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Saturday, February 4

making home

There are several reasons why I haven't blogged lately, but mostly it is because we are finally tackling the house. It is pathetically easy to let things go. You stop seeing the need for a paint job. Clutter becomes accessory. The "thing" that was going to be in the dining room for just a weekend becomes invisible. You need something to spur you on, a light needs to be lit above your head. For us, it was new appliances.

I was not about to put gleaming, new stainless into a drab, cluttered kitchen. Once you start, the job mushrooms. I see you nodding your head. So, we painted and re-organzed and cleaned and repurposed and the kitchen is lovely now. Which makes the rest of the house look like crap. So, on we go.

Of course, since this is really a blog about life as an art show artist, I must mention that this is also app season. I will skip my usual rant about why we need to apply for an August show in January. As long as they don't cash my check in January, we can all get along. Because this is also supply-ordering season and studio-cleaning season and tax paying season. I get a little protective about my modest cash supply.

Speaking of supplies, I have caved and ordered some address book text blocks from my bookbinding supply place. And diaries and wine journals. There was a time when I designed and printed my own pages for these things, taking pride in my clever wording and font choices. Nobody noticed, of course. There is a truth about this art business that takes a while to absorb. That is that some of the little things you do, things you are smug about, proud of, nobody notices. I had a knee buckling epiphany some years ago when a fellow artist who also helps run one of our best shows made the off handed comment that the jury had no clue that I made my own paper. Whoa. I had identified myself as a papermaker who used her own paper to make books and stuff. What I learned was that it was my "stuff" that was getting me into shows, not the paper. It was disappointing and a relief at the same time. It freed me to go shopping for amazing papers from all over the world. It opened up a whole new design esthetic. And it freed me from hours over the vat.

I started making photo albums using text blocks from Italy that are already spaced and made of the same quality stock I would choose. And they have glassine interleaves which would have been a real bear for me to do. That allows me to make a classic album and sell it for 25-30 bucks instead of the 50 I would have had to charge if I was laboring over the innards. Win/win. I am still making the book from "scratch". The covers, the case, the design. I get request for address books which would have been ridiculously labor intensive for me to design and print, but I'm going to give them a go with the text blocks. This will be my "new" thing for the coming season.

The studio needs a serious clean up. It always does this time of year. I close the door after the last show of the season and take a month off. When I open the door in February, the chaos is overwhelming. You can see the dash to finish, the lack of discipline. No need to put that tool/brush/paper/glue in a place where you can find it tomorrow. Tomorrow is a month away. I am paying for that now.

So, that's where I have been. My first show is next month. Actually, there are 2 small ones. Then 2 months to gear up for the "real" season.

I hope the dining room is done by then.


Joanne said...

A good clean out is so staisfying, and so hard to get at.

Jenny Woolf said...

I'm still waiting for something to spur me to finally move my office downstairs. I have got rid of all the stuff on my shelves, sorted out the filing cabinet, put the new furniture in. But there are still a few little extra tasks to do and I can't get around to it. Makes me wonder if I really want to move, since that will just mean I have to start working converting my ex-office in to a shower room .....