Saturday, November 21, 2009

Work in Progress

Here's another photo of the same painting, but with a bit more of my messy studio. You can see the easel that I slapped together last year when I was trying to get ready for the One of A Kind Show in Toronto. I'm not very happy with it anymore, especially with the fact that I can't move a painting up and down while it's on there. This is an issue if I'm working on the bottom of larger piece, because I basically need to kneel to be able to use the brush at the right angle. And I need a screw driver just to adjust the height. So I get frustrated and grumpy, and somehow I don't think that grumpy paintings sell that well.

So I'm now contemplating buying a new studio easel, but those can be expensive and large, and my studio is small, so I'm also contemplating building something myself. It's basically a business decision: a good quality easel would pay itself in a few years by reducing the time I spend moving the painting or myself around, greatly reducing the number of grumpy paintings I produce, but it is an upfront cost, and I can only absorb so many of those. On the other hand, building one myself does save some money, but it also takes more time, which keeps me from painting, which keeps me from making money, so it has what I believe is called an opportunity cost. What the hell. I'll figure it out (hopefully soon) and I'll post the results.

I'm going to try out posting photos of work in progress on this blog. My fear is that I'll get some kind of stage fright if people get so see pieces before they're finished, because I'll get worried about wrecking it in the later stages. I suppose if that happens I could just pretend it never existed. Then if someone asks me about it, I'll use a Jedi mind trick and tell them it was not the painting they were looking for. Seriously, it was a different painting that went up in flames in the backyard.

Well, this one hasn't gone up in flames yet. Enjoy:

(click on it for higher resolution)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Coulda woulda shoulda - blogging about climate change

This one tears me up. Should I bother writing about these kinds of things? Climate change is something I think about a lot, and when I read about how the scientific consensus gets stronger and stronger and all the while more and more people are ignoring the science and accepting the denialist propaganda, I get really upset. That makes me want to get on my little soap box and shout about it, and post links to things that I think are relevant and important such as this one: George Monbiot on death and denialism But really, should I be blogging about things like that?

One reason not to bother is that this blog is a public face of my art making business, so I'm not sure that I can allow myself to go off ranting about this that and the other thing all the time. It's not directly related to my art, and I'm not really that interested in making highly politicized art. I want to make art and when politics get mixed in it it's easy to turn it into propaganda.

Another reason is that I would be risking adding extra negativity to my blog that would then be associated with my art. Extra negativity isn't good for my art or my sales.

However, the argument from the other direction is that it's pretty hard to separate the artist's art life from the artist's personal life, so to a certain extent the personal is relevant to the art. People want to know the stories about the art and the artist because it gives the art a context for people to understand it, and there is no meaning without context.

Finally, the last argument is about procrastination: if I'm busy blogging about all the climate change news I'm reading on the internet and linking to all the latest news, I'm not making art, and that's not a good way to pay the bills.

What to do? Maybe I'll just try to keep it to small notes about positive changes, either in my own life, or when I notice a really great example of people using their creativity to make positive changes.