Posts Tagged ‘art festival’

Thoughts on Thoreau and Gestalt

May 4, 2017

green belt.jpg

There are many craftsmen who paint pleasantly the surface appearances and are very clever at it. There are always a few who get at and feel the undercurrent, and these simply use the surface appearances selecting them and using them as tools to express the undercurrent, the real life.

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

This afternoon and evening were unusual in that I had nowhere to be, and nothing in particular to do–no meeting, no deadline, no mandate. Once the sun began sinking low, and the temperatures lingered around 70 degrees with cool winds blowing, I drove to my favorite local green belt, puchased coffee, and sat on a park bench with my journal, my copy of Henri’s Art Spirit and my own thoughts.

I have often thought about Henry Thoreau’s retreat to Walden Pond, what some scholars refer to as a Gestalt–his attempt to clear out his mental debris from a cluttered life in Concord that would not seem to settle down. I find myself often in that state of mind. I have only eighteen class days remaining before I cap a twenty-eight year tenure in the high school classroom. Retirement is nearly here, and frankly, I’m not sure what I am thinking, or if I am even thinking about it at this time. Yes, I have occupational plans already laid out for the next year, and no, I don’t feel that I am going to miss the high school classroom (certainly not the weekly schedule).  It’s just that I have a very full calendar now, with little time to stop and ponder what this is all about.

Tomorrow, after a full day of teaching, I’ll set up for Martin High School’s first carnival that will run from 4-8:00 p.m. I’ve been asked to set up a booth with my art, so I’ve chosen to sell greeting cards, prints and signed & numbered limited editions, everything running from $5 to 100. I’ve decided to donate 50% of all sales to our A.V.I.D. program with which I’ve been identified the past three years.

Saturday and Sunday will find me in Waxahachie, Texas to kick off the official start of Paint Historic Waxahachie. This plein air event will draw more than fifty painters from as far away as Houston to create as many paintings as possible during the following week. If possible, I will travel to Waxahachie daily after school next week (40-minute commute) to put in my part.  There will be a judging the following Friday, and then all paintings will go on sale through that weekend (May 13-14). So far I’ve managed five small watercolors of historic downtown Waxahachie. I’m not sure how many more I’ll manage this weekend and next week, but I’ll do as many as I am able.

Reading Henri’s work on the park bench this evening reminded me of what I’ve always wished to do–find a way to convey the undercurrents of life that I experience when looking at particular scenes that surround me. I want to know that I have skill to render subjects attractively. But much more, I wish to evoke an emotional response from my viewers, because an emotional impulse is what drives me to paint those particular subjects. The undercurrents of life that give those subjects meaning–those are what drive me to paint and seek an artful life.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to express.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

I’ve Created a Monster, and it’s Eating Me

September 22, 2015

imageGood evening. I don’t possess the time for creative thinking or writing, as I’ve been chained to the computer for hours on end, formatting my paintings and sketches for new greeting cards. I had no idea of the size of the task at hand. It’s been such a long time since my last festival, and I’ve created a large body of work that has not yet appeared before the public. I thought that one evening would suffice to put these new pieces on greeting cards. Unfortunately, I grossly underestimated the time required. As you can see from the photo, the table is covered with cards and printed images, each one a separate card. I compose something in writing to put on the back side of each card, and leave the inside blank for patrons to write what they wish when they mail them. I am no Ernest Hemingway, and I now realize that I have only two evenings remaining before loading for the weekend festival. In addition to this, I have two full days of teaching school, and three public commitments. I’ve been here before, and I’ll just have to take a few deep breaths and accept that I will not complete this task. I’ll just have to go to the festival with what I have ready, and hope that there will be more festivals to get the rest of the work out there to view.

The South Street Art Festival will begin Friday at 4:00 and last through Sunday. The event is free, with live music and enough artists’ booths to fill two city blocks. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we’ll have a fulfilling, festive time. I do love the festival atmosphere once my work is in place and I can sit in my director’s chair with a cup of coffee and my journal or book open on my lap. Three days is an excellent space for that kind of atmosphere.

http://www.southstreetartfest.com/

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to understand.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Meditations on “Genius”

July 19, 2015
Nearing the Finish of an Earlier Painting of the Laguna Madre

Nearing the Finish of an Earlier Painting of the Laguna Madre

What makes men of genius, or rather, what they make, is not new ideas, it is that idea—possessing them—that what has been said has still not been said enough. . . . Novelty is in the mind that creates, and not in nature, the thing painted. . . . That fever, you take it for the power to create, but it is, rather, a mere need to imitate. . . . Ah, no.  The fact is that they have not said the hundredth part of what there is to say; the fact is that with a single one of the things that they skim over, there is more material for original geniuses than there is . . . and that nature has put in safe keeping in the great imaginations to come more new things to say about her creations than she has created things.

Eugene Delacroix. Journal

Recently I listened on Youtube to the late Abstract Expressionist painter Robert Motherwell, fielding questions from an audience. He was asked about why he painted “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” over a hundred times. Was it a series. His response was No, not a series. His reason for the repeated paintings was that he felt that he never found what he was looking for as he explored that composition. He believed that was the same reason Paul Cezanne painted mont sainte victoire over fifty times. Delacroix, in his journal, pointed out that “genius” believes there is still much to be said in the subject under consideration.

The topic of genius is one that has intrigued me for a number of years.  I confess that in graduate school I dreamt of publishing an original idea (probably the dream of over 90% of dissertation authors).  Once I landed in the teaching arena, I continued to look for that original idea to publish, to put myself on the map so to speak.  As time went on, I came to this notion that creative genius is manifest in the act of configuring ideas in a way not done before.  As history continues to unroll, it becomes increasingly impossible to be “original.”  Once I began to think down this track, I tossed the vision of originality and instead found my joy in the act of creating, no longer fretting over whether or not my work would stand the test of time.

Back in 1993, I was enraptured by an article published in Newsweek, titled “The Puzzle of Genius,” written by Sharon Begley.  I saved the issue, and twenty-one years later, I still read it, and now quote from it:

The creative geniuses of art and science work obsessively. They do not lounge under apple trees waiting for fruit to fall or lightning to strike. “When inspiration does not come to me,” Freud once said, “I go halfway to meet it.” Bach wrote a cantata every week, even when he was sick or exhausted. Though most composers would kill to have written even one of his best pieces, some were little more than wallpaper music. Eliot’s numerous drafts of “The Waste Land” constitute what one scholar called “a jumble of good and bad passages [that he turned] into a poem.” In a study of 2,036 scientists throughout history, Simonton found that the most respected produced not only more great works, but also more “bad” ones. They produced. Period.

A few years back, I stopped using my full-time job as an excuse, and leapt from averaging fifteen-to-twenty watercolors per year to well over a hundred.  Sure, some of them are 5 x 7”, but some are 22 x 28”.  Some are quite bad, but others are quite alright.  I’m pleased that I’m cranking out creations, no longer fretting over every one of them being worthy of framing and hanging.  Funny—around the time I began feeling somewhat smug over cranking out great quantities of art work, I read about the day in 1975 when Andrew Wyeth was approached by Thomas Hoving to assemble a major exhibition for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Wyeth unlocked his cabinets and drew out more than fifteen hundred pre-studies for his tempera, dry-brush and watercolor masterpieces.  Fifteen hundred!

In my life today, I frequently encounter colleagues who describe themselves as “frustrated artists.”  Oftentimes, I discover that they haven’t created anything in years, using as an excuse their job, family, health—any number of obstacles that all humans encounter during this all-too-brief sojourn on earth.  David Bayles and Ted Orland collaborated on a book that has impacted me probably more than any other book from this recent decade: Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking.  I was stung by this observation: “The world is filled with people who were given great natural gifts, sometimes conspicuously flashy gifts, yet never produce anything.  And when that happens, the world soon ceases to care whether they are talented.”  I loved the musings of Howell Raines, long prior to his becoming the Executive Editor of The New York Times.  He movingly testified that “we are not on this earth for long.  Part of what a midlife crisis is about is figuring out what gives you pleasure and doing more of that in the time you have left without asking for permission or a financial or emotional subsidy from anyone else.”

As I write this, I am aware of file cabinets jammed with my old sermon manuscripts, my graduate school term papers, my lectures from college and high school classrooms, public speeches given, and over 130 volumes of my journals dating back to 1987.  And I look across my library shelves jammed with volumes filled with highlighted, underscored and marginally-noted texts spanning over three decades.  The shelves are also crowded with VHS tapes and DVDs of documentary and Teaching Company lectures.  And they continue to whisper their invitations for me to explore new pastures, but I simply cannot get at them all, not just now, and probably never will.  Yet still I find time sufficient to think on these treasures, and tonight am delighted to have a little space to write what’s on my heart.  On this day, I also had the pleasure of picking up a painting that I had stopped working on a few weeks ago. Though I was at a crowded art festival, I still found some time to tinker with the painting, trying to learn a new angle in watercolor. I enjoyed the time painting, and I enjoyed the wonderful chats with patrons throughout the afternoon. It’s been a good day.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not quite alone.

Open House at Fort Worth’s Stage West Theater Sunday Afternoon

July 18, 2015
Fort Worth Cattle Drive

Fort Worth Cattle Drive

A man’s life should be as fresh as a river. It should be the same channel, but a new water every instant. Some men have no inclination; they have no rapids nor cascades, but marshes, and alligators, and miasma instead.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, March 25, 1842

The more I read from this young man’s journals, dating prior to his stay at Walden Pond, the more astonished I am at his profound wisdom. He was only twenty-five when he wrote these words. For years, I have thought of bodies of water as metaphors for lifestyle characteristics. I love the statement above, because it attaches nicely to Thoreau’s Walden discussion of how he bathed every morning in Walden Pond, regarding it as a religious ritual as he followed the dictum of Confucius, to renew himself every day.

Today, I awoke with the feeling that I may not get to enter the studio at all. I have a show tomorrow afternoon at Fort Worth’s Stage West Theater, an Open House from 2:00-4:00. Today will be spent pulling together my inventory and preparing the necessary images, labels, signage, etc. that goes with my display, as well as packing and loading all the freight into the Jeep before I pull away in the morning. It tends to be an arduous, time-consuming affair. Still, there are worse fates. Thinking again of Thoreau’s line, I’m just happy to know I am not awaking today to doldrums, boredom, listlessness or frustration. I have a task to perform, it is art-related, and therefore I feel refreshed.

Here is a link to tomorrow’s Open House: http://stagewest.org/made-music-arts-drinks-eats

The image above I just picked up from the printers yesterday as a limited edition, signed and numbered giclee print. I have the first four available to take to the show. They measure 18 x 24″ and sell unframed for $100. They are shrinkwrapped and mounted on a foam core backing.

I am also bringing out this “Summer Morning on Sundance Square” for the second time, same size, same price:

Summer Morning on Sundance Square

Summer Morning on Sundance Square

This limited edition of the Ridglea Theater on Camp Bowie Blvd. has just been renewed. I have four of these I’ll be bringing to the show. Same size and price:

Ridglea Theater

Ridglea Theater

Since this is a Fort Worth venue, and it’s only open for two hours, I may as well pull out all my Fort Worth images. I’ll also have this one available, for $75 unframed, shrinkwrapped and mounted on foam core. It is the restored Sinclair station on McCart Ave.

McCart Sinclair

McCart Sinclair

I have the historic Flatiron building from downtown ready to go as well. 18 x 24″ and $100 unframed:

Sunlight on the Fort Worth Flatiron

Sunlight on the Fort Worth Flatiron

St. Ignatius Academy, just south of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, downtown Fort Worth will also be there in a limited edition:

Saint Ignatius Academy

Saint Ignatius Academy

And finally, the Poly theater on Vaughn Blvd (two separate editions):

Poly Theater Blues Revue

Poly Theater Blues Revue

Vaughn Blvd Relic

Vaughn Blvd Relic

There is still much to do. As much as I hate to leave the studio, I’m glad to be participating in an art event.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

 

Divided Attention

May 22, 2015

Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you  feel insecure.

Piero Ferrucci

Well, I’m following Ferrucci’s directive, but not by conscious choice. Since I learned that I would be painting in the Laguna Madre this summer, my attention has been drawn to photos I took of the island and a series of thumbnail compositional sketches for watercolors I plan to execute on site, but also some abstract designs and small works that I haven’t done in well over a decade. I enjoyed working in abstraction during my college and post-graduate years, but since the late 1980’s I have worked more exclusively in watercolor and representational subjects. Now, I’m wondering if my one-man-show following the residency should show my sketches and abstractions along with the finished representational watercolors. Plenty of time to decide on that, I suppose.

To add to the schizophrenia, I will leave in less than an hour to set up for a three-day festival (most likely in the pouring rain). My festivals, of course, do not display abstract or non-traditional art. And oftentimes, I’m sitting in my booth reading the writings of Motherwell or poring over a book of paintings by Rothko, and people looking at my work are seeing only traditional art, and oftentimes wondering if what I’m selling would look O.K. in a living room or office space. Two worlds.

Actually, much more than just two worlds. I probably should be too embarrassed to post this, but I wanted to send out a word to my blogging friends, because I was too busy yesterday packing and loading for this show to put up a blog post. If I don’t blog over the next couple of days, it will be because I am too exhausted from the show, especially if rain plagues us the way it has the past three weeks. I’m still trying to get over this ugly sinus infection and allergy symptoms (no doubt from all the mold that is flourishing during this swamp weather). My plan in the art booth is to bring my large thermos of coffee and good books to read, just in case the weather chases away all the patrons.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Sedentary in Mind Only?

May 20, 2015
Preparations for a Three-Day Art Festival

Preparations for a Three-Day Art Festival

I envy [painters] because there is so much physical satisfaction in the actual work of painting and sculpture. I’m a physical being and resent this sedentary business of sitting at one’s desk and moving only one’s wrist. I pace, I speak my poems, I get very kinetic when I’m working. . . . When I insist on poetry as a kind of action, I’m thinking very much in these terms–every achieved metaphor in a poem is a gesture of sorts, the equivalent of slashing of a stroke on canvas.

Stanley Kunitz

I loved reading this interview given by poet Stanley Kunitz. He lived in Greenwich Village, and later in Provincetown, enjoying close relationships with Abstract Expressionist painters including Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko and Willem DeKooning. I understand his disjunctive between the sedentary posture of a desk-bound poet and the action painter standing before a mural-size canvas. I knew the action painting posture in my former years. But as a watercolorist, I feel more sedentary and reflective, and certainly don’t burn calories when I’m in the midst of my work.

However, tonight I have been everything but sedentary. There is a three-day festival approaching: Centerstage Festival at the Levitt Performing Arts Pavilion in central Arlington, Texas. I will have to rise early on Friday morning to begin the load-in for the show. Tonight I decided to get out in front of it, instead of waiting for the deadline to bite me on the butt tomorrow evening. I have been working out of three rooms (that explains the burning of calories): printing in one, matting and sleeving in another, organizing and loading in another. This time I have taken an oath not to leave my house with that trashed-out look when I drive away for the festival. So, I’ve had to work harder to keep from tossing discarded items into corners and empty spaces on the floors.

Though I’ve experienced an evening brimming with physical energy, I have every reason to believe that the sedentary will return. Texas has been soggy, slushy, muddy, moldy and swampy with rain for weeks, and the forecast calls for this to continue daily through next Monday. In prior years, this would draw an explosion of profanity from me. Not this time. I have seen more than my fair share of this in Texas. I need to be glad to have a good, sound, waterproof tent. The festival will be on paved streets, not in swampy, grassy parks. I have added a back “porch” to my tent. So, if the rains descend, as forecasted, I will enjoy a thermos of coffee and a stack of books with my journal. If storms chase away all the patrons, as in festivals past, I’ll have three days to reflect, write, and plan for the exciting weeks that lie immediately ahead. I know solitude, and how to appreciate it when it is offered as a gift. And sedentary sounds like a good thing.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

Winter Closing In

November 15, 2014
Road Trip in the Crisp Cold

Road Trip in the Crisp Cold

I awoke today and found

the frost perched on the town.

It hovered in a frozen sky

then it gobbled summer down.

When the sun turns traitor cold

and all the trees are shivering in a naked row.

 

I get the urge for going

But I never seem to go.

I get the urge for going

When the meadow grass is turning brown

Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in.

Joni Mitchell

After a second shivering night without a furnace, it was a genuine pleasure to meet with a writer and creative spirit for a 6:30 breakfast in front of a roaring fire place.   The conversation was first rate, and there just doesn’t seem to be enough of those available today. So . . . (you know who you are!) . . . thanks for a fabulous breakfast and most soulful chat.  Thanks for a wonderful beginning to this cold morning.

I’ve posted these lyrics above that have haunted me for years now.  I had no idea that Joni Mitchell penned the words, as I’ve listened to the song performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash.  And though the song was never a hit, it remains one of my favorite, most soulful pieces.  I love the approach of the year-end holidays and the change in climate, mostly for the memories–an admixture of joy and sadness, gratitude as well as regret.  Soulful.  That is the best way I can describe the coming season.  And I welcome it.

Painting is the trade that takes longest to learn and is the most difficult.  It demands erudition like that of the composer, but it also demands execution like that of the violinist.

Eugene Delacroix, Journal, September 18, 1847

Right now, the house and studio are too cold for painting, but at least I could study it further with the plethora of books I have surrounding me now.  And I have the time . . .

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Reminiscence over the Delicious Weekend Escape

November 2, 2014
Grateful for Athens, Texas, when Greece is too Far Away

Grateful for Athens, Texas, when Greece is too Far Away

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

John Keats, “Endymion”

Pausing in the midst of this chilly Texas Sunday evening to reflect over the past several days has led me to the conclusion that the only way I survived the grind of a very difficult school week was believing that a respite awaited me over the weekend.  I would not be disappointed.  As soon as school ended Friday, I pointed my loaded vehicle east for the two-hour-plus drive to Bullard, Texas, delighting in the sights of Arlington and Dallas fading in my rearview mirror.  As I drove along, all I could hear in my memory were the songs played during some impromptu jam sessions played by my students in my classroom earlier that morning:

“a thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases . . .”

I arrived at the Family Center of the First United Methodist Church in Bullard (south of Tyler, Texas) and promptly began unloading and setting up my art display for the 7th Annual Genny Wood Art Show to open the following morning.

Once I completed my set up, I was exhausted to the bone, and exited the building.  Once outside, I surprised at the beauty of the cold night air that greeted me.  Autumn had finally arrived in Texas, my short-sleeved T-shirt was insufficient for keeping my body warm, and I retrieved a leather jacket from the Jeep and walked with serene contentment down the darkened streets, watching Halloween Trick-or-Treaters moving along the shadows, laughing and calling out to one another, always with attendant parents in tow.  It was shaping up to be a most satisfying Friday night in Bullard, Texas, and I felt I needed to treat myself to barbecue at Ribmasters just down the main drag.

Dear friends of mine from Athens, Texas (an hour away) always reserve a bed for me to stay the night when I’m in east Texas.  How grateful I was that night when my head hit the pillow at 9:33 p.m.  I know I was asleep within five minutes.  The night before, I had stayed up, making preparations for the show until 1:30 a.m., and then rose at 6:00 to teach school, then hit the road for the weekend art show.  I was ready for lights out.

Waking Saturday before the 6:00 alarm, I was stirred to alertness by the 39-degree temperature outside.  I shivered as I walked to my Jeep and began the one-hour drive back to Bullard for a 9:00 opening.  The show this year was the best I have seen over the past few years that I participated, and I found such wonderful kindred spirits among several oil painters, watercolorists, draftsman, and even a retired sign painter.  We chatted throughout the seven-hour day, exchanging ideas and enjoying one another’s company.  The conversations with the patrons were also filled with reward, and I picked up a plethora of tips of small towns and settings that I can sketch and paint in my future.  The day was packed with satisfying conversation, art sales and all-around good feelings of affirmation.  I love it when the art world brings that into my life, especially coming off a hard week at work.

Once the show ended my art was loaded back into my vehicle, I returned to the home of my dear friends in Athens for more wonderful conversation and another delicious night’s sleep.  Daylight Savings Time added an hour to my sleep cycle, and I awoke this morning feeling better than I have in weeks.  After a few more hours with my friends, I hit the road for the return home, a happy man.

Recalling the warmth of the past few days has prepared me to face this coming week which promises plenty of new challenges.  But I feel profoundly changed from the way things were last week, and I’m ready to face the new prospects. The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams has brought me great company over this weekend, and renewed commitment to excellence in the arts.  In future posts, I hope to share more of what I’ve been gleaning from his confessions.  Life is good now.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Friday Night Respite

October 17, 2014
A New Greeting Card Featuring John Dryden

A New Greeting Card Featuring John Dryden

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.  The moment you know how, you begin to die a little.  The artist never entirely knows.  We guess.  We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.

Agnes de Mille

My mind still second-guesses my decision to stay home on a Friday night and grade online college homework that was backing up.  But I did.  And I’m happy now to see an empty file on my Blackboard.  What surprises me even more is that I moved from that chore to cleaning up my dwelling place, which took even longer.  But now I can relax.  I have my last craft show in Arlington for this year, in the morning beginning at 9:00.  It is a one-day affair, and indoors. I went drove there late this afternoon and set up my booth, so all is ready.  As I was reaching for a book and heading for a comfy chair, I suddently realized that this blog has lay dormant since last weekend.  So, I decided to post one of my brand-new greeting cards.  Years ago I created a series of collages featuring my personal intellectual heroes from the world of literature, theology and philosophy.  I even put some of them on a greeting card, but never put a text on the backside, until this week.  Now I have a quantity of 5 x 7″ cards (collage image as well as tribute text) featuring Dryden, Shakespeare, Locke, Berkeley, Whitman, T. S. Eliot, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Einstein, Paul Tillich and Dickens.  I’ll be bringing them out into the public for the first time tomorrow at the fair.  I have a number of additional collage compositions ready for greeting card format, but I’ve decided to hold them back until I put a tribute on the back of each of them as well–Proust, Kant, Hegel, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, Tennyson and Poe.

This week has been wild and woolly for me, but not interesting enough to post details.  Suffice it to say that high school and college kept my plate full every day and every night, and it wasn’t much fun.  I read almost nothing outside my preparations for all the classes.  And I graded for hours and hours.  I’m just glad to have those details swept clean, to have a festival to attend tomorrow, and the rest of the week open.  Whether I read, journal, paint, or do all three, remains to be seen.  But I’m really happy I spent Friday night tidying up these annoying details in order to set myself free for another 48 hours or so.

Thanks always for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Late Studio Nights with an Art Festival Approaching

September 23, 2014
Preparations for an Art Festival

Preparations for an Art Festival

We are called upon to do something new, to confront a no man’s land, to push into a forest where there are no well-worn paths and from which no one has returned to guide us.  This is what the existentialists call the anxiety of nothingness.  To live into the future means to leap into the unknown, and this requires a degree of courage for which there is no immediate precedent and which few people realize.

Rollo May, The Courage to Create

As I write this, I am looking across a room filled with scattered piles of unmatted watercolors created over the past several months, and a desk piled in handwritten and typed notes for tomorrow’s high school classes.  In three days, I will be loading my Jeep to travel to a three-day art festival featuring 75 artists and vendors along with plenty of live music–The South Street Festival in Arllington, Texas. (http://www.southstreetartfest.com/)

This free event will be my final “large” art festival for the year 2014 (I will participate in two smaller ones later in October).  For a number of years now, my preparatory steps for festivals have had that old familiar feel that bordered on weariness and encroaching inertia.  But now that I have cut back severely on their number (from eight to only three this fall season), I’m feeling a resurgence of excitement along with the anxiety that accompanies the new and the unknown.  My output of artwork has not flagged over the months, but my public displays have, and now I feel a sense of the new as I prepare to travel to this next venue.  I don’t know when I’ve anticipated with more eagerness this chance to meet new crowds of people in the public marketplace with a chance of discussing and selling art as well as forming new friendships.  I have really missed that and am glad that the opportunity is returning.

Tomorrow promises to be another rewarding day at the high school as I have finished preparations for meeting my A.V.I.D. and Philosophy classes.  The students have shown remarkable motivation and resiliency these past five weeks, and I feel closer to them with each passing day, indeed I look forward to seeing them again and finding out what kinds of new things we can explore together in this evolving arena of creative inquiry.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.