Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reflections on a year....

As usual I'm spending the waning daze of December cleaning out the studio. It's in transition. Polymer Clay is on the worktable but baskets of reeds and coils of dried kelp, bark and roots line the walls. Currently all my polymer is production work- earrings, rings and Fusion Bangles. Muses, large pieces or even smaller canvasses that are already underpriced don't sell in this economy and I'm finding it very difficult to be creative when work made with love and expensive materials ends up sitting unsold on my own walls.

Along with the econmic downer I suffered a blow early in nasty 2011 when I made the mistake of applying to a show that I never really had much interest in or respect for. Everyone told me it would be great to go into it. They said  "everyone gets in- you'd  be a shoe in"... not me. I was rejected. What a disheartening kick in the creative butt. (Maybe that's where my back issue came from!) It hurt. A LOT.

I've missed being accepted into shows or galleries before and everyone knows how it takes a while to get over it but when you miss one that you don't respect- that's particularily tough. I was also baffled because some of the images I sent to the jury had been accepted by prestigious shows! Several had even sold! I must be recovering because I'm sharing it here. Lesson learned- don't submit to a show if you don't respect it. Similarily- don't approach a shop or gallery to consign your work if you yourself wouldn't choose to shop there!  Another tip- don't apply to any venue close to where you live- it's no fun walking by a place that has turned their noses up at you! Think- what would happen if they say "no"... is it right next door to a store you go to on a regular basis? A similar experience affected my shopping practices when I lived in Richmond and was trying to market my gourd art.

After that demoralizing morass  I was in need of some sort of tonic to regain my equilibrium. I crawled out from under my rock and good things started to happen. We serendiptously accquired kayaks. That was a huge move for me- because I can't swim. A non swimmer in a kayak faces something even scarier than a jury that has issues with polymer clay. Falling in! (I have a very good flotation device and capsize lessons will be scheduled in the spring)

Next I began to explore basketry with the idea of combining polymer with intertwined organics. I took wonderful classes and am able to travel to lovely locations like Saltspring Island and the Olympic Penninsula. I've joined the Northwest Basket Weavers Guild and I'll be going to the annual retreat in March! I'm also eying a basket making workshop in Oregon in June.

I ended 2011 by being humbled by a seized back and hip  embellished with horrible spasms. It made me grateful for knowing I would eventually get better with a modicum of discomfort compared to that suffered by many others including many very dear friends who often read this blog. I'm well into recovery now and can even perform such impressive feats as picking things up from the floor! I vow never to be in that condition again and I have booked myself into a local yoga studio!

Thanks for reading through this missive. I got some stuff off my chest and maybe even gave some good tips.You have earned a treat for following my progress, sympathising with me, encouraging me and giving me a lift by deciding to follow this frequently discombobulated blog blob.

Check in tomorrow- I have a year end treat in store!


  1. Wow Gera you are truly an amazing and inspiring woman. I remember your beautiful soaps from when I was a little girl and I thought it was so cool you could accomplish things like that. Jessica

  2. Gera.. it has been quite the year for you but as you said, lessons learned (do we ever stop learning?) and your health is recovering. We must continue to be thankful and count our blessings.
    I have done a bit of basket making and it is another addiction.. LOL Have fun.
    Have a great New Years. Your clay buddy Gail

  3. Awww, thanks Jessica. Those soap days were so long ago- Gen says hello and please say hi to your Mom from me!

  4. Hey Gail... consider some basketry workshops along with polymer clay! ;-D

  5. No matter what you do, you'll always be my hero!

    Shy K

  6. I am SOOOO glad your back issue is getting better. Until one has had serious back pain you just can't know how it limits everything you do. Here's to a happy healthy creative new year :)

  7. Thanks Kathi- I have to say I agree with you and best new years wishes back at'cha!

  8. Wow, you'll be glad to have 2011 behind you. How aweful for you for your back and business problems. I can't believe you were turned away because you are such a talented artist. Go figure. 2011 was awful for me--DH found someone on line and left me for her. I hope 2012 is a fabulous year for the two of us. Happy New Year.

  9. Beth- a crummy year for you too. roll on 2012!!!!


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