I went scouting for painting references at the Los Angeles Arboretum a few weeks ago, with an upcoming fund raising exhibit at the Arboretum in mind. This watercolor of a prickly pear cactus in the sun (Opuntia) was one of the results of my wanderings in the garden. The gala event was this past Sunday, and even though it rained on an outdoor gourmet dinner & art exhibit, everyone in attendance remained enthused, engaged and complimentary of the evening’s festivities.
When it rains on an art exhibit outdoors, and your work doesn’t have a canopy for cover, it’s wise to carry plastic tarps in your gear – the kind you’d use to cover the floors if you were painting interior walls. For a few dollars, you can carry a giant sheet of clear plastic that can be draped over your display panels in a sudden downpour. I used my last tarp, so I’ll replenish my supplies this week. #alwaysbeprepared
I finished Opuntia just in time to frame it and take it to the fund raising exhibit at the Arboretum (see photos below), and while the rain may have deterred folks from standing and looking at art in a lingering, relaxed fashion, their positive feedback was appreciated all the more while dodging drops.
These books entertained me beautifully while I painted & framed this week. I totally enjoyed listening to all of them, and I especially loved the book on Velasquez. If you like history, observations on the traditions of painting portraits, artist to patron protocol, hierarchy in a King’s castle in the 1600’s, and analysis of Velasquez’ paintings from a deeply humanized perspective, listen to this book. 🙂
The day before the Arboretum show, I spent Saturday at the Pasadena Artwalk in the Playhouse District with about 70 other artists. We had perfectly lovely weather – a little warm for sure – but sunny and bright, and not windy, which is always a concern when your art is under a vinyl tent. #sailboatinthewind
Every year, I exhibit in several fundraising events, where a portion of my sales will go to a good cause. This is something you can do whether you’re a full time “professional” artist or a hobby painter/dabbler. It offers you an opportunity to get comfortable discussing your work with an art-buying crowd, and you meet other artists participating in the exhibit. Additionally, you’re putting time (& money from any sales) in for a good cause. This is one of the benefits of having a blog or a web site, where people can peruse your work, and see if its a good fit for a charity event. Do you have a place online where people can see your work?
The LA Arboretum exhibit featured five artists, and they were invited by Gale Kohl, the proprietor of Gale’s Restaurant, and the recipient of last year’s recognition banquet, and Laura Wambsgans, my talented and beautiful artist friend. If you visit Laura’s site, look at her archive of stone sculptures as well as her recent plein air paintings. She creates stunning work. Doing events like this fund raiser is just one more way to commune with artists face to face, while enjoying a night discussing art-making, art supplies, challenges in the studio, and creative and business accomplishments. I promise it’ll put a skip in your step for weeks afterwards.
Now that the show season is finished for me until Spring, I’m unloading & storing show gear, sorting art, cleaning my studio, and planning new art projects for the winter. I’m so excited to be back at my art table, I have a bad case of Over-Choice on which project to start first! Tomorrow, my first step is to sit with coffee, flick my focus-brain on, and start making a list based on notes and scribbles collected in my planner over the past few months, which I’ll then sort in order of priority. That will begin my map of the next few weeks. How do you sort your studio tasks after a busy season? Clean up first? Listmania? Frequent napping with the cat? 🙂
Thanks for visiting, and happy art-making from my messy studio to yours!
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These things are never fair. People like what they like, and that’s the great and terrible thing. It’s about personal taste, and a certain set of people on a certain day.
~Gabrielle Zevon – The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry