All content copyright 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Keith Russell.

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19 August 2010

Coming soon...

Strangely enough, I've been feeling a bit scattered lately. I'm still not finished with the photo-retouching project, and I really want to be done with it, so I can get to work on the pieces that need to be finished for my show.

There will be photos (and a blog-entry) about the photo-retouching, showing several views of the piece as it progresses. I also have some photos of the progress on the new spider painting--and I'll upload those soon, as well.

I spent about two hours last night retouching the photo, and I'm probably going to spend another hour or so this morning, and hopefully I can finish it tomorrow night. (That would give me exactly two weeks to finish everything I want to have ready for the show, September 3rd).

I hope that's enough time...

16 August 2010

Finally...a SHOW!

Since the first of the year, I've felt--two or three times--like I was very close to setting up an exhibit of my work, and it didn't pan out. I was honestly starting to wonder if there was something wrong with me, my work (or both).

Earlier this year, a local artist I know was trying to help me line up a show. He suggested a couple galleries he thought would be a good "fit" for my work.

I contacted the first gallery he suggested within a day or two after he mentioned it. But, by the start of their next opening, the place had changed hands, and the new owners weren't sure they would continue operating the space as a gallery.

At another gallery my friend recommended, the contact person quit the day after I emailed her.

So, last week, another artist friend of mine told me that the place where he's exhibiting in September still needs more art, to fill their space for their First Friday show on September 3rd. It seemed like a real possibility--but I knew better than to get my hopes up.

I talked to my friend today, and he was stopping by the place tonight, and he said the gallery owner would be there this evening, too. So, I stopped by after dinner, and took three of the "Invented Face" paintings with me. The owner of the gallery was very complimentary, really seemed to like my work.

So, I'm in!

I'll be showing 9 - 12 of my new paintings at the Mod Gallery, 1809 McGee St. in downtown Kansas City. It's a cool gallery space, across from two other galleries, and a couple of shops away from a popular gourmet chocolatier. I expect that the show will be well-attended.

The show opens Friday September 3rd, at 5:30 PM.

On the way home, my step-daughter asked if this was my first show. No, it's certainly not my first show.

But, it is my first show in a commercial gallery (yes, ever!), and my first "serious" show since graduation (more than two years ago, kind of pathetic!)

I'm very excited, and have lots of work to do!

13 August 2010

Four Days of Fun and Frustration...

It's often really difficult to find a comfortable "balance" between socializing, "everyday life", and making art.

Yesterday was the second of four very busy days--days I'm not going to be able to spend much time (if any) working on my own paintings. I plan to spend quite a bit of time in the studio Monday--and I will be working on my own stuff, at least some of that time..

I worked on the photo-retouching project Thursday during the day, met with my client that afternoon. (He likes what I have done so far--a relief, not that I was terribly worried, but--and he wants the finished piece early next week.) Thursday night was spent at a surprise birthday party for a good friend. Last night, we had dinner with a friend, after which I took my stepson to see the movie The Expendables. (He leaves tomorrow for a week in Detroit with his father, so last night was our only chance to see the movie 'til he returns.) Tonight, Linda and I are going out with friends, and tomorrow night I'm teaching an airbrush class.

So, starting Monday and over the rest of next week, I'm going to really try to say "No" if I'm asked to spend more than a couple evenings away from the studio.

I need the coming week to be very productive!

07 August 2010

A "Time Management" Epiphany...

Some friends came over Thursday night and I showed them the new spider painting. They were very positive about it--which always feels good. I wasn't really surprised that they liked it, but I guess I wasn't exactly certain that they would, either.

But they did.

We're getting together with these same friends again this coming Thursday, and it struck me that a week should be enough time to finish the painting.

Usually, I think of my studio time as "time"--I plan to spend an hour, two hours, four hours, five--working in the studio. Most of the time, I feel that my studio time is "hemmed in"; that I have a certain amount of time before I have to stop working, in order to get to work, or head to an event, or stop working in order to get enough sleep.

It struck me the other day, as I was thinking about getting the new painting done before this coming Thursday, that this might not be the best approach.

I'm going to try giving myself a tangible goal in the studio, and worry less about time. Rather than spending two hours, then stopping no matter how much (or how little) I've accomplished, I'm going to try setting more tangible goals; to finish a portion of a painting or drawing, no matter how long it takes.

I want to be more productive, and finish the "Face" paintings, the three new spider paintings, and produce the drawings that will be the basis for the next series (or two).

Maybe this is the way...

02 August 2010

Birthday weekend...updates.

We're celebrating my birthday tomorrow; going to see "The Girl Who Played With Fire" in the afternoon, then out to dinner. I think I'm ready to be 44--but there are numerous things I want to accomplish before I turn 45. (The clock is ticking...)

I worked on the photo-retouching project for a few hours today. A friend I've known since the 8th grade dropped by this afternoon, and kept me company while I retouched the photo. That brought back some very old, good memories of times when he and I used to stay up late, with me airbrushing on the floor in my parents' basement, while he and I chatted about life, women, philosophy, women, politics, art, music, women...good times!)

After he left, Linda and I went for a relaxing swim, then I went back to work in the studio after dinner. (A declicious homecooked dinner, by the way!)

My studio is gradually getting more organized. I found several things today that I'd misplaced--including some parts to a shelf that I needed, so I could get some more CDs off the floor, on the shelf, and sorted. (With nearly 2,000 CDs, keeping them organized is essential to finding what I want to listen to, when I want to hear it!)

I spent quite a bit of time last week working on one of the "Face" paintings, and the photo-retouching piece, and the new spider painting. (The photo is a detail of the new spider, taken a couple days ago. The photo is shown approx. actual size. It's a little further along, now. I'm hoping to finish it this coming week, once the photo is fully re-touched.)

I have six prints uploaded to my Etsy site; I'm not going to offer any more prints for sale, until some of the current listings sell. The next piece I'm going to upload to Etsy will be a small original painting, probably of a spider, a small caricature, or perhaps a new spacescape.

I have two dozen or so small, ornate frames that I'm going to use to frame numerous small, original paintings. These will be offered for sale at Etsy. I won't be having these photographed, so there won't be any prints of these, anywhere. Anyone who buys one of these will have a true original, one-of-a-kind painting!