Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Easy Peasy

Beyond The Shadows, 2006, Oil on Panel, 9x12

Monday was spent preparing work to take to the Harrison Gallery in Williamstown, MA and I am driving over today to deliver it. It's only a 2 1/2 hour drive each way and Doug is home today so I can take my time. I may even stop at the mall in Albany on the way home.

Normally I try to do the framing and finishing, which includes attaching hangers, bumper pads and printed labels on the back of the panel, as I go. That way I don't have a whole backload of pieces to finish at the last minute. I learned the importance of finishing as you go in college, forgot it and relearned the hard way two years ago while I was actually applying the bumper pads in the car on the way to deliver work for a show. This time however, we had a busy weekend and didn't have much time to spend in the studio, so I ended up with a bit more last minute preparation work than usual. Several paintings were all ready but I had to paint some frames on Sunday, glue the panels in place on Monday and then do the finishing. I also paint on cradled panels which need two coats of black paint along the sides, so I had to do about eight of those on Monday.

I also had to spent some time putting together a good combination of paintings, include a variety of colors, images, as well as sizes. Doug is very helpful during this process and gives me great advice about which pieces should go and which ones shouldn't. Unless I am too tired and crabby and then I argue with him about whatever he suggests. Anyway, originally the director asked for 7-10 pieces, but when I spoke with her to arrange this meeting she said to bring more pieces if I could. Because I am a show off and want to prove how productive I am, I thought I'd try to put together a group of fifteen pieces. Deciding on which pieces to take can also take awhile because of the size of my studio. I have to move everything around so that I can prop everything up against the wall or on the display ledges. Generally one painting falls onto to floor at this point and Monday was no exception. Luckily no damage this time, but often I end up with a last minute bit of retouching to do.

Things were pretty hectic by dinnertime though. While preparing dinner, helping my youngest with homework and making cookies (not sure how I got roped into making cookies) I was also packing the pieces for car travel. Naturally, this is the time when all of the kids have to start a new project and need felt, or string or a stapler from me or need to plan a sleepover for next weekend. But packing up is pretty easy although the paintings do have to be in the right order, with bubble wrap in between each piece. I don't usually go crazy wrapping them as they will be laying flat in the back of the SUV and I can just carry them inside in groups of four or five. The last thing I did was to write up the image list that goes along to the gallery with the work. This has all of the info that the gallery needs to have about each piece: title, medium, year completed, size and price. I also double check my records at this point, making sure that I have a photograph and an info page filled out for each painting.

So I finished up everything by 8pm, got the kids to bed, scooped out the cat litter, folded some laundry which I am perpetually behind on, read for a bit and got to sleep fairly early. This morning Doug and I got the kids off to the bus, checked my emails and as soon as I post this I will load the car and breeze right out of here.

Easy peasy, as my son used to say in kindergarten.


Martha said...

Hi Tracy--

This isn't a direct comment about the above post, but I wanted to thank you for your comment about voice on my website, and to ask you how you went about "throwing it all out". I'm trying, but it's such a struggle! Also a heads up that I got brave and posted a couple of my own pieces on my site.

Tracy said...

I think the way that I threw it all out was to paint entirely different subject matter. That way I couldn't fall back on my previous ways of rendering or whatever. I also completely changed my palette and tried not to actually think about what I was painting while I was painting. This worked for landscapes, but I am still struggling with how to interpret the figure. I can do a pretty good job of drawing and painting the figure realistically, but haven't found what I want to express about that yet. Topic of a future post, don't you think?!

Martha said...

Sometimes I think if I were to go completely abstract, that might do the same thing. But unfortunately, I like to paint with some element of represntation-- it gives me something to hang on to. And I respond to abstracts differently too. They can be very powerful, but they often don't make me feel as much. I would like to try to marry the two in some way, possibly, or... well, it only hinders me when I think too much about it. That's what I've got to let go of.

Tracy said...

Yes, stop thinking about it if you want to develop new work! I think you can work abstractly yet hang onto representational qualities. So many artist do this in varying degrees and its what I strive for.