I have had a WILD 15 months or so – I’ve essentially worked non-stop since April 1 of 2018 and have roughly 275 new pieces of work to show for it, almost all of it in the form of tiny drypoint prints (with about 50 tiny collages in there too). That’s a piece roughly every 1.7 days. In that time frame I’ve also taught many classes and participated in a whole bunch of art fairs, curated 15 exhibits in the Langdon Divers Gallery, and completed a 7-week residency at the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac!
I have to say – I’m kind of proud of my output! I’ve had three shows since March – my enormous 200-piece show called 200 Days: A Life in the Quotidian at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in March-April; Bird Fest at the Masonic Temple in Oshkosh in May, collaborated by Carol and Roy Toepke; and Places we’ve Been, a collaborative show at ArtSpace Collective in Oshkosh that I just finished, where I took my husband Brian’s photos from our vacations and recreated them in drypoint and watercolor. Here’s a slide show of that show, which just hung last Friday.
When I did my “200 Days” exhibit, I wisely gave myself about two months after the completion of my last print to frame, promote and create the companion book for the show. During the Bird Fest time frame I took a long time coming up with a theme for bird-related art and therefore only had about four days after the last print and before the actual show. But for “Places we’ve Been”? I only had five hours between finishing the last print and when we left to hang it. That was nuts, and I never want to recreate that scenario!
I’m tired! I’ve given myself a couple of days this past week to partake in some fun activities – Monday I got to spend the whole day with my wonderful niece Natalie in Madison, and yesterday, I took in my favorite places in Algoma – Yardstick Books, James May Gallery and James May North, where my friends Megan Johnson, Mindy Wittock and Kendra Bulgrin (also the owner of the galleries) are all in a gorgeous show called MOTHER + ARTIST, and a new shop and gallery called Yonder, co-owned by two very cool artists, Erin LaBonte and Don Krumpos. It was much needed. This coming Monday I’m taking advantage of the new Amtrak bus service from Fondy to Milwaukee and then taking the train from Milwaukee to Chicago, where I’ll make my quasi-annual trek to the Art Institute.
I’m telling you this because I want to stop feeling guilty about taking some time for myself. My rational self knows this time is essential, but my productive self is telling me that I’ve got 20 commissions waitng for me in my studio and that I should be doing these before any more fun adventures, even though I’ve been told by those patrons that there’s no rush. I can blame this attitude on my hearty Midwestern work ethic, which I love but which can also be a bit of a burden at times.
If any of my fellow artists/musicians/writers/creatives of all stripes are reading this, can I get a what-what from you all?