Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Disorderly Order: Orderly Disorder

In taking  an "Organize Your  Art Business" online -12 week class from Alyson Stanfield, ArtBizCoach, I've had an opportunity to assess and alter the way I support my chief activities, my painting, sculpting,  and managing business,  my art-life, and my partner's, his sumi-e and recovery.

Sculpture, and Paintings from the  2013 Year
of Months' Series by Marianne Hornbuckle
Thanks to the computer and online tools that didn't exist when we began this journey together back in
the early 80's, the means of organizing the business side is both easier, and more complex, with the artist assuming more and more of it.
At the same time, the gallery world has changed.  In 20 years of gallery representation, peripheral duties consisted of shipping and tracking inventory, maintaining good relationships and meeting deadlines.  For me, the big shift began in the mid-90's when I first touched a computer, and decided to learn as much as I could about how to use the programs related to marketing.
 I found I enjoyed the challenge (in hindsight, of course) and recognized that we would be marketing ourselves at mid-late career (or late-mid career).  As artists we had not followed the proscribed path to artistic security, i.e. don't divorce, move, change genres, explore other approaches to image-making; get an art degree, establish yourself, teach workshops, write how-to books, stick with popular genres, find salable imagery and repeat it. We found ourselves in the final cycle of most of our galleries - galleries change directions, go out of business, return to their original city, and heirs sell - and chose to go the self-representation route. We live north of Santa Fe, so there is plenty of opportunity here.

Sumi-e with 5'scroll of Canyon de Chelly
by William Preston
Self-representation as artists has lead to more freedom, more control, and much satisfaction.  As the "manager", I have embraced the great possibilities of growing technology, social media, advice from experts. This course has been a wonderful opportunity to learn that I am more ahead than behind, that experience, wisdom and perspective do matter, and that I can learn to create more order (and serenity) in my art-life even at this late date!
William has been making art for 50+ years; I, for 35+, both of us full-time. We have seen remarkable changes, as you can imagine. And, I guess I won't stop blogging after all -my last post was late June, I'm embarrassed!  But I did keep the newsletters going.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Transition AGAIN? A Year of Months: June:Transition

What will the next months bring - the next weeks, the next days, the next minutes?
Despite the drought, June has brought extravagance - in flowers blooming, in generosity from friends, in adjustments to new challenges, in advances in art-making, in gratitude for the natural expression of things.
The dust rises, and settles, and look at the wonders!  Tiger swallowtails visited the larkspur in the rose bed not once but twice when I happened to be there and could record it!  The clematis that looked dead 3 weeks ago responded to watering and loaded up with 4" blossoms.  Roses I thought had succumbed to the cold dry winter blossomed profusely, if a little shorter. Other delights too numerous to count remind me of so many blessings!   Shared dishes, volunteered transport, time carved out for creative work, new paradigms adjusted to and made meaningful for both Bill and me- all expressing this time of the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and the duality and versatility of Geminis.   Holding all this in my head and heart, June:Transition, the 6th in my series, A Year of Months has emerged. It truly is about transition, and all the promise and the leaving and trust that that  entails.
A Year of Months: June:Transition     48x36" ac/canvas 
Coming soon, July, my power month!  A new painting, and another video about the actual process, sequentially, of making a painting (as soon as I finish the voiceover!)
Here's to SUMMER!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In Spite of it ALL

Last time I blogged was March 28, the day before Bill and I embarked on our journey into the Western medical system - both, as many of you know, a boon and a curse.  The system is a wonderful diagnostic system, and in his case, a lifesaver, but also, a consuming life-changing altering of trajectory for us both.  Emerging from 2 full weeks of hospitalization, recovering from ambulatory to mobility, entering tri-weekly dialysis, he is still working to return to full stamina and time in the studio. I  have both discovered, and learned, skills I never expected. My struggle is to fit painting and sculpting, already a full schedule, into his new circumstance.  
Many artists have faced similar challenges - perhaps a new how-to book entitled "How to Steal Time for Artists" is in order.  Despite all the extra-curricular activities, I have finished both April: Momentum: Fits and Starts, and May:Momentum. My routine is settling in, with a blessing of help from two dear friends who are taking Bill in for treatment two days a week.  I then go in just to pick him up, giving me extra hours in the studio, and sparing me five hours of killing time in town 3 times a week.  Another wonderful local can be here at home when I have SFSA shows scheduled (and she will clean, too!)  With this, the impossible does seem possible.
May suggests to me the May Day Maypole dance (though I've never actually seen one, have you?), the burst of energetic growth that is May here, and even Cinco de Mayo... not to mention our wedding anniversary, Mother's Day, and William's birthday happens every May and planting time - jampacked, as May always has been for us, not unlike this sentence... I''m especially happy Bill's still here to celebrate all these things with me!

The initial idea for June:Transition II slowly and fully churns in my head, with canvas stretched yesterday, today to begin.  How can one miss with June, with so many elements - Gemini, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, a month of building heat, little rain, gardens in bloom - a full complement of energy, and yet, a not so subtle pause of uncertainty - what will this summer bring?


Thursday, March 28, 2013

March Movement!

Just can't keep newslettters and blogs in their separate places - what was said where and when, and did I actually publish it.   Anyway, I last blogged about a new series, or painting goal for the year, that came to me in January, that is, one large painting (36x48") for each month of the year, expressing that month. I have arrived at "A Year of Months, one at a time", as a descriptor.  Here are February and March - April is just beginning to spill from my mind onto the 2007 painting that is in service as its base - those color choices should be very different!

March:Movement 48x36"
February:Passion 48x36"

  Meanwhile, the updating of my website is complete, think I have caught everything, It's cleaner and works well. Check out my paintings and oh yes, the works on paper that filled studio time after each painting was almost finished and I needed time to think if it was really almost finished! The website is what I call "bloggy", but then as you have seen, I'm a wordy person.....(really!!!??)
Getting it uploaded to GoDaddy was frustrating and time-consuming, not the usual for them - had I mentioned (or they noticed) that it is not an .html site, but a .php site, would have taken a day, not 10.
Migrated to MailChimp (free) for Newsletters, almost as time-consuming. Working on learning and self-producing little videos with my IPad - evidence to be submitted soon, I swear! Sculpture sessions continue, and as soon as I clean that studio up, it'll be back to that as well, probably a (new)yoga pose.
Spring is here, yay!!!, and it's on to April, and the next things.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


As the year 2013 looms ahead and the best-held resolutions of the New Year fall behind, I have to wonder, what's the hurry?  Moving gently into the year holds promise for the arrival of organic ideas and slowly building energy. Daily lengthening of the light hints of the potential of the year ahead.

Early in the  month, seeking a cohesive and  expansive theme for the paintings to come this year, I reflected on recurrent subjects (by titles) in my abstract work, and finally after several days, the seed popped open - 12 paintings of significant size (36x48"), one for each month, to reflect my experience of that month.  This will be a challenge during the active show season, but the goal itself is a commitment, and will provide inspiration for prioritizing and focus in my studio time.
Jan.2013-transition - 48x30" abstract acrylic painting
January|Transition  - 2013
And here it is, "January - Transition"  and true to its title, slightly less in one dimension than my promised 36 x 48"!

I think of you as well, in this subliminal process of discovering ideas to be expressed. Many of you I've met and enjoyed in person, and I remember the pieces you've admired, your appreciation of the work, and the comments you have made, the pieces you have taken home, and why!  Hearing your stories and exchanging ideas have enriched my life and now feeds my energy to ready myself for the coming show season in downtown Santa Fe by creating the best work I can do. Thank you for the big part you play in all of this!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And On to the Fifth World...

Mayan Dream 2 (The Fifth World) - 26x44" Acrylic on Canvas

As early as 2000 and Y2K, I wondered what December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan long count Calendar and the 4th world, would bring. Though much happened in between, both good and bad, the date came and went with only one party (for me), an interesting documentary or two, and little general fanfare. Here in Santa Fe in our house, with the quiet, and time for musing, the mind wanderings found their way into two paintings, Mayan Dream 1, and 2.When thinking about painting, I like to have an idea I am trying to express visually- as said before, I enjoy the cycles of seasons and the changes they bring here and their expressions often appear in my work- the end of the Mayan calendar presented itself as an opportunity for the "content " of the last 2 paintings of 2012.
Mayan Dream 1( End of the 4th World) - 30x44" Acrylic on Canvas
A shaman whose writings I value expresses the new potential, new frequency of the 5th sun on his website, www.powerpath.com. Though I will not be alive at the end of the Katuns he speaks of (in 60 more years), his writings express the potential for a peaceful and positive world we cannot really imagine and broadly, what it might take to get there. I just have to share the link: The Solstice 12/21/12 and Beyond: A Mayan View.

Happy New Year!

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