It feels pretty darn good to have a couple of Art Bar shows under my belt. I’ll be honest--I did not think I would be able to participate in the November show since I was so behind with my Inktober drawings....plus having to design holiday cards for work. And just the chaos of the world anyway. I was most looking forward to this show because it was The Lit Show. Right away, I knew I had to do something about my favorite book, The Night Circus. For months, I had been looking at references, I re-read the book while taking notes about various elements I wanted to focus on, I did a ton of thumbnail sketches...yet nothing stuck. I felt frozen by my fear to let the book down, in a way. It’s such a stunning story and I had a lot to live up to.
A few weeks ago, I really felt the pressure to get this done. It was a Sunday and my deadline was Wednesday. I agonized over which direction to take this piece in. Did I want a huge painting? Did I want to do a 3D model? Tarot cards? A photograph? Just when I was about to throw in the towel, I got the best new ever: First Friday was November 6! All this time I thought it was in a few days, but that Friday was still technically October. And just like that, I had another ten days to figure this out.
Did I get to work right away?
Cue THURSDAY MORNING before the show. 5am. That’s when I started working on my piece. I shit you not. Granted, I had started a rough painting a few days prior, but I wasn’t even planning on using it because I chose a very glossy piece of cardboard to paint on and the acrylic wasn’t sticking. Luckily, a few layers in, I was back in business. In the end, I kept it simple. I focused on the tree and the circus tents. I do like how the final piece turned out, but I still felt like I could have done so much more.
I had an idea to use some older pieces I had done that were inspired by the book. I asked one of the board members if I could include older pieces because it was a bit like a series. Luckily I got the thumbs-up and in the end, I submitted three pieces that I felt went very well with each other.
I am grateful for my experience so far with this group. I must say, however, that not hearing ANY feedback from anyone has been a little rough. Obviously at the actual bar, you get to watch people looking at your pieces. You get to stand by your work and talk about it. You get to see if someone will buy it. But online? You hit submit, and pray that someone out there appreciates the time you’ve put in. I love that I have a reason to create themed work every month, and it’s nice to have my name included in a group that has so many talented people involved. I just hope that one day soon I’ll get to be with everyone face-to-face, with a beer in hand, and self-doubt draped around me like an itchy scarf. The way art is meant to be seen!
Anyway, the season is now on a break until...who knows when. I’m not sure if it was a planned break or if they also see how different an online platform is compared to the in-person affair that it usually is. I truly appreciate the time off to work on my own stuff, reassess how I work, and hopefully squirrel away some ideas for future art bar shows.