For me, January feels like a fresh start, a new beginning, like a child on his or her first week of September. Who will my teacher be? What new friends will I meet? What will I learn? Will I be in the school play? Back in Quebec, I remember the first mornings in elementary school. I was nervous on the bus ride and so excited at the same time. Every student was assembled in the school yard and lined up one by one with our new classmates. We would scan the line for who we knew from last year and whisper excitedly “We’re in the same class!” The school doors opened and all silently marched in, one class at a time, led through the halls to our new room and given our appointed desk, always in neat rows, until in grade seven, when the introduction of open concept arrived and we all sat together around huge round tables. I learnt something about myself quite quickly. I did not like groups at all. It felt so noisy, and so often, I could not concentrate. Hearing the next (as I thought “old”) classes teacher in the big open concept area teaching math with her big british accent as my class was doing English, having to be silent to write a story was impossible. I have always worked well alone. In my studio for hours at a time by myself, I can concentrate without interruptions. The “old” math teacher is now a new iphone dinging and blinging “message arriving” from multiple social media platforms. I have to keep it in another room.
January is my September of the past. It is about first reviewing the previous year, the data, re-reading words jotted down at a show, after a show, or as a series is being developed and how they can assist and grow now. Taking time to translate the messages and getting excited for a new project, a new show, or a new concept to begin. But first, so much paperwork for both last year and this upcoming year need to be done, or the year will not happen at all. Applications to new art shows, research into new galleries, keeping in touch with clients and in this new era, reaching out into the many social media platforms to connect and stay connected. It is this last piece that often feels the most daunting. I can stay on the computer for hours with the many tasks at hand and not get to painting. This is difficult, but a necessary part of being an artist. There is a great deal of chore/work behind the scenes, before painting, during painting and after painting.
The shows I will be participating in for 2016 will be announced in a few months. In the mean time, I am busy every day, planning, creating, writing, painting, brainstorming, networking and reaching out. I would love to hear from you! You are who I create for.