There are some strange vibes in the studio these days. With a big art show that I have spent entirely too many months working to pull off, there’s a strange calm in the air. Usually, the last days before a how are sleepless, anxiety ridden nights of self doubt, private loathing, and a dumb, gleeful optimism.
It seems like all of that is missing right now.
There’s lots of factors that are making up this anxiety free run. I have plenty of work, I’m not 24, and in three weeks I’ll be off to Europe. Sure, there will be a bunch of paintings left in unfinished states when I hang this show. But I know I already have an over abundance of work for this show anyway. And, oddly, I feel good about a lot of the work.
So, I am finishing up a bunch of the latest paintings. I’ll soon decide which works won’t make the cut, and still will have plenty on my plate. I drew and printed up some silkscreen prints in a herculean late afternoon push.
I’ve been happy about the circuitous loop my work has taken for this show. From bullfighters to rodeo clowns to carnivals to death defying carnival rides, it feels like an oddly complete journey.
Planning and painting for a show is a lot like the scene in the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. When Christmas comes to Whoville and all the decorations and presents are missing, the day still arrives. No matter how much more work you can accomplish for the art show, the day will come, and it’s going to happen.
Of course, during the show, I’ll be able to step back, accept comments and compliments through gritted teeth throughout the night. I’ll always be the harshest judge of my own work. I’ll deal with my own anxiety when I get there.
And so it goes! There will be plenty more to write about the big art show later, but for now, here’s a song that has been living in my head for the past month: