Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Directions

(no title yet), acrylic/collage on canvas, 36"x24", ©2007

When I sat down at the computer, I had some idea of what I was going to write about, but by the time I got the above image ready to include in the post, I forgot what it was. Guess the ol' mind is slipping. Well, I'll start writing, and maybe it will come to me.

The painting above was one of the last paintings I completed in 2007, and I think it represents a new direction in my work. (It also tells me that I really need to improve in the area of photographing my work.) Not a wildly new direction, more like a gathering of various directions into one. That seems to be what my work in 2007 was about. As you can see in this detail, I used a lot of scratching as linear elements, and this seems to be the focus of this newer direction. I've used scratching before, but now it's really caught my attention, and all my work since then has included it more heavily than in my previous work.

And speaking of new directions, last week I started taking a printmaking class over at the Kirkland Art Center. The class is called Copper and Collage, and it's focus is on combining printmaking with collage. I've never taken a printmaking class before, and I'm very excited about the potential I see in this experimental class. The instructor is wonderful, and the class is small and very friendly. I'm looking forward to going back tonight. Hopefully I'll have some work from the class to post soon (last week was all about preparing the copper plates).

I still haven't thought of what else I was going to write about. I'll have to get back to you. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2007: Taxes and Accomplishments

(no title yet), acrylic/collage on canvas, 30"x48", ©2008

So I did my taxes yesterday. Not the most enjoyable way to pass the time, but it has to be done, and I wanted to get it out of the way. Anyway, a couple of positive things came of it. First, it looks like we'll be getting a return that will help greatly in the effort to get to New York this summer! Second, I did better than I thought in 2007.

I hadn't really taken the time to look at my accomplishments as 2007 drew to a close, because I was pretty sure I'd be disappointed. I knew I'd spent a lot of time and energy working on the gallery and other art projects at church, and not nearly enough on my own artwork and career.

But getting together the numbers for the tax forms made me review the year more objectively, and I'm happy to report that it wasn't all that bad after all. I made more money than in 2006, which is great. What's even better is that in 2006 a large portion of my income was actually from some freelance design work, whereas in 2007, it was all from sales of my own artwork!

Even though I spent a lot of the year feeling like I wasn't getting anywhere, I now feel like I grew a lot as an artist in 2007 and I really like the direction my work is taking now. So I guess something was happening below the surface.

I also feel like I didn't do enough marketing in 2007. I think that one of the reasons I didn't is that I honestly didn't feel ready to, even though I felt I should. ("should" is such a great warning sign!) So I've decided that I'm not going to worry much about marketing until at least June or July, and focus only on making art until then. It is such a relief to make that decision!

I am proud of the gallery too! It's proven to be not only a great venue for displaying really good art, but I've also met some great people and made new friends through it. I just need to rebalance the equation a little so I spend more time on my own work this year and yet still have some great exhibits there.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bits of Randomness

Back in December, I was tagged by my friend Tracy tagged me to list five random things about myself. At first, I figured I probably wouldn't do it, but on this very wet and cold Monday, the urge hit me to go ahead to give it a whirl, so here we go.

1. I really don't like pictures of myself. I used to, but now they rarely look the way I think I look, and I'm disturbed by the differences. So, here's a picture of me. It was taken by me with my camera held at arm's length, so it's not a great photo, but it does basically look like me.

2. The name of my blog, RyhopeWood, come from one of my favorite fantasy novels, Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock which I read back in my early 20s. In the novel, it's a primeval forest in England where the myths of mankind, from the beginning of time, take form and live and breathe in the various forms that man's subconscious has given them over the millennia. Thought that would be a good place for my artistic musings to hang out.

3. I worry that I'm not living my life as fully or as creatively as I might. Maybe going to New York this summer for the opening reception will help.

4. I've recently become slightly obsessed with the new Doctor Who, and a bit infatuated with the latest Doctor, David Tennant. Season four is in the works, but it's going to be a long wait, especially since I live in America, not Britain. (sigh)

5. Hmmm, what else. I'll have to think on that and get back to you.

I don't think I'll tag anyone else. But if you feel inspired to do this, have fun, and let me know so I can check out your list too!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Big and Small, 2008 begins

as yet untitled, acrylic/collage on canvas, 40"x30", ©2008 (not the best photo - have to reshoot)

Day 11 of the new year. I finally got to get back to the studio late last week, and I'm happy to report that painting is going pretty well. The piece above was the first painting I completed in 2008. It's rather large, 48"x36", and I actually started it in December, but I completed it this past Monday, and I love how it turned out (much better in person of course). I then immediately started a 24"x48" piece that I should be able to finish early next week. Yesterday my husband needed the car so I stayed home and worked on some small pieces and managed to complete these two.

untitled (red), acrylic/collage on canvas, 8"x8", ©2008

untitled (blue/green), acrylic/collage on canvas, 7"x5", ©2008 SOLD!

(click on images to see larger versions)

(bah humbug alert! - I don't usually have too much of a problem with the holidays, but this year they really felt like they were more of an obstacle to painting than anything else, so I'm glad they're over and I can get back to creating.)

I found out the other day that I sold a piece at Square Inch Gallery! And, I'm scheduled to have a solo show there in July! A solo show in New York City!!! I've got to save up my pennies so I can attend the opening reception.

Not a bad start for 2008, eh?