Friday, July 16, 2010

All's Well That Ends Well

So much has been going on around here. Well, not right now as I am being held captive by my worried cat Stella. She knows I am going away. It started when I unearthed a pile of clothes looking for something to wear to my niece’s wedding at the beach this weekend. Stella has come to associate clothing piled on the bed as preparation for my departure. So she climbed up on my lap a half hour ago and has me just where she wants me. So finishing the guest book I am making for the bride and groom will have to wait until my companion gets her fill and moves on to whatever pulls at her next. In theory I am very happy to make a book for the wedding. In practice I find it hard to do. There weren’t many requests about how the book should look so why do I feel so restricted? It reminds me why I do not do custom orders. I really get twisted up inside. If I just make what I want to make and people like it and maybe even buy it, well, isn’t that every artist’s dream? YES. So I am lying in bed last night feeling unsure about what I had created so far and realized I just need to play more, paint more paper with Anna and Blake in my heart and see if this thing can evolve and stop feeling so stilted. What I have makes a perfectly nice book. For someone. But for my wonderful niece and her beloved, nice is not enough. They deserve special. If Stella ever gets off my lap I will go and see what wants to happen.
But she isn’t moving so I will tell you that last week I finished my proposals for Art and Soul in Hampton, Virginia and An Artful Journey in Los Gatos, California in 2011.

The Artful Journey is a sure thing as only 5 instructors are invited and do not have to be juried in. I will be teaching a three day workshop at the Presentation Center, which is a lovely place. Cindy Woods O’Leary produces this retreat and she does a magnificent job. It is simply wonderful. And I think my workshop will be too. Look at what we will be up to at http://www.anartfuljourney.com/retreats/feb2011/albiesmith.html

I have to wait to see about the Art and Soul event. That is a juried process and you throw your hat in the ring with many, many instructors and Glenny Densem- Moir and her fellow jurists put together a fabulous mix. I love working for Art & Soul. I’ve been doing it for so long it feels like a family reunion when I get there. It’s exciting to be in a place where there are hundreds of folks doing art projects and building community. What a privilege it is to be a part of Art & Soul and I do appreciate the opportunity to share what I love. However, the writing up of the proposals is agony for me, as is most of the businessy stuff one has to do in life. It’s a huge relief when the photos and proposals are sent off. On the bright side of the business aspect is my dear friend Elliott Night to. She helps with all things written, official and computer related. Yay, Elliott!

Okay, it’s later and I am moving along on what was once that wretched guest book for Anna’s wedding. I wouldn’t say I was “cookin’ with gas” as Elliott likes to say when she hits the groove, but it’s freeing up now and I can feel a stream pulling me onward. It helped when I abandoned those dinky stamps Anna left me to use and pulled out my hand carved stamp of a heart surrounded by flames.
I can get into that.

4 comments:

Irene said...

Bravo, it almost makes me want to get married again.

Laurie said...

Hi Albie, I'm very excited to say that I've decided to spend my fiftieth birthday in your class in Los Gatos. Hooray! I really can't think of anything else I would rather do!

Laurie
http://slowlysheturned.net

Kim Henkel said...

You make such beautiful books! You taught me how to make my first book a few years back at Art and Soul - and now I can't stop. They aren't like yours, but oh they are so much fun! Thanks!

Robin said...

YES!!! The flaming heart, hand-carved stamp makes the cover special!

I made a wedding guest book (same style binding) for my God daughter a couple of years ago and had the same exact struggles as you. The beading went OK, but I couldn't get the papers to be special enough. However, and this is important, she says it's the MOST personal and most special gif she has ever received (including wedding, birthdays and Christmas)... Maybe she has a point for you too???