Setting up shop

Yesterday I was (finally!) getting my color printer set up. It’s been sitting in my office for months now. What finally got me motivated? Well, I was putting together some submissions for the 6x6x2011 show/event this summer at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center. As the works are donated and then sold for $20 each, I didn’t want to spend a ton of time creating something, but I still wanted what I sent in to be cool! I figured this would be a good way to test out printing some Robohontas and other images, which it did turn out to be.

And so today, now that I’ve got some of my parameters set up for these prints, I’m setting up a shop on Etsy where I can offer some of these prints for sale. Will they sell? I don’t know. But it is still fun to create and market things online!

I did make sure that the printer I invested in was capable of creating archival quality images with archival quality inks. And of course, I am only using archival quality paper. (How many times can I say “archival?”) Good times.

passion for painting

Still at work on the second painting of the year. I do really like the larger (16″ x 16″) size. I’ve got plans on getting some 36″ x 36″ panels later this year!

The last one (Buzz) was about my father. I had thought that I would do this one about my mother in an attempt to address their deaths at the beginning of the year. His last month and hers more than a decade ago. But then this went in a different direction and I found myself inspired by a Joe Feddersen print that I really like (see below).

Although I wasn’t trying to copy it, this print has sort of stuck in my mind and I was thinking about it as I worked. And now, at the stage I’m at with my painting I’ve come back to realizing that I was painting about my mother after all. She’s in there, along with many other things. I’m able to see why this print unconsciously reminded me of her too.

I’m happy with how these two paintings have/are progressed. They, along with Robohontas, have really helped me to deal with things happening in my life and given me more of a sense of purpose. It might be work, but I have no problem working hard when it is something I feel passionately about.

New Website

Well, I went ahead and got the new site. (http://foxanthonyspears.com/) I’ve also got the name change paperwork filled out and am ready to file when I get paid at the beginning of February. New year, new name. Very transitional. It’s going to be an adjustment and I admit that I’m nervous. But I’m to take a risk and see what happens. If I believe in self-determination for Native communities, then I suppose that I’m just exercising personal self-determination to be the person I choose to be, right?

“the activity of painting”

Well, this one is finally finished! I still need to do a final clearcoat over it for protection (most likely gloss), but other than that I’m done. But I barely got that one off the easel and I have another one I’m working on…

Ran across a quote that I used for one of the Robohontas images, but I really liked it anyhow. It was by Native artist Kay WalkingStick in an interview:

“The most important part of painting is the activity of painting itself.”

Object to Artifact

One of our glasses was broken today and I had to throw it out. It was probably part of a set once, but ever since Bryn and I have been together, it was the only one we had like it. I was putting other dishes away and noticed it had a crack on the rim that was spreading down towards the bottom. Interesting how it seems so insignificant as an everyday object previously, and now, all of a sudden, it is rendered useless. This uselessness gives it more meaning in a way. It marks it as something that has “stopped.” (It is dead?) Now the glass is something that used to be used, but has no future beyond being trash. At best, it could hope to be found at some future point and added to a collection of cultural items from our time. I’m probably over-thinking all of this.

The new site is still in progress and I’ve decided to go forward with my name change. It is kind of scary in a way, but I think it will be good. Self-determination and all. As for this site, I’ve got some intentions to create a new black and white drawing for the banner. Of course, it may take a lot longer than I’d like! At least I did finally get my work picked up from the Blue Horse Gallery show back in November. And I’ve started the initial work on a new painting. So I’m not being completely unproductive.

Changes

So much of my energy with my art lately has been devoted to Robohontas! But honestly, I’ve got many things going on right now. Among them, I’ve been contemplating some changes.

Soon after my father passed away I started thinking about my name and what it meant to me. I was adopted and raised as an only child with our only extended family being created rather than related. Many of these people that were once so important in my life have passed away. I don’t really communicate regulary with any adults that I knew as a child anymore. And with the death of my family, I don’t know another “Callaway” that I have any connections to. 

Of course, changing my name would be a big deal to me. I wouldn’t embark on this lightly. But the timing does seem right. One of the things that deterred me at first was that I’ve already started to establish myself as an artist with my current name. Is is really worth changing that now? Yet, if I truly consider the question, I realize that my only objection to doing this is what other people might say or think. This is something I want to do. And the surname I would take would reflect my current family. My partner and I would share the same name.

I’ve also been contemplating a new venue for my online portfolio at otherpeoplespixels.com. I’ve created something using a free trial (image above) and really like that the focus becomes more on my work. It seems cleaner, more professional, and better at showcasing my visual art. Another new beginning perhaps.

I’ve talked to a few folks about changing my name already. One of them, I told I would change my name for sure if I was accepted into Stanford. Part of me has been waiting for this, as if I shouldn’t do it unless that happens. What am I waiting for? I don’t know. There’s no need to wait. Changes may happen soon.

Life beyond art.

Although not really art-related (except that they themselves are works of art), we had an annual meeting for our department at my day job yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised to receive, not one, but two awards! The first was voted on by my peers and was the “Most Inspirational” and the second was selected by management and was “Rising Star.” Yay! It is nice to be recognized for doing a good job! I try to be as consistent and detail-oriented as I can, whether in my artwork or my other work. Apparently, I’m doing okay. Phew!