Well, nothing like a little love note from the polar regions to keep me at the computer a little longer this morning. It’s 19 degrees at a quarter to noon and it’s been 19 since I got up. The wind is gusting up to 35 or 40 mph, and I have found dozens of reasons why I had to stay inside this morning. I even cleaned house!
My excellent webmistress has been working her fingers to the bone updating the website, and I hope you like the improvements. We made a changing banner on the home page, added a category for the new work, and added a link on each of the gallery pages to the statements about the various series. In case you need something to help you sleep while the winds are roaring and banging around out there.
Now to try and get through the holiday season. I will check in again in January, hopefully with news about my winter projects. Stay warm!
Hey! It’s kind of xmas-y! <sigh> Most of my paintings turn out to be some variety of red and green.
I know! It’s been a very long while since I posted anything to this blog. Reprehensible. But it’s not because I’ve been slacking off. Things have just been a little… chaotic. Last summer I was consumed with trying to pay the bills (and mostly failing!), the fall was spent trying to pay the bills (still failing) and getting ready for winter (moving exposed pipes inside and tightening up the drafty house) and then the winter came along! What an awful winter. So many days below 10 degrees. So much 40+ mph wind.
The pipes froze several times despite my insulating the heck out of them. I spent all my time getting up firewood and throwing it at the wood stoves and shoveling snow and unthawing pipes. Ughh. And still failing to pay the bills. THEN my dad had an accident, which led to his death 16 days later. Kind of traumatic. I am the administrator of his estate, and that has been rather time-consuming. I am far from done with that.
Anyway, despite all of this, I did actually get some painting done, due to the magic of [drumroll, please] … a deadline! Yes! My friend Kathryn Henry-Choisser, a fantastic artist, asked whether I’d share a show with her at the Hill Gallery in September. So I’ve had new work to show for months, I just didn’t think sitting here in front of the computer was a good use of my time. And don’t bother to tell me that I’m dreadful at PR and promoting my work, I can see that.
So here are the details: Hill Gallery, 708 N Robinson St, Richmond. September 24 - Nov 8. Opening reception Sept 25 (which is my birthday, coincidentally!) from 5 to 8 pm. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with some of my Richmond friends (if anyone down there still remembers who I am!) so I’m hoping you can stop by and help relieve the stage fright/show anxiety I experience when I have to be in public.
Yesterday I took the landscape paintings I’ve been working on all winter down to Roanoke, to Scott Kitt’s Hair Salon. He’s gotten them hung already, and is busy drumming up interest, for which he is getting exactly 0% commission. What a selfless guy! It’s a lot of work, which apparently he does because he loves art, and he’s just a nice human being. Many thanks to Scott. So if you’re somewhere near Roanoke, drop in a take a look at the work, and thank Scott for me.
One of the recently completed paintings that are now on view at Scott Kitt’s Salon on Brandon Ave. in Roanoke.
My time as a guest artist is up at WareHouse Gallery; thanks to Jean and T.J. for hosting my work these last couple of months! I will be taking the work down to Roanoke next, to Scott Kitt’s Salon, for display during June. Scott has a beautiful space at 1102 Brandon Avenue, where you can have your hair styled while taking in an ever-changing display of great local artworks. He won’t mind if you just come in to gawk at the art, though.
The painting above, something just finished, will be there. And next week I’ll try to post another fresh work, to whet your appetite. If you just got your refund check from the IRS and it’s burning a hole in your pocket, it might please you to know that Scott doesn’t take a commission on any art sold in his salon, so the prices will never be lower. And, I have to pay my Rockbridge County real estate taxes, so it would be excellent timing for me, too.
The last couple of days it’s been terribly hard to stay inside. I have a serious Vitamin D deficiency, I think… I just couldn’t make myself go inside and paint until the late afternoon, and then I didn’t get much done. Ahh well, spring fever, I guess. Just like in elementary school.
So the “exorcism” painting I had hoped would be done by this week is not. So, I’ll post this landscape, of a fall scene, ironically, that I finished a few weeks ago. This painting is down at WareHouse Gallery, along with the winter scene posted a few weeks ago and a couple of paintings of the creek. If you haven’t had a chance to go by the gallery yet, you really should. Also, the Lexington Rockbridge Studio tour is coming up the weekend of April 20-21, and WareHouse Gallery; Earth, Fire and Spirit Pottery and Jean Tremmel’s studio are on the route. Let’s hope we don’t have a recurrence of the snow from last week.
As they (who’s “they,” anyway?) say, if you don’t like the weather here, wait 10 minutes. That’s particularly true in March and April, isn’t it? Last week we had 8 inches of snow, yesterday it was 60 degrees and sunny, today it’s blustery and rainy for 10 minutes, then sunny and mild for the next 10. If it doesn’t get warm soon, I’ll need some extra-strength Prozac.
But speaking of changing up, I realized last week that the deadlines for a couple of juried shows are coming up soon (well, one deadline is today…I may have missed that one) and the work I want to enter is not landscape-related. So I spent the week being ill and procrastinating. Then I got up off the couch and finished up this painting, which is as-yet unnamed. I’ll entertain any interesting suggestions for a title. This painting falls into the previously referenced category of “exorcism.” Sorry all you landscape fans. I’ll post another landscape sometime soon.
I confess! The snowstorm is all my fault! Last Tuesday, just before that wretched snowstorm that dumped a foot of wet, heavy, something-akin-to-concrete snow, I was in the studio working on this painting of snow! I’m really sorry, I had no idea that I had the power to control the weather; all my previous attempts to make it rain, or make it stop raining, or especially to make the wind stop blowing had all come to naught, and I figured I was powerless to affect the weather!
I guess I know better now, and I’ll be more careful! Specifically, I am going up to the studio right now and get to work on some sunny, springlike paintings, with flowers and warm breezes depicted, perhaps also some butterflies and bunny rabbits! [ok, that’s going too far - perhaps the rabbits will be menacing.]
I was without power for 4 days, and while I am better off than most (I have gravity-fed water, a woodstove and plenty of oil lamps and candles) I really missed the company of the radio and the music on the stereo. After just a few hours of talking to myself, I found out I’m boring. Also, no lights in the studio meant only working in the daylight. And trying to read by oil lamp sucks. New appreciation for ol’ Abe Lincoln reading by lamplight in his cabin.
Because I missed posting last week, this week there are extra bonus images!
And for those of you who want to see how the “exorcism” paintings are coming along (all 3 of you!) here’s an update. More to come soon, as I am getting fed up with landscapes.
Well, February is the month that I always question my sanity. About living out here on the edge of civilization, on this windy damn hill, in a drafty old farmhouse. The weather was just dreadful last week, for the most part. Windy, cold, spitting snow or ice balls or rain or something. Backstage in theater they make the sound of thunder with a piece of sheet metal snapped like one is dusting a rug. That’s what my roof sounds like in a 40 mph wind. It’s hard to sleep. And lack of sleep makes me nutty. Keep that in mind when you see the work coming out of the mental pipeline a few weeks from now!
Seasonally, February is the “dark before the dawn,” though. The thought of spring keeps me hanging on, and in summer I NEVER question why I live here. And actually, I’m pretty happy to be here in the winter, as long as the wind’s not blowing. And I’m not running out of firewood. And the car is not leaving me stranded on the highway. I’m not a fan of emoticons, but this is where the frowny-face goes.
On a more positive note, I took six finished landscape paintings down to Jean & TJ Tremmel’s WareHouse Gallery last week, I am appearing there as a “guest artist,” for an undetermined period of time. Rockbridge area residents, if you haven’t visited their gallery yet, you really should. They have constructed a really unique space on the first floor of their historic old warehouse building to show the work of the resident artists and potters and the occasional guest. You can find them at 302 McLaughlin St in Lexington (across from Rail’s End, right next to where they parked the train station when they moved it), or on Facebook as WareHouse Gallery Art Pottery, and they will have a website up and running soon. If you drop in, please tell them I sent you. Maybe TJ will be marginally less crabby next time I show up unannounced [just kidding TJ!!].
As I get started painting again, I’m thinking of the two types of paintings I’m making, and the different motivations I have for making paintings. The most simple motivation is just the sheer joy of smearing that greasy stuff around on a surface. (Must be something Freudian about that, arrested in the anal stage or something! Read more)
To gratify that urge, painting anything will do. And I might as well paint something that will earn me a little money to pay the electric bill. Plus, it’s good exercise. Last winter, I just made some landscape paintings, done from photos (mostly very bad photos taken by me, but occasionally very good ones taken by Glenn Rose) that were very good practice at seeing. I’d been making up landscapes to go around my broken-up goddesses, and actually having something to look at was quite an education. So I call them, “Exercise.”
For me, exercise doesn’t remain satisfying for very long. In the physical sense, I like to have real work to do (splitting wood, working in the garden, or at least going for a hike) when I exercise, I don’t like “gratuitous” exercise (like walking on a treadmill.) In making art I have a great urge to be didactic, or narrative, or to get right down to it, to vomit up the contents of my brain onto at canvas (or sometimes upon a piece of mud). So that kind of painting I’m assigning to the category “Exorcism.” It satisfies the need to expel the images that are haunting me. It doesn’t much cross my mind whether anyone else would want to look at it or not. Sorry! I’m not thinking about you! I’m thinking about me! It’s all about ME!
So this week I’m posting some pictures of something I’m working on in both categories, and from now on I’ll just label them “exercise” or “exorcise.” Salud! and stay warm!
Two summertime paintings. I’ve been thinking about them since last time it was warm. Was that about 10 years ago?? Examples of “gratuitous exercise.” Though they make me happy, thinking about warm weather. (Why does February seem like the longest month??)
This painting below isn’t finished! I’m just posting it to give you an example of an “exorcism” type painting.
Jennifer Cox is an artist working in Rockbridge County, VA. She shows her work regionally, sometimes nationally, but not that often. She works in virtual isolation, so if you want to leave a comment, please do! Just try to be kind.