Monday, October 19, 2009


Whew, I have been one busy bee this past week, and I am exhausted and halfway ill to show for it... man, I am too old for this kind of schedule. Maybe other people work ~60 hour weeks with no problem, but for me? Too much to take physically and emotionally. I need time to myself and/or with my family, it's so valuable to me.

That said, it's been an interesting week. Did I mention that I'm working as an artist's assistant for a while? The artist I am working for, Bingyi Huang, is preparing for a solo exhibition in Shanghai in November. The schedule is tight, so I've been giving her as much time as I can. I love that I am getting such an intimate view into another artist's creative process; she works quite differently from me and it is very inspiring. I really admire her paintings and her work ethic... she is quite prolific and manages to put out these amazing, surreal images... I don't know where they come from. Me, I like to have something to refer to, whether it is a photo or a model of some kind. It's very hard for me to just pull something out of my head and spew it out onto the canvas.

This is like getting a supplemental education, in a way.

But it is tiring, as I said. This week I have off from the studio until the weekend and will be working on updating her website. Then, hopefully when Saturday arrives I will feel refreshed and ready to work more hours in the studio with her.

Here is one of her paintings:

Epitaph, oil on canvas, 2007.

Just gorgeous stuff. I feel so fortunate to be working with her.


Acceptance: I recently found out that two of my paintings will be appearing in the Winter 2010 issue of Calyx, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women. This is a great publication, and I am very excited for this opportunity to have my work seen by its readers.

Rejection: I got my rejection letter on Friday from the committee of Beyond/In Western New York, the regional biennial. I have since found out that the competition was VERY stiff and that many prominent local artists didn't get in, either, including most of the faculty of the local university. That makes me feel a little bit better, but I admit that I still had high hopes this time around. The past year has been so full of little successes, I figured it would just keep going... well, never assume. So, I am a little bruised but it is something I will certainly get over and move on from. I do wish all the artists who did receive an acceptance letter my heartiest congratulations, truly.

Maybe next time, if I am still in town.


Working for Bingyi has sparked my own creativity. She's got me working on paintings that will eventually become something else entirely—something of her own, obviously... but as I said, it's been a little hard for me trying to work in a totally different way, it's like being without a net. I don't think what I am making is as good as I know I am capable of, but I think another part of the problem is working in front of someone else, especially someone I am working FOR. It's worse than the times I was taking a painting class and having the professor hovering over you looking for mistakes (not that Bingyi does that—she is worried about her own paintings). It paralyzes me. I have no idea what I am doing. I tell her as much, and she replies that she doesn't think any of us do.

I feel like a fledgling baby bird.

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