December 30, 2008

This Moment In Time...


From the archives - 1987 - Bamboo Series, No 7 - watercolor - 30x22

I've used 'Time' in a number of solo exhibitions over the years... "Timelines," "Time And Space," Of Time and Timelessness"... and time is once again on my mind. The milestones that mark our paths from there to here are most easily recognized as we look back on them... but I'm thinking there's something of a milestone beginning to appear on the horizon. This next year, 2009, will likely mark the beginning of a gradual retirement as an active, producing, professional artist. The economy will have a lot to do with it, of course... but there's more. Staying within the parameters I set for myself as a professional is constraining... hardly fertile ground for creative juices to flow, at least for me and my exploratory style. My inventory is large, stored and shown in several galleries around the southeast... all complaining about the economy. My numbers last year were at or above average for my last ten years but I don't expect the same for next year... there is not a strong urge or need to create more inventory to store. With luck we'll see a turn-around before real damage is done to our galleries and collectors, but there will be a shake down, I can't imagine otherwise. To lessen my personal stress, I will simply recognize it as the year I began to retire. Please don't confuse this with calling it quits... far from it. I expect a freedom to explore in ways that aren't necessarily commercially viable... this is not a bad thing.

And as it happens, I've been offered the opportunity to present a Retrospective of my work. An art center will host this effort during Feb-Mar, 2009. I should have been preparing for it with more enthusiasm but it's sort of like designing your own funeral display... umm... bad analogy! But really... if I do this right, I'll be able to show my path, my artistic milestones, series that record a career process. Viewers may or may not see the connections... most will wonder how many artists are in the show... only one? My, she sure was all over the place! An appropriate, if not deep, quote is:" A snake can't go anywhere in a straight line." Well... neither could I.

The art center is well off the beaten path, there will be no abundance of family, friends or devoted collectors to celebrate the occasion... and if you know me at all, you know I'm fine with that. This is my trip... I'll understand, I'll know about the connections, I'll see the whole. It's not about immortality, it's about... well...

But first I must finish and deliver a big diptych to Atlanta for an opening in early January... then I'll be able to focus on this next moment in time... happy new year, all...

8 comments:

Karen said...

Karen, as an avid reader of your blog and a huge fan of your work, I want to send you best wishes for the new year. I also want to thank you for the pleasure of reading and looking and enjoying. How I wish I could attend that retrospective! Instead I shall have to be happy with online viewing.

Continued happiness and success for the year ahead!

Karen Jacobs said...

What a lift you give! Thanks for the very nice sentiment... much appreciated!

bob cornelis said...

As a new reader of your blog, I must selfishly hope that your planned pullback on the artistic front doesn't mean you will slow down on the blogging front!

Good luck with the retrospective! While I can only guess at the mixed emotions such an event generates, at least one of them must be gratitude that you've had the chance to create such a wonderful body of work over time.

Karen Jacobs said...

Not to worry, Bob... blogging is a wonderful way to ramble on about one's self, never mind if anyone pays attention, it's very satisfying. I do appreciate hearing from readers, confirming a few listeners, at least. Retirement is easier said than done... events will dictate...

artjas said...

For the last few years, I always look forward to your blogging. Likewise your work inspired me to that next level.

Lisa said...

Karen - congrats! a retrospective - I'd love to see it also!

My word for the year is maybe the opposite of yours - expansion.

But my other word of the year I think you have down path - integrity. Sounds like this is just one more step in that path of yours.

Love your blog and don't comment as much as I used to but I still read it every day (or at least as often as you post). Thank you for sharing your world with us.

Happy New Year!

Ann Osgood said...

I too enjoy reading your wonderful blog. I would love to have you elaborate more on that issue of commercial boundaries to your work..I can't seem to stay focused on one style long enough to present a consistent vision for marketing purposes..I veer from tight realistic, to impressionist plein aire to abstract expressionism..it all excites me..being so fickle I would like to hear your comments ...ps. You can see what I mean at utopiaartstudio.com.

Karen Jacobs said...

Wow, this post seemed to call for reader validation and you all have really filled that need... one I didn't realize I had, but it does feel good to hear from you. I must resolve to make more comments on other blogs.

Ann, commercial viability... or boundries, is in the eye of the art market. As an artist, you have a choice: paint whatever makes you happy or paint what the market wants/needs. A third option, somewhere in the middle, there's a fine balance where you can satisfy both your own creativity and commercial career goals. Finding it is a real challenge! Even knowing you've found it isn't easy.