to make them once in a while. Perhaps the popularity of ACEO is dying out a bit? Occasionally I sell one and I feel weird about paying parcel shipping prices for a $10 artwork. These cards are so small and inexpensive, that I have been considering sending them in a letter envelope, rather than the oversized photo mailer. How often do letters actually get bent? Is this a genuine concern? Personally, I feel pretty good about small letters making it to their destination. For the ACEO (and future tiny and thin printed media) I think I'll put a bit of mat board into a simple letter envelope and call it a day. Higher priced artwork will still get the photo mailer treatment, but for now, the mini ACEO artworks will be "flying coach" to make them even more affordable than they already were.
This week was a bit of a challenge. There was a lot of scheduling mess to clean up at work, which meant I had a random day off here and there but no rest. Milo came down with what seemed like colitis - he is a very high-strung fellow (like me!) so sometimes his organs get inflamed and sore. A cat doesn't know why his belly hurts so much, so naturally, he becomes afraid to eat anything in case we are poisoning him I guess??
He refused to eat for two days.
He was up for snuggles and attention, but if I introduced a bit of food into our space he would immediately stop purring and turn his back on us. I'm no cat psychologist, but it seemed that he was just being a jerk at that point.
I went out and got some cat "junk food" - his favourite crunchy treats, a can of Fancy Feast, some weird chicken "rope" thingies... For about 7 seconds it seemed like he might stay on the couch as I shook the treat bag, but he was unable to resist. Perhaps just getting anything into his stomach made him feel just better enough to try eating meals again. To start taking his heart medication again.
I've never had an aging indoor cat before. My parents' cats were all forced outdoors so when they got sick or injured they simply... disappeared. I don't know how to deal with declining felines. I don't know how to decide whether it's time to begin his traumatic end, or if he's just a day away from bouncing back. What if we're wrong?
On a lighter note, I applied to the local little art hub to put my artwork on display next year. I got a phone call the other day and learned that an artist dropped their half of a joint show this November and I was invited to fill the gap! It's not like I would say no! It does mean having a lot less notice and time to finish enough paintings. It does mean showing during a dark, wintery kind of month. It also means I can't just book that week off for vacation and that I will be at the mercy of my workplace's general scheduling disasters.
BUT HEY, LET'S DO THIS.
It's quite summer now. Milo just lays around, trying to find a cool spot on the floor. Cats don't seem to understand our tricks: leaving frozen cloths on the hard floor, putting buckets of cool water everywhere, dampening the cats themselves... "Look at this cloth, it's super cold... just lay on it. Lay on it, you'll like it! OKAY FINE SIT THERE AND BE GRUMPY."
Some wildfire smoke has rolled in for the week and it's making the sky look super weird. When I look out the window (in air conditioned workplace), it looks cold and foggy outside. I can't tell if it's overcast for rain, or if it's just a smoke blanket. The sun looks like a red moon. It's not so bad as to affect us much (I coughed like, twice, so whatever), and the makeshift "shade" can be a relief.
I could do without the nightly snoring, though.
And suddenly I am swung back into Busy mode and it's kind of great. That lazy time of video games and half-assed sketchbookery was actually a bit of a drag. Of course, everything tends to swing out at once - A scheduling snafu threw me into a 6-day-stretch at work, at the same time that I've been getting commissions. The hardest part about splitting a passion and a day job, is pausing the passion to go to the day job for 6 days, and then try NOT to lose track of what I'm doing. Things get lost, forgotten. Plans are abandoned. Paintings are half finished.
Commissions can be scary. Especially when it involves things I haven't tried yet. The scariest part, I realize now, is trying to succeed with a vision that isn't mine, that I've never seen. I have to rely on short notes through emails and hope that I can "see" what you see. And until that project is done, I am a workaholic mess. Hilarious disasters abound. I wish I could share more of it, but it isn't truly mine to share.
So stuff has been tossed on the backburner this past weekend. But I'm back now. Well... there's a second request I should do this week. But for now, there's a bird & market painting that's been waiting for me since last week, and I'd like get back to it!
Hello! I'm Melissa, and here you'll find some behind-the-scenes footage of an artful life. Won't you join me?