Monday, 30 May 2016

timing timing timing

No doubt you are familiar with the expression 'location location location', usually in relation to real estate.  I am discovering, that for me, it's usually about timing, rather than place.  About doing it now, rather than postponing for a myriad of reasons.

Not that I am actually recommending the quick decisions I made in purchasing my five homes....making offers to realtors the very same day I first viewed the properties.

 I found out later that the magical 30 acres on the Cowichan River that I had bought for myself and my 9 and 11 year old daughters in 1979, had been carefully researched and studied for the better part of a year by neighbours.  They had finally decided to purchase this Duncan property, when 'oops!',  I saw it one morning and owned it a few  days later.

When a friend saw a for sale sign being placed at a Thompson Avenue home one morning 13 years ago, she phoned me in Duncan to alert me. The property hadn't yet been listed. I called our realtor and Brian and I sped to Victoria to view the house.  As I approached the front stairs, I mumbled something about perhaps being able to make them less steep as we aged, and then, as we entered, I envisioned a particular piece of our pine furniture in the entrance hall!

At about 9 o'clock that evening,  we learned that our offer had been accepted.

As I reread this, I am seeing beyond this seemingly audacious behavior, and noticing, instead, how I moved with trust.  Trust in my judgement. Trust in my heart. And an understanding that the timing was perfect.

Five or six months ago I began tidying the cluttered areas in our studio that were mine.  First my paints. After packing up the still useable jars of paint, I gave away containers of Golden mediums-  many unopened, most I had never  tried.

Phyllis was thrilled and I had one less box to keep.   Perfect!

Several of my friends were aghast when I said I was finished painting.  My enthusiasm was over, my images stale.  It was time to move on.

Cartons of unsorted magazine images were the next target.  I looked through the source of my many collages page by page.  A relatively small number I deemed too precious to part with, some I gave to a friend who teaches art at the Pain Clinic, and many more filled the recycle bin.  And then, unable to dump the last 1/2 carton of wonderful collected scraps, I fashioned about 125 bookmarks from them.

 These, I either gave away or sold for $2. each, contributing over $125 to the Syrian Refugee Fund at Congregation Emanu-El.

Through this cleanse, I discovered lovely small collages I had created, deemed not-good-enough at the time.  Now, 10 years later, I delight in these small treasures.

The bookmark frenzy showed me very clearly that the painful arthritis in my right hand was a significant reason to move away from collage work.  It was time.

Four less boxes.

Paintings I no longer wanted were given away or trashed. Favourites were saved- for now.

The most difficult culling was in regards to my precious bits of rusted metal.

I was bonded to these old bolts, springs and unknowns more closely than to any of my other treasures.  I posted photographs of them on my Facebook page looking for fellow scrap horders, but finally Brian brought them to the Oak Bay dump and left them on the give-away shelf.

At the end of the day the remainders are tossed into their bins.

He also brought in my eight circular saw blades.

I gave ten of my old watches to a brilliant artist, Kathy Ross.

More paper into the recycle bin: sketches from figure drawing classes in Duncan, early oil pastels, abstract pencil rubbings and old matt board frames, cut to fit long- ago collages.

From these drawers, I selected and cut all variety of paper to box up for our grandkids' Chanukah gift. Linden and Stella are both remarkable artists.  I gave paper to a friend who has shown amazing talent as she begins her artistic journey. And more paper is waiting.


     timing: collected in its skeleton state

Finally, the studio had lost its clutter.  (no comment here about how our basement fared in this process!)

Brian meticulously mended the pock-marked walls, and, after painting the storage shelves and scrubbing the floor, he transformed the studio into a magnificent small gallery!

The time had come for my first photography exhibit, joyously shared with Patrice Snopkowski.

timing: the cottonwood seeds, before that evenings rain

   timing: two days later, Saanich
turned in their garden bed for the winter

   timing: beauty captured in the morning's perfect light
                         at the dykes in Steveston

timing timing timing

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

what's next?

'Are you happy about yesterday's show?'  my daughter texted me.

My answer - unedited-  was   'Yes, in most ways.  Seeing all my work, hung so elegantly, was great. Seeing the beauty that I had captured was also quite amazing. I also believe that the showing of ones work is an integral part of creation.

The disappointing part was the limited sales.*  While I do understand the challenge of hanging photographs among existing doesn't encourage me to have another show. ...if we do continue printing, what will I do with the photographs?
I have sold hundreds of paintings and collages.  I created these because I love to create...not because I wanted to sell them, so it is likely that I will continue to take and print photographs... it's what I do. 

Now, how's that for a long answer. 

It's been a blast!'

What I didn't say was how much fun it has been working with Patrice almost every Saturday for months, choosing images and preparing them for printing.

Studying the resulting photographs and shifting between exuberance and disappointment.

 Using the line 'Let's wait until it's completely dry and then look at it again' to keep us positive.

Noticing how our printing skills have improved along with our selection process.

We have the studio gallery. We have the Epson SureColor SC-P800 printer.  We have ink and the wonderful MOAB Entrada Natural acid-free paper.

So, yes, I will be photographing and printing and possibly having another show.

* sales are continuing!