Hours of creative problem solving in the light flooded studio. The hum of my sewing machine plays steady backdrop to the crisp melody of birdsong coming in with the breeze through an open window....this is slightly idyllic, but not that far afield from my experience.
Hours of creating can become days of being alone. I recharge when I'm alone but sometimes it can be too much of a good thing!
The other side of this coin is attending an opening reception for an art show. Getting out of the studio, meeting new people, catching up with friends and seeing what other artists are creating is very rewarding.
If you are unfamiliar, this is the artist's reception you read about on postcards advertising shows. Its a bash, usually with music, food, press and public.
You may not realize the efforts expended to make these two planes intersect.
Joining artists organizations and societies is a good way to connect to opportunities. They publish calls to artists in magazines, emails and websites. These lists are where I find shows to enter.
I can read for hours only to find their requirements don't match mine. For example, they only want artists from a state or region other that where I live, or those with a certain experience or they only accept a media different than mine, or the show requires the artists presence or it is for outdoor tent sales. But I persevere, because letting my work stack up in the basement doesn't feel right. I want it to be seen and I love it when it sells!
After I choose shows that are a good fit, I must make sure that I have work available which meets the criteria set by that show. Shows often restrict entries to work created after a certain date, or a specific size range or media. Some shows do not allow nudes, some only accept two dimensional, framed wall pieces.
Next I must make sure that the work I plan to submit does not overlap another show planned on the calendar. Whether it is accepted or not, I cannot risk a scheduling conflict.
Now if any of you know an artist, you may know that we are not typically astute at the time, rate, distance problems of life. This involves calendars and excel sheets and cross referencing, but as the saying goes, if it was easy, everyone would do it!
Sometimes my efforts to enter shows are rewarded. Two pieces were accepted to the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ to their show titled Dendrology, they were titled, Archeology Fragment Leadwood Tree and The Pod. You can see Leadwood Tree in the cover shot of this video. The Pod is the large green vegetable form on a pedestal.
During the reception, the President of the Audubon Society of Artists approached me about their online show and invited me to enter in their new category of mixed media. He was unfamiliar with fiber art, so we had a nice conversation. I entered and was awarded a prize! The Marquise Who's Who of American Art prize, which included a copy of the huge book, by the same name, which I have not seen since I was in high school at the library. The 2014 publication will list my name and biography! I also received another huge book cataloging all the art museums and galleries in America, and a certificate and an inscribed brass plaque for the cover of the book.
It is great fun to have a real, in my hand, prize instead of an emailed letter. I must admit, that I can't wait to stick the brass plaque on my Who's Who book.
It is also wonderful to have a reminder that the work done in solitude has its rewards.