The idea of participating in another Artomatic was extremely exciting and; because it had been a while since I had had the time and the opportunity to show a collection of my work in public, I viewed it as a way to step back into the game.
When I first received word that Artomatic was back, I had three months to get ready. Three months may seem like a good amount of time to produce new work, but here were my main obstacles:
- DELAY: For the first month I was in Argentina introducing my newborn son to my wife’s family. I was able to do some sketching, but visiting family with two children under the age of three doesn’t leave much time for getting work done.
- DOUBT: Upon our return we underwent a frantic search to find childcare for our new addition. If we couldn’t find something then I wouldn’t be able to do much work, putting my participation in Artomatic in serious doubt.
- COMPLICATION: Over the past three years, my work has become more detailed and planned , meaning that it takes much longer than it used to to complete a large painting. Extra time is something I just don’t have!
- COMPETITION: After we resolved our childcare issue, I was commissioned to complete a big illustration project by about the time Artomatic opened.
In the end, due primarily to the unwavering support of my wife, I was able to finish two new paintings. I knew my wall at Artomatic would look pretty bare though with only two new paintings on display, so I decided to include four paintings from the Solitaire series I had finished last year, two mixed media pieces from the American Comfort Food series, and two drawing studies.
Also, the daily exchange of encouraging words with my artist neighbors; E. Tina Wyatt and DavidePrete (who also were scrambling to complete work for Artomatic), was extremely helpful in reminding me that I definitely wasn’t the only one in the boat.
In truth, the mad dash to complete multiple projects in a short amount of time left me feeling really good. Being a parent is beautiful and at most times very rewarding, but it requires an incredible degree of selflessness. To be allowed to reassert a certain level of selfishness for those few months left me feeling truly alive.
Artomatic proved to be what I hoped it would be: a great way to reconnect with the public and other artists.
It’s good to be back in the game!