Hey people. Exactly a year ago I was preparing for my first solo show at my best gallery, a place in Hudson WI (Seasons On St. Croix) that has been selling my work for almost as long as I've been making it. What does any rational person do when they have a limited amount of time to make enough art to fill a room? Oh-- make a giant, time-consuming, practically impossible to deliver item of course. This here thing. (At least Ray now has a peaceful haven in which to groom himself.)
In school I used to be accused of being lazy. (Actually, things would be said like, "If you worked half as hard at just doing your assignment as you did figuring out ways to get out of doing it..." To which I usually replied, silently, "I'd what? What?? Be super boring?" Yep. Incorrigible.)
Turns out, I just have an unnatural aversion to doing what I'm told. Left to my own devices, I actually get kind of psychotically competitive with myself, and work really hard. Not lazy. Just... entrepreneurial?
So I want this show to be the best I've ever had-- with TONS of pieces. That means I won't get wrapped-up in another overly large project, and am trying to keep things reasonable. but I have to admit-- happy as I am with how this piece came out, so far entitled-- "cool hangy thing", I am bummed it took me all day to make. I've got a lot of art to make and only about 4 1/2 weeks to make it in people!
Here's one I finished the day before. I've been working with this piece of steel, and kind of hoarding it, since last winter. (The paint froze to it when I first started fooling with it.) I like it.
I still don't feel right just hanging up the 2-d painted steel and going "Tah-dah! It's a painting folks!"-- because i don't consider myself a painter. I've just figured out some ways to make painted rusty steel look pretty cool. I feel the need to add a 3-d element to them. Dan thinks this completes them too, and makes them more unique.
Whatever-- I like how they come out.
So that's what's been going on vocation-wise.
Avocationally--I've been pretending to be a mountain bike racer for the last few weeks. This is such an unexpected, ridiculous turn of events I can't even tell you. Talk about something I never thought I'd in a million years do-- Talk about over-reaching!
Here's some stuff I overheard at the last race--
"Yeah, last April I crashed motocross racing and broke 14 bones, so, it's taken me a while to get back."
(14 bones??? WTF?!!)
"Oh yeah-- I know him-- his dad helped me off the course that time I broke my neck."
(Broke your NECK??? WTF?!!)
They aren't all insane. Some are very soft spoken. Some bring their whole family to the race. All are respectful and friendly. There are very few girls who race however. And me-- seriously-- I am nothing but a tourist to this land of badasses. It's like those guys who go to open try-outs or pay to go to "camps" or whatever to live out their big-league fantasies, except in my case it just cost a measly $10 a race.
Second race-- I pretty much sucked-- placing 4th out of 4 competitors.
Last race-- Only 2 women, including me, showed up, so I left the gates knowing I could be as slow and shitty as I wanted, and still take second, and had, by this time, made a decision about my riding-- that I'm really not made of the right stuff for racing probably, because I'm not willing to risk life and limb for it. I won't ride right to the edge, and that, apparently, is what it takes to really shine. (Plus-- even if I was willing-- I'm just not that good of an athlete, or in good enough shape right now.) (To be brutally honest.)
But for all my efforts I did win a couple special *winner only* (1st, 2nd, or 3rd place) t-shirts. I customized this one-- noticing I said "Woo Meeee!" every time I crossed the finish line, like the true dork I am. I was going to write, "Yes actually, it IS me..." on the sleeve, but it was harder than I thought to get the sharpie to write neat on the fabric.
The best part of all of this, is that I now feel I at least have a nodding acquaintanceship with more of the riders/racers, who were nothing but encouraging and nice to me through this whole thing. There is really no way to know what kind of man I'd be, if I was, you know-- a dude, but I can only HOPE I'd be cool enough to hang with these guys.
I know I'm a bit starry-eyed about their feats, but I truly marvel at their athleticism, bike skills, and even more so- that inner fire that enables them to summon-up that extra burst when their physical resources have been completely tapped-out, when they really have nothing left in the tank, and yet they miraculously push through and BLAZE.
The only thing I feel kind of bad about, is that the truly amazing female racers-- really courageous athletes-- were forced to share the podium with poser me. They were always gracious and good-natured about it. I can only hope it didn't diminish their REAL wins.
Lastly-- (sorry this is so long) vacation!!-- after my show opens me and sis are going on a *just us* hiking trip up north, and staying at a hotel with fun, big water slides. Woo Hoo! *Can't WAIT!*