Thursday, December 11, 2008

Opening: "Pastels of Ocean, Beach and Marsh"

I actually wrote this piece on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, though I am just putting it in the journal due to my frantic last minute preparations for the show.

It’s been a mad dash. However I’m almost ready for Friday evening, December 12, 2008, the opening to my exhibit of pastels that runs to February 18, 2009 at the Juno Beach Town Center, 340 Ocean Drive. I have twenty-four pastels, many of them over-sized works that range in style from quite abstract to almost hyper-real. I must do a short presentation about my pastel technique at the opening, which is totally different from the approach most artists make to the medium. Instead of rubbing, blending, and smearing colors together, I rely totally on mark making technique. The individual pastels themselves do all the blending together of color. I know I shouldn’t be apprehensive about speaking, but I haven’t done any public speaking since retiring from a thirty-eight year long teaching career over three years ago.

There is still one 32” x 40” drawing at the framer, and I have to put my card on the back, and place numbers in the lower left hand corner of the glass on ten of the pieces, but then I will be ready to transport all the work to the site of the installation tomorrow morning. I’m looking forward to seeing the work installed. It’s a huge space, and it will be the first one person exhibit I’ve had since 2002.

I’ve decided to give any profits I might make to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center here in Juno Beach because there is little or no beach left after the series of coastal storms during the past year, and the sea turtles have no place to lay their eggs. However, I worry about the abysmal economy because I have a huge investment in framing and art materials. The framing is especially expensive, even though I’ve framed all work smaller than 32” x 40” myself. In other words, I can’t make any money to help sea turtles until I recover those costs if I’m to continue my bad habit of buying art supplies for, completing and framing future artwork. I’ve also had little luck at obtaining publicity about this donation, since I was unaware of a three week lead time Palm Beach County newspapers require for press releases about such. I did, however give my information to Loggerhead Marinelife Center in hopes they are able to obtain some publicity about the show before or after the opening.

In any event, it will be exciting to see so much of this body of work installed as opposed to stacked in studio storage.

To end on a positive note, anyone who sees these pastels raves about them - perhaps the artwork will be that compelling as to sell despite the worst economic crisis in a century. Afterall there is in history a group of Great Depression American artists, such as Regionalist Grant Wood whose artworks were successful. I shall just have to put that positive thought into the space around me.

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