Monday, October 12, 2009

Turn of Events

Things took a crazy-ass turn this weekend! I have suddenly become a part-time artist's assistant. Here is the story.

So, on Friday night I was just browsing Craigslist, as I often do. I look at just about all the for sale sections and the jobs sections, just in case something good is out there. Actually, scratch that: In the jobs section I usually only look in the arts/media/whatever and creative sections. But Friday, I looked at everything, including general labor. There I happened upon an ad that was titled something like housekeeping/art assistant position... my curiosity was definitely piqued, and I figured, I'm not proud, I'd do some cleaning if it also involved some sort of art or just for an art kind of person. So I responded with a short note...

The next morning as I was getting ready to leave for my little Saturday teaching gig, I got a reply. Turns out it is one of my professors from UB (grad school), a young art history professor with whom I took a museum studies course. She's also a painter. I have really admired her, enjoyed her class very much, etc. and so was excited to find out that it was her, and that she was excited to hear from me, too!

The ad stated that she was looking for ~5 hours a week, but it turns out that she is getting ready for a big solo show in Shanghai and has a ton of art-related stuff to get done. So, she wants me to do a lot of painting for her, plus other sorts of prep like cleaning antique frames that she'll be using and whatever else. The other major thing she's having me take care of is her website, for which she wants a complete redesign.

And since this the exhibition in Shanghai is in November, this is all VERY time sensitive. So she wants me to work as much as I can to help her get ready. I started on Saturday afternoon and put in several hours yesterday, too. It's pretty crazy.

The whole thing is pretty bizarre, but it's fun (though very tiring). Yesterday I finished priming an old frame, and then worked on a large painting the rest of the time! The painting I worked on amounted to painting a portrait of her on top of an old painting of hers, and then she will possibly work on top of that. She ended up really liking the painting so far and said she may just include the painting in the exhibit as is, as my own. I don't really care either way, which I know must sound strange, but... I am producing things for her show under her direction. I don't really see what I am making in her studio mine at all, does that make any sense? And I feel totally comfortable with that. Yesterday's painting was very different and new for me because she currently only has a limited palette to work with, so I was forced to use colors that I normally wouldn't; and the scale is larger than most of the paintings I can make at home, so that was different, too. I see my experiences working with her very much fueling a whole new approach that I can use in my own art—it's like this forced breakthrough.

Very, very strange. October is going to be a intense month and my life just a whole lot busier, to say the least.

My painting/Not my painting
My painting/not my painting. About five feet square, acrylic on canvas. In progress.


I'd also like to point you over to my lovely friend Cathy Cullis's blog, where she is doing a Week of Painting. I'd also planned to do a week of painting and make new work available for sale, but considering how things are now, I'm not sure how far I will get with that. But I will try! Maybe some small tabletop-sized works on paper in gouache... hm...

I like these "Week of..." events. The one at Poppytalk the week before very much inspired me, and now Cathy's. It helps me to have a focus, a goal. I plan to do my very own "Week of..." in the future, as well as perform some in tandem with Cathy.

I will keep you posted on the exciting developments!

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