It's now mid-December, so here's what's up.
I've served on SAQA's Education Committee for about 2 years, helping to set up student activities at the last conference. This year I have the exciting job of organizing SAQA's first "Maker Space", to take place at the 2015 conference in Portland, Oregon.
What's a Maker Space? I'm glad you asked. A Maker Space houses a community of "Makers" - creative people who like to work with their hands. It’s a place where someone would come to learn how to use a new tool or material in a new way, or to see what others are working on because they might want to help out on that project or start something similar. Ideally, a Maker space should be conducive to inspiration, collaboration, and conversation.
Basically, the SAQA Maker Space will be a social event where people participate in hands-on activities, talk with other artists about their work and explore new ways of creating art.
So I've been spending a lot of time recruiting artists to offer their expertise and enthusiasm to the Maker Space event, creating a "SAQA Maker Space" Facebook page where people can learn more about it, and trying to come up with a reasonable layout for the ballroom so people can walk from one activity to the next and also have a place to gather or work independently. I'm very excited about the plan, but the idea of organizing a never-been-done-before event AND on the opposite coast is pretty intimidating. Luckily, the rest of the Education Committee is very supportive and willing to help!
With that going on, I still have studio work to do. A lot of it. And it has been piling up. Coming up in January the Funky Monkey Café will exhibit a solo show of my work, so I'm trying to create a collection of small framed pieces to offer an attractive price range.
At the same time I have 3 commissions in the queue and one that was JUST finished & delivered yesterday: Here's Jack (finished size 15" x 15").
For Jack, I used very soft, realistic skin tones which I don't do very often. Mostly because it makes it harder to show the contours and structure of the face. But overall I think it captures the little guy pretty well. Before I delivered the finished piece, I attached it to an 18x18 painted canvas with a hanging wire on the back. The customer was very happy with it, and that makes me very happy!
Next up: 2 more dog portraits. One is 99% done; just needs to be bound and attached to a canvas. The second one is in progress. That makes 4 "dog" and 3 "human" commissioned portraits this year. And one more commission coming up, which may be a landscape or another kind of animal. Details to be confirmed.
So what's the best way to budget my time? I have no idea, except to get into my studio and not emerge until 2015.
Today I'm working to finish stitching the Viewpoints9 challenge, due Dec 27. Next week I'll add the binding and hanging sleeve onto "Grandmother" so I can bring it to the New Britain Museum on Dec 18. After the VP9 piece is done I'll wrap up the 2nd dog portrait (that may be delivered around New Year's). Hopefully I'll have a few days to get small pieces ready for the solo show. Oh yeah, and some where in there I need to spend time with my family for Christmas! I see a lot of coffee with peppermint sticks in my near future…
Busy busy busy, but it's all good stuff.
Happy Holidays, everyone!