It seems like moments ago we were in the depths of Winter but with yet another incredibly mild one, Spring came at the end of January and I was able to work outside and get all the farm jobs done that I needed to. Now I am making frames, have given the Adventure Van a check up, and now am getting completely stuck into my studio. Ideas have been whirring round my head and it is now I am making it happen. Really looking forward to get back on the road and see all the responses to my art from you all out there at the art fairs. It is one of the most immediate differences from gallery shows, you actually get to see people's reactions and hear all the stories. It is great hearing what you think of my work and thank you for all the good reactions. It encourages me to make more.
So about a month ago, I was disassembling a pellet gun to rebuild the cylinder. It was no longer holding air pressure and needed some o-rings replaced. I had to completely take it apart, and in the process and spring shot out and I heard it hit the trash can. I did a search around on the floor on the outside of the can with no results, which led me to believe it went inside. I carefully went through the trash, putting the papers and dust bunnies in the wood stove after "declaring them spring free." I got to the bottom of the can which was full of dust, and put a magnet down there to pull out the metal spring. No good. I took the can outside and spread the last of the dust, dog hair, and dryer lint in a thin layer on the ground and ran my spring seeking hands over it. No good. I MUST HAVE THROWN IT IN THE WOOD STOVE!
Next I carefully scraped all of the fresh ashes and coals off of the top with my metal shovel, and put them in my metal ash bucket. I take them outside and quench the heat out of the coals with water. I dump all the floating material in the grass, and then the sinking minerals and what not i put on the concrete pad outside my door. I spread it thin with my hands, knowing that the spring it gonna turn up. Nope. Last resort....I have a small spring assortment that I have acquired over the years. I just magically found one of the same diameter. It was much stronger, and had to cut it shorter to compensate for the spring strength. Since the reassembly, I have looked down at the pile of damp ashes outside my door every time I walk past, hoping that the spring will magically appear.
So, today while doing some mopping, I found it. I know that I searched high and low in the kitchen, but somehow it found itself a tiny cave in order to do a month long hibernation.
I guess the question is now, do I take it all back apart and put the original spring in? or just leave it alone and not risk it happening again?
If you guys remember a few months back, I had that incident with my ladder blowing over while I was on my 14' roof. I had the foresight to take my phone, you know, just in case. Well, today I had a similar situation. Same roof, same ladder, but this time I didn't have my phone. All I had was my cordless drill, and a pocket full of screws. I amused myself for a little while yelling and waving my arms, hoping to catch the attention of my neighbors who were probably sleeping in chairs with Judge Judy blaring on the TV. "Has the mailman been here already?" was the question going through my head. I decided I would go for the idea that I had the first time it happened, and actually take off a section of the roof and climb into the shed from through the attic. It turns out that the magnetic bit holder is a 1/4", the same size as the head on the sheet metal screws that hold the tin onto the 2x4 frame. I decided to remove one of the fiberglass skylights, because of it's flexibility. I was able to peel it back enough to slip in, and drop down into the attic (my house is built inside of a large metal shed). I have a storage area above the ceiling of the downstairs bedrooms, so was able to monkey my way off of the truss and drop down into the storage area. There is a door into the attic crawl space that locks from the outside, but fortunately for my latch making skills, a little jiggle and it opened up. Of course I had moved the ladder that is usually below the door, so I had to lower myself down on top of the refrigerator, and then shimmy my way down the unused portable basketball hoop that is taking up space and collecting dust in the corner. Aah. Back on the ground. I went straight to my wire stash, and rounded up a small piece to wire a rung to a screw on the roof. Straight back up I go, with a pocket full of sheet metal screws that need to be put back in a skylight. I sure am glad I am able to keep life interesting for myself, and that I am good at seeing the humor during situations like these.
I am so excited about this new lifestyle I am leading. I have met some really great people over the last couple of years who have pursuaded me to try this new way of selling art. Now that I am an official "art fairy" (as I refer to it), I have sold more art in the past five weeks than I have since graduating from college with an art degree in 1998. It is a lifestyle which lends itself perfectly to living in non-art areas, leaving on short trips to the "big city" on occasion to get your fill of culture and trying your hand at being your own personal art dealer. I think of all the people in L.A. and New York, struggling to get a gallery to represent their work, knowing that I know more and can describe my ideas better than any gallery representative could (not to mention the cut that the gallery takes from your sales). I love all aspects of this lifestyle, from the making of the art, to the framing, to promoting myself through the internet, and setting up my display and talking with potential future owners of my art. I love hearing response from the people, and the fact that I am able to get my art out into the world as much or as little as I choose. I know that I live in a time and place where art is seen as a luxury item, so sales have not been quite as much as I would like, but I still have good cheese in my refrigerator and a roof over my head. My heart is 100% in this series, and I am pretty sure that it shows in the work. I am so glad to have the support of my great friends and family, and know that I am doing the right thing. I look forward to continue meeting new people down the road.
This is the life I have chosen and this is the life I love.
I wondered exactly what the volunteer that came by and strong suggested that I attend the artists breakfast/awards ceremony meant. I figured out that it meant that I had won an award after discussing it with several other artists, but did not ever expect the first place out of 240 artists! It was quite a nice ego boost from my first show where I had the chicken prints only. I was already running on an emotional high from being selected from the 1400 applicants to exhibit at Plaza! And now this?
As some of you know, I am not much of a fast food eater, but was on the road last weekend after a weekend of music and art, and didn't feel like digging through my cooler to find a snack. I was caravanning back from Indiana with a fellow artist when she pulled off the highway into a fast food restaurant. I was a little hesitant to get anything, knowing that I had venison sausage and cheese and crackers in my cooler, along with some good kalamata olives, but decided what the heck. The burger was far from what I make at home, but actually looked remarkably like the one in the picture on the menu. It was one of the first times that the burger didn't have that "sat on" look (the bun was still nice and "fluffy"). My drink that came with the meal had a big bright red straw, and following in the american soft drink tradition, filled it completely up before leaving the restaurant after drinking a full one with my meal. It wasn't until this morning when I was blanching green beans for the freezer that it dawned on me that I could use the drinking straw to manually vacuum seal my freezer bags! Now that I have gotten my biannual fast food fix, I see no need to return for awhile (unless my straw breaks).
Spent a good part of the day working on this website. I had to run to town to deposit some money that I made in Indiana over the weekend, and had a flat tire on my truck. I am an unpaid professional tire plugger, 10 minutes and i was back on my way. I also had a bunch of tomatoes that needed dealing with, so cooked up a giant pot of tomato sauce that I will bag up and freeze tomorrow. Oh, and it seems that something happened to my young duck. I believe it disappeared at some point today.