Friday, February 15, 2008


Already there have been several visiting artists here at the Studio Center. The first one was writer and poet Dave King. He gave a reading from his book "The Ha-Ha" as well as two poems. Frankly I am not much of a poetry kind of girl, but I liked the excerpt from his book and bought a copy afterwards, which he signed. He came to writing rather late after a ten year sojourn as a painter in NYC, followed by a successful business which he sold and then a degree from Columbia in writing. He spent nearly two weeks here, mostly working with the writers, but I was able to chat with him at a few meals and he made time to visit a number of the artist's studios, including mine. Oh and I bailed out on Night Studio to start his book. I liked Night Studio but since I arrived here I had trouble keeping with it-too much art talk maybe? Anyway, I am liking The Ha-Ha, although I am not having much time to read.

On Monday evening, painter Julian Hatton gave a slide presentation of his work. I had been aware of his work for awhile and was very happy to find out that he would be a visiting artist during my time here. His talk was very interesting and I enjoyed hearing how his work has progressed over the years. And I almost fell over when he mentioned his home near Oneonta NY, which is just 45 minutes from where we live small world. (Further conversation in the dining hall the next day revealed that he has a place in NY that is literally around the corner from Doug's showroom in Soho. We had a good laugh over the coincidence of being dual neighbors.)

On Tuesday, he visited my studio where we spent most of the time talking about the paintings that I felt were the most unsuccessful. Great. The figures, of course, were the ones I was unhappy with and he agreed. Great, again. We took the elements apart though and discussed the various directions that I could take them. And after he left I was completely confused about what to do next and so I frittered away the rest of the day doing nothing productive at all. Later on after dinner, we talked again and he clarified a few points that he had made during the crit which was helpful, and he also gave me some information about applying for a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, which is on my list of things to do when I get home. And the next morning I woke up with the a clearer head about the direction of the figures and got back to work on them. Julian was here this past week and I have enjoyed talking with him further. There is much socializing at meals! Anyway, he will be having a solo show at Elizabeth Harris, opening March 13. I might try to go if I can manage to take another trip so soon after getting back home.

And the sculptor, John Monti gave his presentation on Tuesday. I liked much of his earlier work, which were wood forms and then later on he did these huge concrete forms which I also really liked. Lately he has been doing brightly colored plastic forms, and while I don't care for those much, I do appreciate the progression he has made. John visited my studio this morning and most of his opinions were quite the opposite of Julian's. He thought that the figures had a lot going on and that many of the elements were working. He did say that he thought my technique was getting in the way and that my paintings (meaning the landscapes) looked too "polished" and we debated that issue for a bit. I see his point, I guess, but while I do think that my landscapes are quite developed, I haven't really considered them to be polished. Mostly because I still really love my process, and am still challenged by each painting, by the subject matter as well as the technique. Anyway, he was very encouraging about the figures, especially the ones I had pursued since my meeting with Julian, so I was able to get right back to work without any sort of angst. Heh.

Good thing too, because I was fading fast this morning. The very social David Grozinsky invited everyone to a wonderful Valentine's party in some little town a few miles away. There was a great band and petticoats for all of the girls, well and for a few of the boys too. Since I don't drink anymore, I don't dance anymore, so I filled the memory card in my camera with amazing photos of the swirling skirts and the bright lights. After we left the party, around 11pm it continued on at the resident's lounge and before I knew it, it was almost 2am! I am way too old for all of that it seems. I had to get up early for my meeting with John Monti and I was really hurting. Sheesh! I took a nap before dinner and will try to get back on a better sleep schedule, kinda tough though with a house full of kids that I clearly cannot keep up with!

Doug and the kids are coming up tomorrow and while of course I will be glad to see everyone, I am feeling oddly put out by the intrusion of my family life into my life here. It will be fun though and I suspect we will be doing a few touristy things for the next few days. I will try and post on Monday evening.

Have a good weekend!


Steven LaRose said...

Something tells me that you should tilt your head back and imagine a string is attached to your spine and as it lifts you up you should let your jaw slackin and hunker down.

cut loose and close your doors.

Fuck all the social shit. You are surrounded by those who will make you feel okee-doaky. It is up to you to SLAM the paint to the canvas and test your personal parameters.

I expect you NOT to blog for 5(five) days and simply paint.

Making A Mark said...

Tracy - have a great time with the family this weekend.

Much as I love hearing about your own work there'll be lots of time for blogging when you get home - hopefully to a brand new computer!

Steven LaRose said...

Boy, my late night comment sure sounds cranky this morning.

What, me jealous?

I knew that Grosinsky fella was trouble.

Unknown said...

Hi, Tracy,

Thanks for the plug. Say hi to everyone there for me, and I sure am sorry I missed the Valentines Day party. The greatest lack during my time in Vermont was dancing!

I send my best.

Melody said...

Funny how both Hatton & Monti can view your work and come up with different critiques. Just confirms my believe that art is all in the eye of the beholder. I may just be one "little" artist in amongst many who are far more talented than I but if my opinion counts for anything....and maybe it doesn't... I would tell you that I think your figure paintings are outstanding. I loved them from the first moment you posted them. They give me a real sense of pleasure and nostalgia when viewing them. Enjoy the time with your family.

Deborah Paris said...

what Melody said!

Unknown said...

Hmm, you are sounding a little cranky there, Steven:) Believe me-I am painting and drawing as much as I possibly can. It is really intense here though and the social stuff, as well as the occasional post are very necessary breaks in the action. Get some sleep tonight:)

Katherine, see above! Plus, the posting is important because I want to keep track of things as I go, before it fades from my increasingly faulty memory. I have done very little on the computer while here-mostly just checking on my emails, writing these posts and looking in briefly on a few fave blogs.

Dave King! Hi, and am so glad you checked in. I will say hi to all and yes, you missed a good party-would have been nice to have another member of my generation there:)

Thanks Melody and Deborah, I appreciate your kind worda about the figures. They will be going through many evolutions however, and I imagine that i will be very unhappy with most of them along the way! I am trying to hang onto the nostalgia though.

Unknown said...

Tracy, the funny thing is, as helpful comments and feedback can be sometimes, as irritating they can become at another place. As long as you listen to your inner voice and instinct and take those comments only as what they are "comments" and not judgements everything is okay.
Maybe you are putting yourself under too much stress and pressure, hoping to get release from another voice but that's not your own.
I know how difficult it can be when you have only a very limited time for intense work. You want to pack everything possible into that short period. But that time contains not only your painting work but the entire environment. I think you should simply relax and give in to what's happening...