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!