How Will Your Art Garden Grow in 2023?
How Will Your Art Garden Grow This Year?
Have you noticed during the month of January that everyone seems to be reviewing last year and planning for a better 2023?
I have an artist friend who chooses a WORD for each year that sums up what she wishes to manifest in one way or another.
My WORD for 2023 is DISTILL
(to extract the essence from something through vaporization.)
A bit of an ad-lib on that definition, but it works for me.
A few things about why my art life needs distilling:
I have been in the "art world" on the internet since 2001. I guess I could be considered one of the founders of same (the art world part - not the internet). There wasn't much going on then. Some "Bulletin Boards" which grew into other things - as did I.
I taught art online before anybody else did. I published a blog before the blog sites existed, so I had to do it by creating and grouping web pages. I had one of the first websites in the arts/crafts space. It was called DotCalmVillage.net and later became Cre8it.com. I ran Yahoo Groups and used them for classrooms - long before there were Facebook Groups, or even any Facebook at all. I taught sketchbooking online when that was just an infant idea, and started a shop to sell my paper product called Sheer Heaven before there were any real online shopping carts. I published digital magazines and books in PDF format before there were "e-books" or anybody knew much about downloading. I am still doing all those same things but with very different platforms and technology.
All that made my head spin. It's still spinning.
And then . . . I have had my own fine art gallery in Santa Fe for almost 30 years. But I never took my "real" art online. It was physical. It went to the gallery, and then went home with people - all over the world. I did publish lots of it on my own lines of greeting cards but they were also in my brick-and-mortar stores exclusively.
And then . . . A year ago, I closed my gallery. The lease was up for resigning, and even though we had survived 2020 and its aftermath, there were huge construction projects coming up in the immediate neighborhood, and my ceiling had been leaking for more than 4 years at that point. No one seemed to have a fix for that. It didn't make sense to stay there.
At first I didn't know we had "retired". I ran around looking at spaces on Canyon Road and lent all my fixtures to a local co-op gallery that was being started by some friends. Figured I could get them back when I found a new "home" for my own gallery.
Mark did figure out we were retired. And he liked that idea.
Rents on Canyon Road in Santa Fe are hard to believe, but it was the only area to move "up" to. Our old location was already the best in downtown. On Canyon, a small cubbyhole rents for $3500/mo and there are none available. Decent size spaces rent for three times that much. A month!!
A year has passed and I woke up a couple weeks ago and realized I was "retired".
That golden time of life when you stop "work" and start "relaxing". Only I was working as hard as ever on many projects, and have never understood the concept of relaxing. So far, not so good.
That started my head spinning even more - and it pretty nearly spun off. Something had to "reset".
So, what I have to do this year is allow a lot of things and ideas to vaporize, see what essences of my art life are left when the steam clears, and put those into a much smaller container. Or, to use a gardening analogy - I have a lot of weeding to do, so I can grow my important plants in the space they need to thrive.
And I will keep you informed of my progress, dear readers. This newsletter is one of the "essences" and it will be growing.
the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character:
Meanwhile - I would love to know what WORD best describes what you want to grow in your Art Garden this year. Please tell me in the Comments below. A few more words to explain your WORD would be good too.