Dear Friends, when we last convened, you were kind enough to read “Who inspires you? Baltimore Clayworks shows the work of Educators and Innovators - My review and the powerful art of Kimberly Canfield” Today, on this most auspicious of days, as the bright green clover peeps through the damp and and darkish earth, I would like to share an accounting of my progress of the last three months.
In January, I laid out a plan of action designed to increase my productivity as an artist, and member of the art community. I endeavored to design an aspirational, yet achievable plan that I might return to during my occasional bouts of directionless wandering. In the tradition of the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I am performing a self examination. In it, I will be grading the goals I set out in my post “The 11 month plan, “Kondoing” the studio, and Festina Lente.” Each goal for this first quarter will be judged as a “pass,” or “eternal shame.” All in good fun, I assure you, but no need here for graphs, colored pencils, and most of all, excuses!
PASS! - “Research and apply for grants and shows that may be receptive to my work. (I find a lot of information about these opportunities on the Bmore Art “Calls for Entry” page)” I applied to the ArchEnemy Fine Arts Open Call, but was rejected. I did additional research for quite a few grants and galleries, but I talked myself out of applying, mostly because, (if I’m supposed to be totally honest here) I decided not to pay the $30 a pop entry fees)
PASS!- “Make a high-relief press mold of my votive rabbits to “mass produce.” Experiment with versions that hang on the wall, and that would stand upright on a table.” Done!
PASS!- “Continue construction of large clay slit gong (approx. 4 ft”) to add to body of work shown at Clayworks in Fall of 2018”
PASS! -Continue teaching at Baltimore Clayworks
ETERNAL SHAME -”Make a linocut of votive rabbits and print a small run on high quality paper.” I bought the linoleum block, and even a brand new Speedball ink set, but have not finished the print
ETERNAL SHAME - ”Complete construction of large clay slit gong.” I’d say we are about ¾ of the way completed
PASS! - ”Research images and references for new series of “identity shields”- 8 to 12 clay shields that can be worn, and will be able to hang on a wall. These shields will bear the marks of battle, and be adorned with faces and reminders of one’s identity” I actually have one shield ready to bisque!
PASS! - “Find community meeting to attend. - get out and about!” I attended BmoreArt’s “Connect + Collect” (Click here to read my review) I also attended several exhibitions, and some meetings at the Baltimore Clayworks
ETERNAL SHAME - “Make small face and mask studies in preparation for large faces on the front of the identity shields.” I’ve made one mask, but one mask does not constitute a “study.”
ETERNAL SHAME (sort of) - ”Sell small works at Greater Goods Market at the R house garage” Decided to pass on this month’s market in favor of the Baltimore Faerie Fest on April 13th. Have yet to pay the booth fee.
PASS! - ”Research and attempt to meet with artist with similar tone of work, to learn how they moved forward, and steps that I can take that I may be missing.” I’ve met several already through my gallery jaunts- learned that I should try to do an artist’s residency.
PASS! -”Find community meeting to attend.” Attended the closing reception for “Keystone Clay: East” and discovered the work of a wonderful new artist. (Click here to read my review)
As we come to the close of this quarter’s self assessment, I am reminded of the green card stock report cards we used to get in school. At the bottom of each card was a space, about four and a half inches wide, and half an inch tall, labeled “teacher comments” It was always the first thing I looked for- just hoping to read something nice that might take the sting out of the rest of it. While I won’t be making any self complimentary remarks here, I did want to include a note on a new project I’ve started that wasn’t part of my initial goals.
This weekend I will be interviewing my first guest on “Art + Whiskey,” a new podcast/ youtube series. In it, I will be talking and drinking whiskey with artists and curators about creativity, the business of art, and best practices for artists. I am also hoping that we can delve deeply into the content of these artists’ works, and how working as an artist creates a context for being in a larger world. In this way I am hoping to fulfill the tagline of the project, “Drinking with Meaning.”
While self-assessments are never fun, I am grateful to the sisters for teaching me their version of this process, as well as instilling a healthy fear of self delusion. Making this accounting of the places where I’ve failed to live up to my own expectations has given me fresh motivation to get things done. It also feels like a “mini New Year” in a way. After making this assessment, I can let go of the failures of the past, and simply move them forward into the “to do” column. Luckily, with 14 days left in the month of March, I still have a little time to chip away at some of my eternal shame!