Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Question of Balance

The current warp: 25 yards of
rainbow baby wraps
I can't believe it's Thursday already--it seems like yesterday was Monday. I'm in the middle of a long warp that I want to get off the loom by Saturday, and it seems the clock and the calendar are racing along whenever I turn my back.

I should be further along on this warp, but last weekend was spent away from the loom, and the studio, on the "other" part of being "an artist"--seeing, being seen and promoting myself. For me, finding the balance point between working and being "out there" is the most difficult aspect of my life right now. It's tough: I need to be in the studio to create, but when I'm in the studio, I'm a recluse. When I go out, people remember that I'm here, and they want to see my stuff, but I'm not producing anything for them to see. That balance point is somewhere, but it seems elusive.

Katie & Chris Vardijan of The Hub
Friday night was the second Downtown Vallejo Art Walk and it was, by all reckoning, a success. The weather was perfect--a balmy evening with no breeze--and a lot of artists' studios and galleries were open to the throngs of people strolling up and down both Georgia and Marin streets. We walked the entire area, stopping to chat with friends and acquaintances, pausing to take photographs of the event and attendees, and seeing what artists had on display. I was buttonholed by two different gallery owners about possible future shows. The Art Walk is turning into a monthly opportunity to connect with the larger community of artists in Vallejo. It could also turn into a monthly "pop-up" sales venue, but I need to get far enough ahead to have something to sell.

Shannon O'Hare of
Obtainium Works
and  Angie
After a guild meeting in Napa on Saturday morning and a bit of shopping (I do need to occasionally buy food to eat), it was back to Vallejo and then off to Obtainium Works for their St. Patrick's Day Anniversary Party Fundraiser. Obtainium can be best described as an "artists' collective" that particularly like to build weird and wonderful vehicles ("art cars") and contraptions that are frequently seen at Maker Faires and Burning Man. I am only peripherally involved--mostly, I send Stephen off to work on projects on Sundays while I get a few hours of work in the studio accomplished--but I really like the Obtainium artists, and I have a lot of fun at their events. At this event, I helped out at "the gate," selling dinner and drink tickets. I like doing this, as it gives me a chance to talk to everybody without having to go up and introduce myself. I'm also very, very good at it: my goal is to separate people from their money as nicely as possible. I chatted, joked, smiled, and charmed people into buying dinner and drink tickets, all the while having a marvelous time myself. The food was good, the entertainment was spot-on, and the entire event was a rousing success.

"But, you could have worked on Sunday," you're thinking. Perhaps, but it was time to drive back up to Napa and pick up wines from Saintsbury, along with trying what bottles were open (an excuse to spend some time sitting in the sun, enjoying the garden at the winery). After collecting our wines, we stopped by the Oxbow Public Market to try the Mare Island Brewing Company's inaugural product, Saginaw Golden Ale (a bit more hoppy than I usually drink, but very refreshing), then got lunch at Gott's. By the time we finished, it was late afternoon, we were both tired and crammed full of food, and wanted nothing more than to become couch potatoes for the evening.

So, that was the weekend. Lots of fun, some good contacts made, friends reassured that I was still alive, but no work in the studio accomplished. Now it's back to the "real" work of being an artist: throwing a shuttle.

(Photos by SNJacobson)