Well I am back from my trip to Asheville, NC. It was nice to get away, but I am glad I am home now. It was a wonderful place to visit. Unlike where I live, their economy (tourism, and housing market) is flourishing. The residents seem to really support the local economy and embrace the local arts. It is a town rich in culture (music, fine crafts, the arts). I visited a few artists studios – and that was really inspiring. I don’t really have many artist friends and rarely even get to leave my own studio to see where and how other artists/people work. I did not want to wear out my traveling partner, so I chose my art galleries wisely – and I did not see all the galleries and studios I had intended to see. But I saw about 30-40. Some of the most incredible handcrafted furniture you have ever seen, and amazing glass (surprisingly, the pottery was not that great this trip). If I had unlimited funds I could seriously do some damage in Asheville.
The restaurants I picked were impeccable, and most of the food was organic. It is an extremely green/earth conscious town: Organic this, recycled that. – everywhere you turn there is a Toyota Prius. I think I have seen one Prius (and it was probably a rental) in Fernandina Beach.
The only problem about Asheville this trip – it was hotter there than it is here! That was surprising. I guess I should really be thankful for our Ocean Breeze. Oh, and the only weird thing I wanted to point out: There were a number of vagrants milling/laying around. More than I have seen in NYC even (or at least the areas I visit). I thought that was strange.
The scenery was breathtaking. I could not remember the last time I had been to the mountains. I would like to go back in the fall sometime.
We went to the Biltmore Estate and Winery one day. Participated in a nice wine tasting. I was amazed at the varieties they produce from the one vineyard. We came home with a few bottles. While driving, I took lots of landscape, cloud, scenery photos for painting inspiration: In a downtown gallery, I saw the most juicy encaustic landscapes; painterly linear compositions – somewhat abstract. So I have this wild idea that I am going to start painting landscapes again. We’ll see.
One day we visited a local shopping area Biltmore Village in which they had a craft fair going on. That turned out to be a disappointment. I was expecting to be wowed. But instead it was small fair and over crowded. Nothing interested me too much. The nearby stores were more impressive. New Morning Gallery, and Bellagio. They house some of the best looking craft and hand made items in the Southeast. I guess I was expecting the craft fair to be an extension of their merchandise.
While in Asheville, I ran into an artist/acquaintance I have known awhile – we were speaking about giving it your all (in your work). If you put your whole soul into your work – people will recognize it. Don’t hold back. Give love and patience. Don’t skimp on materials, energy, time, etc. What he said really rang true. I think I already do that- I just have never verbalized it. Unfortunately, I have held back in many aspects of my life, and had one foot out the door – but my art is not one of them. For the most part, I am proud of the work I put out there. As long as I am true to myself I think I will be OK. If you believe in yourself (work) then others will too. They will feel the energy. Indeed, I have had some unfinished experiments (aka Stinkers) – but most of my work has quality, depth, and layering essential to a meaningful, successful work of art.
I am glad I am home. I need to get back to work. I left several things unfinished that I need to wrap up and send out. It makes me appreciate my own studio, and my own talent.