Friday, May 29, 2009

Artists that Inspire

I have recently been catching up on my reading. Since the end of March I had been working on a late 19th century house that had suffered some fire damage. The family was also requesting some remodelling. Needless to say, between that and my own home renovation projects, I haven't gotten much time in the studio, or time to keep up with ClayArt, or read Ceramics Monthly, PMI, ClayTimes, Studio Potter, etc. Then there is all of the online blogs and info available on the internet. My Read It Later tab under my Bookmarks is lengthy, I assure you.

But the last couple of days while fighting a weird stomach illness (I'm a celiac and I'm sure I ate something that had wheat in it) I have been doing some catching up. Now mind you, I as of this writing have 3342 messages from ClayArt to read, but I am down from 3500 or so, so I'm feeling really good about that. But the reason I'm not about to just delete those files is why I am writing this.

One of the fairly regular contributors to ClayArt is an artist by the name of Snail Scott. Snail writes with thought and compassion and her posts are beautifully written and just a joy to read. So I want to just say thank you Snail, for inspiring us to bring thought and beauty to more aspects of our lives.

Another person whose writing I really enjoy is Michael Kline. He is very engaging and also really sincere in communicating with his audience. Not to mention he makes great pots!!

And so, I continue to read, continue to write, continue to communicate with my online friends and with my life friends online. I've been thinking about my own work as well, the new direction that I want to go with it. I am not sure how much production pottery is in my future, but what ever direction I ultimately go, I will be listening, reading, and ready to interact with all of it. Here's a taste of what I'm toying with....just a taste.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Annual Spring Art Walk

I participated again this year in the annual Downtown Helena Spring Art Walk. It is usually very lovely, weather-wise, as it was again this year.

In the foreground here, you can see my friend Julia who has a lovely voice and sings with her bossa nova band "Rio". The trees have just started to leaf out, and our downtown is a walking mall, with these fabulous old buildings from the late 1800's. The building directly behind Julia is the one where I had my show.

The space was quite large, a recently recovered lobby space from when the building had been a high-end hotel. Somehow, all the artists who shared the space worked very nicely together, though it was less than ideal. Lighting was a major issue, and having all of the varying types of work spread throughout the space, and the space itself being not quite fully renovated offered each person their own challenges. The host decided to pull out of the Downtown Helena organization's advertising- flyers and website, for an as yet unknown reason. That caused some concern, especially since we weren't notified about it until a couple of days before the event. The host did print posters which they papered the area with and an ad in the local newspaper, so that was good.

My sweetheart was finally talked into showing his photography. There is a lot of photography out there, and in our little artsy town, there is a bunch. Most of it is, frankly, mediocre. John has "a day job" and doesn't necessarily feel the need to sell his photography. Biased as I may be, I think it is unfair of him to not share it with the world. And perhaps the reason his work is so good is because he is doing it for himself. The feedback that he received from the people who came through was fantastic. Four or five of the twelve images really got some excellent attention. Absolutely wonderful debut. You can see some of his work here.

Traffic is always lighter at the Spring Art Walk than at the Fall version. We did have several hundred people through, one of the artists brought a friend who DJ'd and played guitar for us, so the atmosphere was festive.

All-in-all, it was a good show, we had a good time, and I even sold a few pieces. It is always a boatload of work to get ready for a show, then take it down. But hopefully, we've educated the public a little bit about what good art is and gotten some good exposure in the process. I'm looking forward to showing new work at the Fall Art Walk!