Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Only ten more days…

Apparently it was Duke Ellington who said: “I don’t need time; I need a deadline.” I’ve always thought that was a great quote because there’s nothing like a deadline to sharpen your focus and concentrate your energy. But when you actually have one that’s unavoidable—like I do with my upcoming show—the gift of more time would be a spectacular bonus. (However, I also know that work will continue to expand as long as there’s space available).
What I’ve discovered over the past few months is that no matter how single-minded you are and how solid your work ethic is, three things are certain:
First—anything you do (especially if it’s important to you) is going to be way more complicated than you thought it would be.
Second—it’s also going to take you about three times longer than you planned …if you’re lucky.
Third—being in control is a complete illusion. Just when you think you’re organized and ahead of the game, something happens to turn that perception inside out.
There have been many moments when I’ve considered bailing out altogether because what I first envisioned won’t be appearing in a gallery anytime soon—if ever. This experience has turned into a finishing off of things I wanted to finish, and a saying goodbye to others.

I’m sure there are plenty of life lessons here that I could be more aware of and thoughtful about, but all I can think is: only ten more days and I’ll be free to indulge in a marathon of socializing, reading trashy novels, watching a ton of TV, and yes, doing more blogging.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Life of Byron

I owe Carmi Cimicata a big thank you for the care package of vintage photos she mailed to me last week. Let me tell you, it acted just like catnip to my Leo senses—I think I actually meowed.
Anyway, in amongst the pictures Carmi sent me was this one of a baby with the face and posture of a grown up, and written on the back was “Byron Blackthorn Hawksridge 2nd, Aged 10 months.” Yes, I know it sounds like the name of a hero in a romance novel, and while Byron is actually the baby’s first name, I changed the other two to preserve his privacy. But his middle and last name are actually more interesting than the ones I chose for him.
The reason I want to protect his identity is because I decided to do a web search for him after talking to Mary. (Mary Ambrose—in case you don’t know it—has her private investigator’s license, a feat she accomplished while she was pregnant with her son Hayden).
Now where was I? Oh yes, so I did a search for Byron, and first found his namesake and grandfather who was born in 1835, hated his name Jedediah and changed it to Byron. To make a long story short, through an obituary, I eventually tracked down one of Byron II’s daughters in the U.S. and offered to send her the photo of her dad. She was thrilled to hear that there was a baby picture of him in existence. Between us, we figured out that the photo was probably taken in 1918 and sent to a Canadian relative by Byron’s mother in Maine. Naturally I’d like to know more about Byron (who was an engineer), but I didn’t want to seem pushy.

What was gratifying to me about this experience was not only to find out there was a real person behind one of the images I like to work with, but that I was also to be able to send Byron’s three daughters a precious memento of their dad. So thank you Carmi for this heart-warming experience. I couldn’t alter Byron’s image though. Somehow it didn’t seem right.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

You are invited

I’d like to extend an invitation to all of my readers who can make it to come to the opening of my art show on Saturday, October 3rd between 2 and 4 pm at the Whitney Community Gallery in Brampton.
The gallery is part of the Peel Heritage Complex, which includes our regional archives, a museum, a 19th century jail and the Art Gallery of Peel.
My show runs from October 3rd to November 15th and will include mixed media, digital collage and assemblage. I’ve called it Creating from the Inside Out—after the title of my upcoming book—and if all goes well with the publishing end of things, I should have some copies of my book available at the opening too. The Whitney Gallery is located at 9 Wellington St. East in Brampton and you can visit Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4:30 pm; Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 pm; and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4:30 pm.