Monday, March 30, 2009


My poor, languishing website, for which I've had the domain and VERY bare content since the beginning of 2009, finally has some meat on its bones! While I do still have to stock up the galleries with images and upload my CV, I am just about done with the initial full content. From here on out I will be updating the site regularly and adding more information as it comes... I am excited about the possibilities now that I finally have the basic structure down. (I'm no web design wiz, in case you couldn't tell, but I do have appreciation for clean, simple design.)

Please, have a look: Amy Greenan Art & Design. I'd love to hear what you think!

Rejection, Part 2

Breaking news as we receive it!

I just got an email from an artist residency program that I was pretty excited about. It was a rejection letter, alas, but it was a really great rejection letter.

The bulk of the email read:

I am sorry to let you know that we are unable to offer you a residency at **** this summer. We were very impressed with your work, but unfortunately can never accommodate as many artists as we would like to.

Best of luck to you in the coming months, and with your practice. We hope that you might find a way to come to **** sometime in the future and encourage you to apply again either for our upcoming fall program or for a future summer residency.

Aw! What a nice rejection. Well, I was planning to reapply anyway, if this happened. At least I know now that I have a sliver of a chance.


In other news, I now have a 4 or 5 month wait to get a rejection letter from THE big exhibition in town, a biennial. I just submitted my materials today and just... the wait. Torture me, it will. I want to think that I could be accepted this time, but I am steeling myself for the big R, if you must know. But I guess we'll see! Ah, the life of an artist.

At the Castellani
Anything Could Happen, Mixed media, 7"x9", 2009.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Yesterday I went back to the museum where my current show is hanging. I had set up an informal Q & A session for those who didn't make it to the opening — nothing official, just a Facebook-invite sort of thing. No one ended up coming, which was OK since I live just literally a few minutes away, but I made good use of the time, wandering around and having second looks at things, both in my exhibition and in the other areas of the museum. I took photos because there were a few things I really wanted to remember — though for shame, I didn't take down the names of the artists on a few. Anyway, here's what I saw and really liked.

Rauschenburg and me
(Self-portrait in a Rauschenburg)

Alice Neel
(One of my all-time favorite painters, Alice Neel)

Wooden lady
(I love this beautiful wooden sculpture... need to find out who the artist is)

Jed Jackson
(Ah, Jed Jackson!)

Ralston Crawford
(Ralston Crawford)

Phillip Elliott
(SO gorgeous! Phillip Elliott)

I think it is interesting to see what art really grabs me, seeing it in a group like this, and comparing the group to my own art — not that I am saying my work compares to the work of these artists, just looking at individual elements: color, composition, concept, things like that.

On another kind of inspiration, a beautiful abandoned house I'll be painting in the near future. This one was just off Niagara St. near downtown, Buffalo, NY.

Off Niagara Street

Off Niagara Street

I'm sitting here trying not be gloomy about the impending Monday morning that will be upon us soon! A little cheer, perhaps.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


It happens to every artist, multiple times throughout their career.

The dreaded rejection letter.

At this point I feel fairly immune to the effects of receiving one. I've trained myself to expect it only because then it doesn't hurt at all -- not to mention that when I get a positive response, it feels that much better, too. But I must admit, it does sting a little bit, no matter how well I train myself otherwise.

In January I sent out maybe a dozen packets to be considered for shows at various galleries. Most were responses to open calls at galleries throughout New York state and New England. I have yet to hear from almost all of them, but yesterday brought my first rejection letter from the batch.

It wasn't a terrible letter; I am gleaning a little hope from it. It said that the gallery welcomed future proposals and that if I had any questions to please feel free to contact them.

And, you know, I think I might, eventually. I'll certainly send out another, more well-thought out packet. Some of the things I know were not quite right with that batch of packets was including images of work that doesn't quite all go together (i.e. I included my collage work and my paintings, both figurative and houses -- confusing, no doubt!), and maybe my cover letter was too long and personal? Probably, knowing how verbose and squishy I can be sometimes. And maybe a shorter form of my resume would be a better choice.

I chalk it up to learning. Making mistakes, taking missteps, but also taking care to not repeat them and move forward. It's OK.

I've got to keep submitting proposals, sending packets, refining my presentation, and most important: making new work.

A Supposed Day Like Any Other, acrylic on canvas, 2009.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dear Ada

Ack! One of my very favorite art blogs, Dear Ada, made a post about my work! I am especially excited about this just because I love her taste in art -- I'm always learning about new artists (to me) who just blow me away. I'm just so honored to be included there. Thanks ever so much, Dear Ada!

(Yes, I know I sound incredibly juvenile in this post. I can't help it!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Giving and getting

On Friday and Monday, I visited my old high school for the first time in over 20 years. I went because I had been invited by the current art teacher at the school (my art teacher from way back when retired a couple years ago and now works as a docent coordinator at a local museum). She asked if I would be willing to do something like a mini-residency with her students, and I gladly jumped at the chance. It was a blast! On Friday, my first day, I presented a Powerpoint slide show and talked about my work as well as how I arrived at where I am with my art today. Then, we all crowded around a table where I also showed them some smaller work that I was able to bring in to show them, as well as some of my design work, aka My Day Job. There were two separate classes, so I got to do all that twice. Suffice it to say that I was pretty zonked after that, especially considering I had to wake up at 5am to make it there in time.

(It was totally worth it, by the way.)

Yesterday was where I think everyone had the most fun. We began with me sort of demonstrating my techniques for reusing and recombobulating old work that was either just languishing in the corner for far too long, or work that I just never really liked that much to begin with. So, I started with a couple prints I made back in grad school and some other random pieces of ephemera and pages from type catalogs... and voila!

OK, well, it didn't happen that quickly and I told them it doesn't always. At that point the kids started working on their own creations and it was then that I really started having fun. It was so amazing to see how these young minds and hands went to work, totally unencumbered by rules or requirements... but, surprisingly enough, I think some of them had a hard time letting go a bit. And most of them certainly did NOT want to go cutting up their handiwork, even if it wasn't something they were very happy with. Hey, I remember what that was like...

Long story short, I had a great time and felt I was able to give something back to the school where I grew up and received so much support and encouragement. A big thank you goes to the teachers who invited and welcomed me into their classrooms: Mary Beth Zacher and Jude Kosinski.

Not to mention... all that creative activity really inspired me. By the end of the time I spent in classes, I walked away with two new works on paper myself!

Highway to Hell
Highway to Hell, mixed media, 2009

U-Men, Mixed media, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Something I've been thinking about

Drifting around on the internets one day not long ago, I came across a blogger who was making a Dear Jane quilt. What, you ask, is a Dear Jane quilt? Well, there's not exactly a short answer, but in nutshell it's a quilt that lots of folk have been making based on the design of one made originally by one Jane Stickle in 1863.


I've always been interested in handcrafts like sewing, knitting, and quilting. This quilt is really gnawing at my craw for some reason. It's a project, when undertaken, will occupy its maker for years to come. Yet I really want to get the book and become engrossed in the whole online community that surrounds it.

Unfortunately, there's no way I could fit it in, not really. Then again... doing one little patch at a time, one or two a month while I'm sitting watching TV or something? I could just make it a process, a lifetime endeavor which I never really plan to finish...

In the meantime I need to get cranking on some house paintings. I've been seeing many lovely candidates out in my daily travels that I need to photograph and bring into the studio. I am trying to stay focused on those houses that are run-down, or totally abandoned, but I have also been drawn to houses that may not really be run-down but just a little tattered, but with interesting lines, or lines that I have a hard time finding beauty in. And not just houses! I am noticing so much more "regular" architecture than ever before. I need to take a photo trip one of these weekends.

In the meantime, there is this poor little house that I would love to buy and take care of. She's my next muse.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Another Solo Show Scheduled!

I am thrilled to announce that I have secured my next solo show! It will take place May through July 2010 at Betty's Restaurant in Buffalo, NY. Many a talented area artist has had a "Betty's show" (as I think of them), and I am really excited about having my work seen by lots of hungry customers. (Very tasty menu, by the way... and the last art reception I attended there had the very best reception food I've ever tasted, which is always a plus!)

It may be restaurant, but it's a beautiful space with a great atmosphere in which I will be proud to hang my work. Now, to get planning! I think some smaller house paintings would look perfect there...

(photos snatched from the Betty's Flickr)

Quick note: back when I first found out about my exhibit at the Castellani, I decided that I wanted to shoot for at least one solo exhibition each year... I am so happy that I can cross 2010 off the list!


On the flipside, I am sad to announce that I will not be participating in the MARK show at Artspace after all, for a variety of reasons not least of all that the gallery space is not insured, not to mention that the show has to go up in a month and I am just not going to be prepared... too much going on this month and not enough pre-existing work to dig out and/or time to make more. Take this as a lesson learned that you should always have several bodies of work available at all times in your studio -- you never know what opportunity might present itself in short time. Gotta get crackin'!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New work up on my Etsy shop!

That's right -- new work is available at my Etsy shop. One small painting and one mixed media piece are for sale. Interested? Check them out!

My Wandering Days Are Over

"My Wandering Days Are Over," acrylic on canvas, 18" x 12". This one won an honorable mention award at the 2009 Big Orbit Members' Show in Buffalo, NY.

Trouble in the Underworld

"Trouble in the Underworld," mixed media, 7" x 9.25".