After spending all August working on The Eve Of…, I’m finally feeling confident and relaxed.
The residency started off a little rough—I was antsy to secure a space yet stay productive. So I made a production schedule. It sounds a little crazy and antithetical to the creative process, and sometimes it was. But I think it was worth it. For example, when I moved into the larger space, I finished all my dust-making (woodworking and build-outs) first, painted the things that need to be painted at the same time, and then cleaned up for framing and finishing static-y vinyl projects.
Though, maybe crazy-making is part of the deal when you’re staging your own exhibition in a pop-up gallery. As stressful as keeping a schedule was, it’d be worse if I didn’t keep one. Case in point: I thought the dust on the concrete floor was drywall leftover from a prior demolition. But it turns out it’s the floor itself, or rather, mastic, which I had been pulverizing with every step. I have to seal the concrete, and find an additional three days of drying time, as I was already planning to paint half the floor where it was tiled in lavender-and-purple checkerboard.
Thankfully I was able to wrap up art-making and get a head start on gallery changeover. You could say I’m transitioning from artist-in-residence to preparator-in-residence. Some artists find being their own technical labor tedious or demeaning, but I can’t think of a happier use of these skills than in the service of my own vision.
Plus, it’s a nice change of pace. Painting is calming, because it’s finite. With studio projects, I never know when I’m going to be done. But with paint, you can only do so much per day—you couldn’t schedule more. Wrapping up today’s painting and heading home before 6pm was a nice treat.
I just finished the walls, and am relieved the color works. (Wet, it looked like ivory in the pan, grey on the walls, lavender in the daylight, putty-ish under fluorescents, and stripe-y and beady all over! But dried, it’s a nice, flat, smooth, soft. I love it.) I also primed the checked tiles. With the Willy Wonka tiles covered, the space feels cleaner, bigger, and more like a gallery already.
I’ve habituated to turning up at this studio everyday—and, I suppose, being a full-time artist in NYC, something I’d only previously imagined. I better enjoy it while it lasts, which is not much longer….