The Laws of Nature

Sunday, June 6, 2010

200 and Navigating the System

This is my 200th post! A BIG thank you to my regular readers and commenters who have made this a pleasurable and informative journey.
I'd like to share some good news before returning to my book review: My painting "The Universal Law of Gravity" has been juried into the 30th Annual International Exhibition of the San Diego Watercolor Society!

Art & Fear: Observations on the perils (and rewards) of artmaking
by Bayles & Orland

Chapter VI ends with a section on "Navigating the System." Here, the authors speed through time and the various networks that artists have navigated in order to succeed, beginning with the patronage system. This section doesn't provide the reader with practical help for contemporary artists. So, let's figure it out for ourselves.

I lived aboard my sailboat (picture above) for a couple of years and quickly learned the importance of navigation and following the "system" (a.k.a. laws of the sea). Conformity and protocols were necessary for survival. Artists are in a similar "boat" and it's sometimes uncomfortable because we are usually creative nonconformists. But, the business of art is a system that requires skillful navigation if it's to become a serious profession. What are the rules of the road? I'll start the list and hope that you'll add to it:

1. Speak in your own voice and never plagiarize
2. Don't misrepresent yourself or your work
3. Deal honestly and in good faith with customers, gallery directors, museum curators, and everyone else
4. Don't burn any bridges

5. ???? you provide the rest


Elizabeth Seaver said...

Katharine--first, congrats on your painting being accepted into the show. It is such a dynamic piece.

(Lived on a!)

Second, congratulations on your 200th post. Your blog provides an intellectual content and an opportunity for thoughtful dialogue that is unique. Although I do not always leave a comment, know I do read your blog. It always makes me think and reevaluate and grow. Thanks for that!

...and then, we get glimpses of your fabulous artwork.

I'm looking forward to the next 200 posts.

Nancy Goldman said...

Congratulations on both of your achievements. I am excited that I will be able to see your work in person at the show. Also, I hope you are planning on several hundred more posts in the future. I'm really enjoying your blog.

Karen Peikert said...

Congratulation on your painting and look forward to 201 post....

-Don said...

Yay, Kathy!!! I'm not surprised at all about "ULG" getting juried in. Sweet! And, 200 posts! What a nice milestone.

I love your four navigation "tools" and would add,

5) Continue to explore new territory, charting as you go along.
6) Make sure you have plenty of citrus. Scurvy sucks.


Mark Sheeky said...

Wow 200 posts. I must have read 50 at least!

Well done with the picture, but really it is obviously good enough for most juries so it's not a surprise. Might you win a prize?

7) Strap yourself to the occasional mast in a storm. Actually this is a mad one.

Eva said...

Can't imagine living on a sailboat for two years. You are a unique, determined, individual, which would be number
8: Don't give up!
Something I have to remind myself daily.:D

-Don said...

Kathy, I meant to ask: Is the name of your sailboat a reference to the Cape Cod island of Mashnee? And, if so, what is its significance to you? Just curious...


Unknown said...

Hi Elizabeth - thank you! I'm so glad that you're reading my blog and hope you'll feel free to comment whenver the mood strikes. I really enjoy learning different viewpoints, and I have no idea how many people are reading.

Hi Nancy - thank you! How neat that you'll be at the SDWS exhibit. Wish I could be there, too!

Hi Karen - thank you!

Hi Don - I like your contribution to the list (especially avoiding scurvy!).

Hi Mark - it would be cool to win a prize but I never count on it. Your suggestion (#7) is a good one! Surviving rough seas is essential. Thanks!

Hi Eva - yes, indeed! My motto is "Perseverance generate success!"

Hi Don - the boat is named after the island and was built in 1902 by Nathanial Herreshoff. It's a beauty.

Sharmon Davidson said...

Congratulations on the show acceptance, and happy 200th! (Wow, you look so well-preserved, nowhere near 200!) I always enjoy reading your posts, even though I don't always have time to comment (slow typer!).

Sharmon Davidson said...

Oh, duh, I forgot- what was the question? My #whatever would be: Never underestimate the power of persistence. Or- don't jump ship, to put it in nautical terms!

Anonymous said...

YIPPEEEE!!! Like Mark said- no surprise it was juried in! That's SO AWESOME! And well deserved!!
And congrats on 200 posts! I eagerly await the next 200.
As a business owner (but not a professional artist)- I can say without a doubt to keep good records- on everything. We keep a daily record of sales and write notes beside the day (weather, special events, unusual happenings)- and have done so for 16 years. It provides a great record and helps when things seem off- to look back and realize- it probably happened before.
I vacationed on a much larger sailboat for a week- it was the worst experience of my life. OK- maybe not the worst- but in my top 20.

hw (hallie) farber said...

Congratulations on "Gravity" being accepted and on making it to 200 posts. Great accomplishments.

For art, we should probably remove the life jackets and forget about safety.

Mary Paquet said...

Kathy, terrific news on your painting! It's terrific and nice to have the professional jurors give you recognition.

My number 5) Enjoy the journey.

Dan Kent said...

Congratulations on the big 2-0-0! Like Elizabeth I never miss a post - take it more regularly than vitamins.

And congratulations on being accepted! (No surprise to me - the piece will really stand out among the field of flowers in frames).

#10 (I think) - Look forward. Only look back in order to take it forward.

#11 Keep walking - one step in front of the other.

Broderick Gallery said...

Navigation is a great word for what we are doing. My waters are choppy! lol..I do my best though--what else can I do? Must trim my sails and keep on course. Good article, Kathy.

Broderick Gallery said...

slapping forhead! forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS for being accepted into International Exhibition of the San Diego Watercolor Society!
Recognition...well deserved

Unknown said...

Hi Sharmon - thank you! Funny!!!

Hi Pam - good suggestion: accurate and thorough record keeping is essential. Thanks! So sorry you hated the sailing experience. I've found that most people either love it or hate it.

Hi Hallie - great suggestion!! Definitely an important one. Thanks!

Hi Mary - yes, indeed; enjoyment is crucial to this! Thanks

Hi Dan - thank you for being a regular reader and commenter! Wow. I love your two suggestions for the list. Great!!

Hi Broderick - thank you!! Trimming our sails should also be added to the list since we all need to stay on course and avoid distractions.