Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Suffer for your art

When I was painting in France, several people would refer to "suffering for your art". This subject came up because we were painting out in the sun and it was close to 100 degrees. It was a dry heat so it wasn't as bad as home. However, several of us were looking for a shaded spot to set up. The point of painting outside is to set up where you can get the best composition. Although, some plein air art teachers say they just go out and set up. I think if you are an experienced painter that is acceptable. Our teacher, Ian, was not of that school of thought. My reasons for heading to the shade were this; 1. Provence is the most beautiful countryside I've ever seen in my life and I could probably find a good composition from numorous locations, 2. I am as white as a ghost and even with 50 spf, I was afraid of frying.

Anyway, I've now painted outside in Austin's heat AND humidity. I also painted in the rain for a brief time at Mayfield Park. I painted in Provence for 7 days 8:00am to 1:00pm and then 3:30 to about 7:30. As far as plein air painting I can say I've suffered. It wasn't an agonizing suffering but suffering nonetheless.

I bring this subject up because I think preparing for the Wimberley show falls under suffering. The New Braunfels Art League is joining them in this show so I'm hoping it will have a wider audience. I spent the last couple of days preparing my paintings. This means I had to make sure I was completely happy with them. I made some changes to "reunion". I varnished all three paintings. After that, I had to frame them. The 5 x 7 dogs, I framed myself. I put a paper backing and screwed in 2 hangers and put a wire on the back. When taking paintings to the shows, they need to have the wire across the back and not just a little hook hanger. The 3 x 5 painting were trickier. There are plenty of 3.5 x 5 frames but I could not find a 3 x 5 frame. Luckily the canvas was a gallery wrap. This means the linen/cotton is attached at the back of the canvas frame so the sides of the painting is canvas. I painted it black which is typical for the larger gallery wrap frames. It's a lot less expensive for the artist if they don't have to frame the painting. However, some paintings just look more professional with a frame. I was hoping the 3 x 5s didn't seem to be insubstantial without frames. If you are painting with a piece of linen canvas like you do in plein air painting, you have to frame them. After painting the sides, I had to put paper on the back and screw in 2 hooks and attach a wire. This is not easy to do on a small canvas. This morning I woke up at 7:00am, leave the house around 8:00am to be in Wimberley between 9:00 and 10:00. I have to wait in Wimberley until 1:00 to go see if my paintings were accepted. So here I sit in a Wimberley coffee shop drinking soy latte and eating half of a probably really fattening muffin. I'm not a coffee drinker but I'm feeling tired and hope I get a boost. It's really not a bad way to spend a day but I had to rearrange appointments and can't get much done during this time. It's been worth it in the past because I sold a small figurative painting at this show last time. This was my strategy for submitting the 2 small figurative paintings. It's a sort of a test. The women at the entry desk went crazy over them. I don't know if it's because they are a lot smaller than anything they have previously had in their show. I wanted unique because there have been LOTS of landscape paintings and the figurative and abstract seem to do well because there are not as many.

Georgetown has a new art society called "Art Works". I emailed them about entering their show they are having for the fall. The date to submit work is July 31 which is in 2 days. If all my paintings make the Wimberley show, I will have to decide what to put in the Georgetown show. I haven't received an email from them back and I don't know that I will drive all the way to Georgetown to check it out.

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