July 04, 2011

Still on the Merry-Go-Round

What a catalogue of distractions the past few weeks has been!  So many things, not all of them unpleasant but still seemingly intended to keep me away from hands-on printmaking.  First, there were our three Sunday trips to Granville Island: one to deliver my prints to the Open Print show, a second to actually see the show, a third to pick up the prints and take them home.  And, since we can’t EVER take a trip to Granville Island without spending at least one hour or so wandering around and then having coffee and rustic peach & rosemary tarts (alone worth the trip to Terra Breads) and watching the water and the seagulls (hoping they don’t crap on my head), a chunk of time is always involved. 
Then there’s the garden.  With all the rain we’ve been getting the weeds are growing like…well…weeds.  So, I either take whatever chance I have to get out there and subdue them or I feel guilty.  Being that guilt is antithetical to the creative process, I’ve been spending less time on my art and more time crawling around in the dirt. 
Finally, a HUGE slot of time went to getting a new computer up and running: getting used to MS Office 2010, transferring all my files and programs, and ironing out all the inherent and resulting wrinkles. 
And yet I am, albeit a bit sporadically, working on a new print.  “Slowly slowly catch a monkey” is what a friend from South Africa used to say and though I’m not wholly sure what it means, it seems to fit. 
My new print, in a departure from the kid’s book series (although I did do some sketches for print four in the set) is inspired by a photo I took on a local hike a couple of years ago.  The misty moodiness of the image pretty much guaranteed the picture a place on the “future prints” list from the start. 


I did a lot of sketches for this one, more than I normally do, playing around with keeping both of the trees in the forefront in, and not liking any of the results.  In the end, I took out one of the trees, changed the background a bit, and ended up with a version I’m very happy with. 
I printed the first colour yesterday but there is really nothing to see yet.  Here’s a sampling of just a few of the preliminary sketches and a colour breakdown that's very close to how I'm envisioning the print for now:

I hope to print colour two next weekend and should have something to show of the actual print by then. 
I also had a great piece of news this weekend.  With the Open Print show at the Federation Gallery now finished, we headed to Granville Island to pick up my prints.  I was thrilled to find out one of my three submissions, Hummingbird Vine, had sold.  I had an inspiring conversation with the gallery director while we were there; apparently it’s been one of their best shows as per print submissions and work selection yet one of their worst for sales.  I’m not really surprised, given our still-floundering economy and, although the director said all three of my prints would have sold easily in other years, I have no cause to complain about selling just the one.  There’s always next year right? 
One nice thing about the gallery is their online record of shows; you can actually see images of the pieces exhibited in each show even after it’s finished.  For those interested, the link to this year’s Open Print show is here.  Regrettably, I’m such a nob when it comes to self-promotion and marketing etc. I didn’t find out about the online segment of the show until it was almost done.  I could have been sending it out to all kinds of people...Again, there's always next year.


Libby Fife said...

I was about to send out a rescue party for you!

Glad that you sold something at the show. I have heard that comment about the economy, historical sales, etc and would guess that it is very true.

I like the look of the new print also. I am always amazed that you can carve something so complex.

Stuart Brocklehurst said...

Self promotion and marketing, whats that? I don't know what its like in Canada but over here I think its one of the big failings of some of the art schools. They may teach you how to be an artist but they are not very good at teaching you how to make a living from being one. Certainly for my part, I don't find promoting myself very easy either and I don't think we are alone in that failing.

Katka said...

Thank you both.

Funny, Libby. I try hard to post something once a week but it doesn't always work out. I think for me the carving is the easier part of the process. It's getting the block to print right after I carve it that I tend to wrestle with.

Stuart, I think you're right and I suspect self-promotion and marketing is a struggle for many artists. For so many reasons but maybe largely because it's just so timeconsuming. Plus, the time it takes to think of ways and means to promote myself and my work is nowhere near as enjoyable as the actual making of it.