Bell Poem No. 18
2021. Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 10 in.
My spirit revived somewhat this week when my partner came out into the studio with me and we looked together at the work I’ve been doing, the situation in the studio, and the possibilities for a sane, safe, and satisfying participation in October’s Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours. (Reminder: I’ll be Studio No. 2 on the first and second weekends, Oct. 9-10 and 16-17.)
The challenges of this summer (not to mention the last two years) have been frankly discouraging, and I’ve been on the cusp of withdrawing from the Tours. (Did I mention that the power went out for 22 hours after a thunderstorm last week during triple-digit temps, and that there was a breakdown at the well and we were without water the weekend before?) I’ve felt extremely unprepared despite my best efforts, covid continues to make public events fraught, isolation has led to a crisis of artistic confidence, and the Art Tours organizers have also suffered from the covid malaise in their preparations and promotions, leading to a less predictable and potentially less successful event.
But as my partner and I pulled out the artworks, considered possible hanging schemes, and addressed organizational challenges, my spirits rose. Although I know this year may not be be as straightforward, convivial, and celebratory as past Tours, it really is possible that it will be rewarding in its own way. I do believe in the work, and I do believe that viewing it here in this desert retreat may bring some folks solace in this stressful and alienating time.
It helped that my partner was so enamored of the works that she has commandeered several pieces for hanging in the house until next month, including Bell Poem No. 18 above and also Mandala II. It is reassuring that she is so delighted by them; as I mentioned, the isolation of the last two years has left me in need of a reality check on the appeal of the work. Of course, she is biased, but so is everyone, right? Anyway, the next challenge will be getting them back away from her for display in the studio in October.