Thursday, March 17, 2011
Saint Patrick's Mountain, Ireland
Original oil painting 16x20"
by Susan Roux
What are you up to lately?
I feel the effects of spring. New things are emerging all around. Have you noticed? The art world is winding up for the approaching season. Announcements for artist's opportunities flood in. Calls for artists, exhibition announcements, openings, workshops, art talks and art walks to name but a few. Here in the North Country the art world is coming out of hibernation.
It may be the only thing sprouting these days as we are still under knee-deep snow... (Hum, that sounded like a frog croaking, but they can't be heard yet either.)
To the artist, spring isn't measured by the snow on the front lawn. A real shift in activity happens this time of year. Following the holidays, life in Maine is a real treasure for the artist. Ahh, the heart of winter. It's a time to delve deep into your own creativity. The winter cold keeps us shut in. The wood stoves crank and the smell and warmth of the burning logs only help relax us to tap into our creative juices. It's a welcomed time. Time to immerse ourselves into experimentation. Time to slosh paint around. Time to play and create. Winter is long and it seems that time passes slowly and that this playground of creativity will last forever.
But it doesn't.
The spring announcements can't be ignored. Artist's hibernation is over and it's time to hop, hop, hop to. Galleries will want art soon. Paintings need to be framed. First frames need to be ordered. Wondering. Worrying sets in. Did I paint enough this winter to supply everyone? Do I have enough worthy pieces? How did it get to be the middle of March without my taking closer inventory of my winter's work?
This never used to happen. I was so tuned into painting for my galleries, that I knew exactly what I had prepared for them. But as the years passed, I found my art was better when I wasn't consciously painting for my galleries. I needed to be painting for me. And so it has been lately. No regard to my galleries as I create. I figured if I paint constantly, there will be ample inventory for everyone. But is there? Is there? Is there?
It's my fear.
Well before it's time for spring clean-up in the flower beds, it will be time for spring clean-up in the studio. I've taken on a new gallery this year and perhaps it's the reason for my anxiety. One more little baby to feed... How I hate to pull myself away from the easel to go count and sort canvases, take inventory on frames and what needs to be ordered. It feels like a transition from the carefree feeling of childhood to the responsibility of adulthood. Like Holden Caulfield I'm not ready to take the leap. I just want to keep playing.
Painting for myself has been far more relaxing than painting for my galleries. I just want to ignore the signs of spring, beckoning me to switch gears and hustle, and crawl back into my hole (behind my easel) and remain in hibernation bliss...
Happy Saint Paddy's Day everyone!
Posted: Saint Patrick's Mountain, Ireland was painted a year ago following an amazing 2-week trip to Ireland. It was actually autumn, but seemed fitting for the day...