Sunday, February 27, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday-Sitting Duck

Sometimes you feel like a duck. Sometimes you don’t.

Ever have those days (or weeks!) when it feels like you are a sitting duck for lots of negativity from the world? Yep, me too. Kinda sucky. Wears on you and brings you down. But I try to snap out of it immediately. No time for pity parties. Life is too good for wasting time on that.

In Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles, he talks about his mentor, W. Clement Stone being an inverse paranoid.

“Instead of believing the world was plotting to do him harm, he chose to believe the world was plotting to do him good. Instead of seeing every difficult or challenging event as a negative, he saw it for what it could be-something that was meant to enrich him, empower him, or advance his causes.”

Interesting concept. And one I shall work on.

Diligently thinking about that concept helped me this weekend. Instead of pity partying, I went into the studio and produced. I’m empowering myself. I’m glad I did.

Here is the piece I worked on, which isn’t complete, but I’ve got a good start at it.

Sitting Duck, vintage chair wrapped with skin
Kim Radatz

Sitting Duck, detail
Kim Radatz

Its part of a larger series I’m working on called, "Wrappings". Akin to the "Skin" series, but instead of taking it off, (our skin, so to speak), these are protective coverings. Wrapping our bodies and taking care.

I am sending good thoughts your way for wonderful days and weeks ahead. Wrap yourself up in them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

You’ve Got Mail

It used to be when we got letters regarding shows they came in the mail.

In an envelope.

Now it’s not so much about holding the letter in your hand as it is about hearing the words, “You’ve got mail!”

And I did. Get mail, that is. From the gallery in Wisconsin that I told you about in January. Good news too. I got a solo show in September 2012. I’m thrilled.

I’m also happy the committee took the time to tell me that they loved my proposal packet. Very nice of them.  It helps to know stuff like that. To be reassured that, yep, that was good, stay on this path. I’m feeling even better about the proposals that I have screwed up in the past.

And I know you already know why, I can hear the rustle of your pom poms.  Thank you.  I'm cheering for you too!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tenacity Trumps Talent

My 15 year old niece is applying for a summer workshop at an art college and needs my help with the whole application process. I am always happy to help. People have helped me and I am eternally grateful for that, so I am passing it along. I was once told you can only repay kindness with kindness. Seems like a lovely rule of thumb to live by.

Back to my niece. What can I do to help her at this very beginning step in her art career?

First, I’m gonna tell her to read my blog. She can skip over most of it, if she wants, but I want her to read about the failures. About my failures. I do walk on water in her eyes, so it’s time to show her otherwise.

Secondly I’m going to tell her that the single most important part of success isn’t talent, its tenacity.

Though I knew my entire life that I wanted to be an artist, I was never the most talented kid throughout that time. I’m talking all the way through school, elementary through college. And it took me 20 years to get my MFA so this isn’t just a casual statement. I’ve got the time under my belt to prove my statement. Admittedly most of those college years were off and on for my AA. Once I set my mind to getting my degree, first my BFA and then my MFA, I was very focused and on track. Again, not the most talented. But nobody worked harder than I did, even in the early years.

As you already know, I was very shy and insecure. All those classes I took were my testing grounds. I tried, I failed. I watched and listened. I learned from all of it. I needed those 20 years to finally believe that I was an artist. And I am glad I did it that way. It worked for me.

I hope Lydia takes a shorter course. Though I hope she doesn’t skip failing.

I hope she will be willing to step outside her comfort zone to try something new. Something uncomfortable. I hope she tries things that don’t come easy or things she is not good at. If she stays only in her comfort zone she’ll be holding herself back and not growing to her potential. I hope she’ll have some great failures. And I hope she sees me in the back corner with my pom poms cheering her on.

Nurture, 8 inch hoop, Kim Radatz
Have a great day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday – Finally Something Finished

It took me a while, but I am back on track and getting some work finished. Finally.

You saw this skin early on, and now here it is finished.  I cropped the long threads hanging off of the fence in the photo as they just didn't show up.  Tis a shame as I love the threads.  They are an important part of the piece.  Just as the "stuff" below the dresses are in my "dress series."  To me they are the detritus we gather moving through our lives.  Still an integral part of us as they drift away from our physical self.

All of that to say, you're just gonna have to see it in person to see it in its entirety. :-)

Cover Me, 30" x 38", Kim Radatz

Feel free to send your thoughts my way.

May your day be a creative one!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Artists Helping Artists

I met with Alison Swann Ingram recently to discuss my participation in an upcoming show she and her business partner, Carl Johnson, are hosting at their business, Franklin Street Fine Woodwork. I first had the opportunity to work with Alison in 2007 at the Gala Corina show, iluminaciĆ³n, in South Tampa.

When we met this past Tuesday she told me what a life changing experience iluminaciĆ³n had been for her. As a board member of Gala Corina I was very pleased to hear that. It gave me chills when she retold her story to me. Makes the heart grow in size to see how things you have participated in help others along on their life path.

Now she is in a position to turn the table and give other emerging artists the same opportunity.

Artists helping artists. It’s a wonderful thing.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, come on by Friday, March 11th from 5:00 to 10:00 to check out the art and share in some good times.  I am honored to be in this show and will hope to see you there!

1609 Artist Invitational at Franklin Street Fine Woodwork, 1609 North Franklin Street  in Tampa.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Courage to Fail

Last night we had last minute guests for dinner. It was a long time friend and his new girlfriend. Since it was Valentine’s Day and all the restaurants would be full, I knew we would have to eat in.

What could I throw together quickly in short notice? (I mean that pretty literally as time was of the essence and I didn’t want to run to the store.)

And what does this have to do with courage, you ask?

Let me tell you.

It takes courage to throw (remember, literally), together a meal for somebody, especially if you don’t know them. And it something I would not have been able to do in the not too distant past. You see, courage is something I have lacked for most of my life. Many of the people I know now would doubt that about me, but my long time friends remember me when.

-When I was so shy I dropped out of a class in college, and got an F for doing so, because I had to give an oral report. (Which I did, BTW, I just didn’t have the courage to share it with the class.)
- When meeting with somebody new I would assume they didn’t have time for me.
-When asked a question I would defer to anybody else, as long as I didn’t have to answer.
-When I wouldn’t offer assistance as I felt my contribution wouldn’t be good enough.
-When I wouldn’t apply for a show as I assumed in advance that I wouldn’t get in.
-When I believed that others were prettier, smarter, better at anything than I was.

So what changed?

Me, naturally.

And what changed me was failing. I didn’t sit in the corner and cry about it (though tears were indeed shed), I learned from each failure.

Often it was little tiny failures (such as a smoke alarm dinner), though there were some pretty big ones too, (like a less than stellar review). But I never ignored them. I learned from each of them what not to do next time.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say I love failing. No, not at all. But it doesn’t bother me so much anymore. Because if I had not failed, I would not be where I am today.

And that, I wouldn’t change for anything.

Have a great one!

Lest you think it's been all surgery and dinner guests for me, here is Cover Me a little further along on her path.

Cover Me, 48" x 36", Kim Radatz
P.S. Dinner was delicious! Company too.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Show and Tell Sundays – Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I’m still playing catch up after my surgery and taking the time to heal. Feeling great too, except I have not been consistent in my communications with you. Please pardon my absence. Back on track and ready to roll.

As I said above, I’m turning the tables on this Show and Tell Sunday and asking you instead of telling you something.  And this is what I want to know –

Do you belong to a support group for artists?

If yes, good for you.  Would you like to share your information?

If not, have you considered starting one?

I am a one of the founding members of BRAVA, a group that has been meeting for 14 years now. We meet on the last Friday of each month to discuss our latest work, upcoming shows, and in general support each other on this often lonely path of being an artist.

What a WONDERFUL thing that we do for each other!

I highly recommend all artists belong to such a group. And if you can’t find one, make one.

It’s easy, really. Especially now with the help of social media. In fact, you might end up with too many potential members, so be picky. Don’t accept everybody or nobody will benefit.

There are as many different ways to go about forming a group as there are individuals doing the forming. And all groups are valid; just make sure you are surrounded by like minded people in order to get the most benefit out of it. Let’s face it; you are taking time away from actually making art, so use your time well.

Here are a few things I think are important to consider as you are in the planning stages of forming your potential group:

• Do you want to show together?
• Do you just want to have fun and be social or grow your art?
• Do you want constructive criticism? (This sounds great, but many people don’t deal well with any criticism, no matter how it will benefit them.)
• Can you devote half a day once a month to participate in the group? (Life does get in the way, so consider your other obligations before committing to a group. If you aren’t devoted, you aren’t a positive contributor to the group.)
• All women? All men? Or a mixed group?
• Large group? Small group?
• Everybody shares work at each meeting? Or only a few members are featured at each meeting?
• Mornings, evenings, or weekends?
• Meetings rotate from home to home? Or held in a restaurant or library?
• Etc., etc., etc.

Much depends on how many members, and again, all the above are valid variations, just tailor the meetings to fit the group in general. It might take some tweaking along the way, but there are always growing pains, yes? Keep with it and I think you’ll be thrilled with how a group can help you along your artistic path.

Good luck to you and let us know how it goes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

I’m off to DeLand to pick up my work from the Florida Museum for Women Artists’ juried show. All things eventually end, as did this show, but there is always something new around the corner. And, sure enough, there is. Just signed a contract for a show in March. I’ll let you know about it once I have more information.

Here is the very preliminary beginning of another skin. Hard to see much, but it’s a start.

Cover Me, 48” x 36”, Kim Radatz

Cover Me.
I’m starting to see a trend here; how about you?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Show and Tell Sunday-Cover Me

I have received so many wonderful Get Well wishes since having my appendicitis attack this past Monday and subsequent surgery on Tuesday. The love sent my way has been healing and humbling. I am blessed to have so many wonderful friends in the world. Thank you for your kindness.

And now, back to work.

Here is a new skin that I have been working on between naps. There is more to do, but I am happy with the progress so far. I’ll share once it is finished.

Until then, may you have a wonderful day!  And thanks again.  My heart is aglow.

Cover Me, 30" x 38", Kim Radatz

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hump Day Happy Hour - Stephanie Metz

I received the Penland School of Crafts workshop catalog recently and in flipping through it came across the work of Stephanie Metz.  Really terrific work!  I enjoy all of her work but I have a particular affinity to the ‘Pelts’, as I’m sure you can see why.  Great name for the series too.  Check her out.

Stephanie Metz
Stephanie Metz
Stephanie Metz
Stephanie Metz

Do You Have The Creative Habit?

I was at the courthouse for jury duty all day on Monday and the book I chose to take with me was The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. If you have not read the book I suggest you run, not walk to purchase this fantastic book. I read it first years ago and it is a book I could read again and again. I never tire of it.

In her own words she says, “More than anything, this book is about preparation. In order to be creative you have to know how to prepare to be creative.” We might be inclined toward something, as I believe I am with art, while my twin is not. But I was not born with the skills to be an artist, just the inclination. It has taken me years of study to get to where I am today. Studying different methods, ideas, and materials. Practicing and failing, but also garnering gems from what didn’t work out to try again in a different way.

I think that is why some artists answer, “My entire life,” to the oft asked question, “How long did it take you to make/paint that piece?” There is nothing flippant about the statement. It really is a true.

But I highly recommend taking time out of your productive day to check out this book. I think you’ll find it worth your time.

I hope your day is a creative one!