Mortified. That’s how I feel every year on January 3rd. The holidays have just rampaged through, the final glitter dust is just settling on the floor and the wreath is still on the door, where it will remain until I am shamed into removing it mid-February. So it is. I think perhaps I can breathe now and pull out the calendar to look ahead to what the new year holds. I gasp when I see that my March Featured Artist show at The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is just around the corner (this happens every year and every year I am surprised).
Three months can feel like a long time sometimes, like when you’re 6 months pregnant and big as a house or when your child is a toddler or when you’re counting down the days until summer vacation ends and your child goes back to school. But three months never seems like enough time to prepare for a Featured Artist show.
I usually spend January hunkered down in my studio in the woods, watching the snow fall, learning new techniques and experimenting with designs. This is always such a thrilling time; designing is on my mind every waking moment and I have given myself the luxury of play and exploration.
At the beginning of February the new designs come to life as I focus on a handful of large pieces that will be the highlights of the show. Designs are the first thing on my mind in the morning and dance in my thoughts as I sleep, which I don’t do enough of. Towards the end of the month the frenzy kicks in and builds until the day the show goes up at the end of March.
By the time the reception begins I have been subsisting on a diet of coffee and walnuts for longer than I care to admit. A steady stream of people flows into the gallery and I’m surrounded by friends old and new who have come to see my work, hear what inspired it and support me with their hugs and kind words. At the end of an exhilarating evening I crawl into bed exhausted but smiling.
January through March are filled with a creative intensity and growth that I experience at no other time of the year. It is at once exciting, expansive and filled with pressure that is totally of my own making. Every year I both look forward to it and approach it with apprehension. And so it is.
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