I’m aware that the perfect is the enemy of the good, but that hasn’t stopped me from starting, stopping, a restarting a blog in my brain for the past few months.
Remembering what my dad had said about short-term goals, I made a list of things I’d like to accomplish in the next few weeks. My dad would have turned 64 last week. He has been gone nearly 7 months now. And there’s a lot I can say about the experience of his passing and everything that came after, but for now I’ll keep it short. I’ve come away with an increased sensitivity to time and what I’m doing with it.
I’m a fan of social media, but I had to take a break for a while because I was frustrated to see the world moving forward with selfies, heated political comments, and the successes of friends.
My focus has primarily been on balancing managing my dad’s estate with applying for the very few art opportunities that I can.
I built an installation for Artfields as my proposal had been selected at the end of 2017. It was the first time I had worked that large in mixed media. I built a display that consisted of two pieces of acrylic measuring 4 x 8 feet (1.2 x 2.4 meters). There was specially prepared Japanese paper sandwiched between and a digital image - combining a watercolor and a monoprint of the same portrait – applied to the front.
We hung it on a wall on Main Street in Lake City. It was safe and secure when we drove away. But about a week before the beginning of the festival, I got the call. My piece - as well as a handful of others – had been smashed during a strong storm. The original piece had taken about 2 weeks, off and on, to create. The replacement, once I had a single sheet of replacement acrylic, took me about 2 days, nearly non-stop.
Later I was able to enter the same portrait into a juried show, celebrating the SC Festival of Flowers at The Arts Center of Greenwood. I won the Arts Center Merit Award. (It was actually the first time that I had won something at a juried show!)
In the first half of the year I was also able to get out of town for two learning opportunities: (1) The Community Built Association Bootcamp in Charleston, SC and (2) the annual Japanese woodblock printmaking workshop at the Mokuhanga Center in Walla Walla, WA.
In Charleston I helped Clemson architecture students to build a few public art projects and assess a space under a highway overpass where some of the wooden sculptures would be placed before the CBA conference.
The trip to Walla Walla was very interesting. I was able to secure a project support grant from the Metropolitan Arts Council in Greenville. That helped me to offset the cost of visiting the Mokuhanga Center at Whitman College. (I’ll share more about that experience in a later post.) I will say this: If you have the opportunity to work with Tuula Moilanen or the team at the Mokuhanga Center, I recommend that you take it!
It’s hard to believe that we’re already in the middle of August. I’m still trying to get back into a “normal” routine with my personal and professional life. One big step back to daily habits has been going to the gym for the first time in months. 9 days out of infinity is not so bad, right?