Treading Quicksand

My family was once playing the game Imaginiff, and this question came up: “Imagine if Rhoda were a popular saying (or something along these lines)…which would she be?” I don’t even recall the other options, because the unanimous choice was “burning the candle at both ends.” There was a time in my life that I may have taken offense to this in some way, but I am able to see it for what it is: the truth. Ah yes, the truth, that which can become so hard to acknowledge when you are up to your ears in it with your eyes closed. If you open them, you may have to face what you see and actually do something about it. I have tricked myself into believing that I can deal with my problems by doing everything but face them.It’s the reason I’ve been immersing myself entirely into art related projects that anyone asks me to do.

Stop one…a custom 40th birthday piece for a friend commissioned by his lovely wife. Awhile back, he had given me all of the old windows from their house and had mentioned he may buy one back eventually if I created something with them. His wife contacted me about a piece and sent me in the right direction with a list of the most important people, places, and activities in his life. Based on this information, I created this piece, which was presented to him at a surprise party over the weekend.

A couple of shots in progress…

Finished piece

Stop two…a mural and donated paintings for the waiting room of the Harrisonburg and Rockingham Department of Social Services building. I work closely with Child Protective Services for my job and am passionate about the work I do to help keep kids safe in our community. So, when one of the social workers asked if I would consider donating some art, I readily agreed. Although let’s be honest, with the state I’m in, it may not matter who asked (just kidding, Travis!).

I spent last Saturday morning painting a wall in the waiting room with some assistance and company from my dad, who is always up for helping out. The second photo shows the other two paintings I donated…the right one re-purposed from an earlier exhibit and the left one created last week to coordinate.

Stop three…my friend who owns Downtown Wine & Gourmet asked me the last week of February if I wanted to hang some of my work in their shop for March First Fridays. There was absolutely no pressure to do anything new, but I have committed to only display new work.

I opted for a photography show, Must Love Hikes, which could in theory, be pulled together somewhat quickly. Enter here an unexpected snowstorm, being car-less for several days, and a general sense of hysteria, all leading to a frantic drive to the FedEx shipping office to pick up the prints, scrambling to assemble the pieces, and delivering them to the shop less than 3 hours before the opening. All 16″ x16″ photos are printed on canvas and mounted behind glass on 24″ x 24″ plywood. The photos will remain at the wine shop through the end of March. I never did get around to writing an artist statement or pricing anything, so if you have any interest in a piece, contact me. Otherwise they will likely be making their way to the Collins Center’s new office.

Old Rag 2.jpg

Stop four…I was excited to be asked to be in a new show coming up in April, Art on the Square, brainchild of talented local photographers, Brandy Somers and John Buller. Have I started on my piece other than the ideas rolling around in my head? Of course not. Will I finish in time? Absolutely. Will I wish I had started earlier? I’m not sure that question will ever be answered for me.

This looks to be a great show – come check it out on April 3rd!

In an effort to slow down and take a much needed look at myself and my life, I can guarantee that if I’m asked to do something in April, the answer will be no. Slowing down and looking inward may be one of the hardest things anyone asks me to do, but I see no other way of moving through.

On that note, I leave you with the first piece of art I’ve created entirely for myself in a very long time.

Embroidery on burlap | 16×20

Embroidery on burlap | 16×20