This week has gone by very fast. It got cold again and snowed, and today it’s been really windy. So windy, in fact, that the power is out in our studio building. Kind of a bummer since my set-up requires electricity. But I have batteries in my camera in my laptop that can last me a few hours (but not for my lightbox unfortunately).
Let’s see, I finished the project as I was working on, which was a 90 second segment for a collective film with the rest of SEAT (Seattle Experimental Animation Team). It turned out well and I’m happy I got it done. I got the chance to explore a comic-like style and play around with stand oil mixed with oil paint. That’s all I’ll say as it’s meant to be a surprise!
Last Thursday evening was open studios, which is where you can leave your studio open and the other artists can come check out your work. Most artists leave their studio open and then leave to go check out everyone else’s work, but I couldn’t do that because I didn’t want to leave my equipment unattended. Also people coming in to look at my desk would not have had much idea what was going on without me being there. So I walked around the studios once and then retired to my own to receive people. It was great being able to see everyone’s work after chatting with them for so long. A lot of variety in styles of painting, materials used, etc. Remember there’s about 50 artists here, so there’s a lot.
In my own space a bunch of people came by, though I’m on the second floor of the building farthest away from the epicenter, so I suspect some peeled off before reaching me. I showed them what I’d been animating (luckily I’d just finished my project that evening, so I didn’t have to worry about people touching something) and I think everyone understood better what I’ve been up to.
We also had two visiting artists this week. Carole Robb, a painter who has been using a lot of watercolor, and Ward Shelley, a really interesting sculptor/installation artist who’s been making a lot of elaborate drawn graphs that I found really inspiring. Some were autobiographical, like the history of his influences, some more historical like the history of science fiction. When there’s a visiting artist you can sign up to have them visit your studio for half an hour, and I saw Ward Friday.
It is rare that I talk to a visiting artist in this capacity and they have expertise in animation, so I knew I wouldn’t get much specific useful feedback about my style or technique. But he watched most of my work and we had a nice chat about animation as a medium, etc. He also told me I need a better website, and as much as I love mine right now I suspect he’s right. But when will I have time for that?
Friday evening some of the artists organized an ‘unofficial’ gallery show in one of the unused studios in the Wolf-Kahn building. There is actually a nice gallery space in the Red Mill building, but I think they wanted this to be lower-key. They asked everyone to bring a piece and hang it on the wall, and then throughout the evening everyone could move everyone else’s piece to a new place. I think the organizer called a ‘dynamic show’. I brought my laptop and showed The Whale Story on a loop, which everyone enjoyed, and it mercifully only got moved once before I called it a night. It was a fun idea and everyone got into it. The beer helped too.
Since finishing my project for the the collective film I’ve been concentrating on my proposal for a commission I received last year from the Brightwater Treatment System – a water purification plant in Woodinville. I’ve been doing a lot of research into the purification process, the different stages, etc. I had almost too many ideas, but I think I’ve narrowed it down. Hopefully I’ll have a proposal together by tonight (if the power comes back on).
Yesterday all the artists who were only staying two weeks (about 10 people) left, and we got a whole new bunch – about 16 new faces. Two of them are my studio neighbors. It’s strange to think that we have less than two weeks left. It’s gone by very fast.