Thursday, June 26, 2008
I have two dear friends who are working at creative endeavors. Friend A is an aspiring artist of the paint variety. Friend B is an artist of the pen and ink kind. Very different genres, but many of the same topics to discuss.
The issue that comes up the most in our conversations is whether we actually work. As in, "You don't work, so you can write/paint all day long. Must be nice."
It's often frustrating for us to have nothing to show for our labors at the end of the day. No pile of bricks moved from one place to another, no stack of papers in our out box. I'm not saying that we didn't accomplish alot, but it's often times in our heads, or doodled on a napkin or written in the margins of a book that's being read. Those kinds of things are hard to measure in this culture of "I got this much, how much you got?"
To Friend A and Friend B, thanks for listening. I hope you felt listended to, and honored for your hard work. Thanks for sharing your struggle with me. I know I'm not alone in my creative endeavors, and neither are you.
Do you work?
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday started out with a trip to Hastings Nebraska, home of the Cottonwood Art Festival at Brickyard park. This beautiful park was filled with artisans of all kinds, potters, crafters, sculptors, painters, and the Spoon Man, Mr. Wilmot.
Angela of Graham Gallery played host to her stable of artists by erecting a tent/gallery, a virtual home away from home for those of us who hang our work there. The evening weather was perfect and the crowds were, well, crowded. Hanging out with me under the big-top were Jane Marie and Liz Halsted, fabric artists extraordinaire; Max Miller, photographer; Nicole Gustaffsson, wunderkind; Sally Buss, master sculptress; Marcy Maley, oil stick artist; photographer Jorn Olsen and master of many media, Jeremy Daniels.
Saturday we had a wonderful Father's Day family day. Our boys are men now, and hanging out with them is a special treat. Funny, smart and engaging, we wonder who they take after.
Sunday we were back at the festival, greeting folks and hanging out with other artists. I'm so pleased to have met William and Janey, who took home a lovely little oil painting . I know after having a conversation with them that it's in good hands.
Yes, I'd say I'm a lucky girl.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
The campus of this establishment is gorgeous, manicured and spotless in the kind of way that means it always looks that good.
We were treated to a fabulous dinner, the likes of which I doubt I'll ever taste again. Gorgeously presented, I'd have taken a photo of it, but it took both hands to handle my overflowing plate.
It was a great time spent with dedicated people who choose to serve others in honorable ways.
Despite what you see on tv, or read in the paper, this world is full of truly good people doing truly good things. I'm thrilled to be a part of such an event.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The class culminated in a plein aire event at Praire Loft, an environmental educational conference center located west of Hastings. Paintings created during the day were auctioned off to raise funds for refurbishing Prairie Loft buildings.
Most workshop instructors offer their demo pieces for sale. I've known a few who get downright mercenary about it. Dustin wraps up his workshops by drawing names out of a hat. Those whose names are drawn are the proud owners of his demo paintings. Is that cool? And I'm tickled to tell you that I'm now the proud owner of a real live Dustin Van Wechel 8 x 10 oil painting. Hot Diggity!
Now that I think of it, the entire weekend was about giving. Artists gathered to share with each other in a lovely open supportive atmosphere. Paintings were offered for auction without any expectation of compensation. It was wonderful.
I've given 3 paintings to worthy causes this year. Didn't make a dime. Can't even use it as a tax write off. But y'know what? It feels good. It's an easy way to help build bigger things than me. Dustin gives his demo paintings. Angela gives support and friendship to her artists. What do you give?