Monday, March 31, 2008

What I Learned This Weekend

City Street at Dusk, 2006, Oil on Panel

Ok. These are things I have learned since last Friday.

1. Always make a back up plan when planning to travel. Especially when traveling from upstate NY anytime between October and April. Kids at home on a snow day can really mess things up!

2. I am more ambitious than I thought. I stopped in to visit with my gallery in Hudson (on the way to the train station) and we were talking about their experiences at the art fairs. The Affordable Art Fair came up (they are going this year) and I took the opportunity to brag mention that I did really well there last year. She added me to the roster and it looks like I am going!

3. I may be losing my mind. At the train station I spent about four minutes reading a newspaper while waiting for the train, during which time I evidently set down my bifocals on the bench. By the time I realized that I didn't have them, I was on the train and it was moving. The thing is I don't remember actually putting them down, usually I slip them into my bag if I take them off.

4. I really need those glasses, especially while at Penn Station. I was to meet Doug by the board, but somehow I ended up on different level, next to the LIE board. We talked on our cell phones to each until he saw me. I couldn't see him until he was right in front of me.

5. After looking at the above painting, which has been tucked away at Doug's store, I realized that I should do some more city scene paintings. I enjoyed doing them a few years back, before the landscapes and barns entirely took over my life.

6. Ed Winkleman is very nice. Doug and I headed to the Pulse show first thing and went to say hi to Ed before the "show daze" set in, which can make conversation nearly impossible. I chatted with Ed about blogs, art and he gave me some very helpful advice about pursuing new gallery representation. Oh and we especially liked the black licorice pipe, although I was nervous that I would bump into it and knock the whole thing off the pedestal.

7. Not having my glasses at an art fair is actually a good thing. Not being able to see clearly from a distance allowed for a lot of filtering and I was thankful for that, especially after the first half hour.

8. There is not a chance in hell that my current work would EVER be shown at Pulse. I am ok with that.

9. I MAY have a shot at someday showing at the Red Dot Art Fair. There were a few galleries there that I thought might be the place for me. And in fact, I even did that thing you're not supposed to do-I told one exhibitor that I was a painter and that I wanted to give them my info. I couldn't help it, the words just flew out of my mouth before I could stop them. Anyway, he was very nice about it and suggested I email him this week. He very smartly did not take my name. Heh.

10. It is very disconcerting to see expensive, fine art in mediocre hotel rooms and bathrooms. I am used to seeing the other kind of art in hotel rooms (the last hotel room I stayed in actually had two copies of the same print on the wall). But it was less tiring than going through booths in the larger show environments.

11. The Armory Show is very popular! I had no idea. It's like I have been living under a rock or something. The line was probably a mile long outside and it was packed inside. We walked the entire show, although after awhile everything looked the same and I didn't see much that I could connect to. There were a few things I did like, however I didn't have the energy to take any photos and was in such a daze that I can't remember anything now anyway. Sorry.

12. And why, for the love of god, did no one tell me that if one plans to walk through three art fairs they should train as if they were going to participate in a marathon? My feet still hurt today, even though I wore my most comfortable shoes, (which are coincidentally my most unfashionable shoes). And the shin splints! Bah!

13. My 51 year old husband is in better shape than I. After the Armory Show, I went back to the hotel and took a nap. He went to see one more show, The Dark Fair. He said it wasn't as good as he thought it would be.

14. Eating an amazing, candlelit dinner at 11pm, surrounded by beautiful, fashionable, and seemingly very happy people at a crowded restaurant in Soho, makes life seem totally fabulous.

15. All of this activity can have the same effect as an evening of a weekend drinking binge. Instead of leaving the city by 9am, as planned, it was more like 11:30 before we got it together and bedtime on Sunday night was very early.

16. And some kind citizen was kind enough to turn in my glasses to the Amtrak office at the train station. I picked them up on the way home on Sunday.

17. I think that looking at art in this context is not for me. At dinner on Saturday night, Doug tried to discuss what we had seen and all I could do was look at him blankly. We did find that we had very different opinions about the shows though. He didn't like Pulse; I thought it was ok. He didn't like Red Dot; I liked it more, mostly because there were so many paintings, which is more my thing. He was totally into The Armory and I couldn't think clearly after about ten minutes there.

But it was a great weekend. I did retain a few memories of art that I liked, most notably paintings by Ben Aronson. I got to spend a few days alone with my honey and I got to feel like a city girl, however briefly.

PS. If you want a good rundown on the art fairs, go look at these blogs over the next few days. They are clearly much better at writing about art and art fairs than I.

Art Vent
Art Fag City
Two Coats of Paint
Joanne Mattera
Edward Winkleman

These bloggers did a panel discussion on Sunday morning at the Red Dot Art Fair, that I forgot about in our hungover haze.


n warner said...


What's most hilarious is that art trekking has got it's physical limitations. Art is for observing and walking back and forth by, sitting with...and hard now to haul around capturing everything.

As an X-NYCer, I laughed about your shin splints, as that is what happens in short trips or sprints as it gots to see it all.

Wow, incredible little reduction of 'best of" fair week, dining...and great other bloggers too. Thanks for all the insights as per usual (damn glasses-and kindness of strangers)...and love the SHOULD do more of those! Glad to hear you are on board for more showings. Nina

Natalya said...

the city scape is beautiful, please do more... and thank you for the review, it's very entertaining, I so wanted to do what you did this weekend.. maybe when my kids are older I'll get a chance...

Tracy said...

Nina, Glad you liked the weekend run down, and the physical issues were a good reminder that I should really spend less time at the computer and more time exercising:)

Ok, that's my next goal, get in better shape and walk ALL of the shows next year!

Natalya, We are lucky to have a great babysitter that we can trust with our kids. Don't worry-your kids will grow up and you will be able to travel again. Maybe:)

Thanks for the encouragement about the cityscapes.

gr said...

you say quite a lot here, to which I can only say 'hey! your glasses are back!', but mostly, I just love this painting, Tracy

Tracy said...

Thanks Gary! A few more compliments on it and I may just chuck the whole landscape thing and go paint the city:)

I know, I know, I talk (and write) a lot....

The Epiphany Artist said...

"some kind citizen was kind enough to turn in my glasses to the Amtrak office at the train station."
Does anyone else find this statement totally amazing???Everything I lose goes into a black hole... ;)