Our family has never believed the adage "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." My bricklayer father was over 60 when he learned how to build Finnish masonry heaters. These fireplaces are not only beautiful, but they allow you to heat your home with wood very efficiently and without polluting the air. He traveled the country building them for various clients and did such beautiful work that one of his fireplaces was featured prominently on the website for the Masonry Heaters Association at that time. He and my mother instilled that love of learning and trying new things in all of us.
I bring this up because I'm finding that the Covid-19 pandemic is pushing me in new directions regularly. I'm grateful to my parents for having brought me up to embrace these things as opportunities, not bemoan the need for change.
The most recent instance came in an email on Monday. This year's Occasion for the Arts - Williamsburg's biggest annual art fair - has been postponed until October 2021, but they have decided to try a virtual fair this year. Among the things they are recommending that participating artists provide are a short video about themselves or their work and links for live Zoom sessions to be held during the festival. So I will be spending time during the next couple of weeks to figure out the content and exactly how I will produce my video, plus the logistics for setting up my own Zoom account and meetings. This opportunity has made me think hard about how I can use these tools in other ways once I learn them. Without this kick in the pants, I know I'd have just gone on with business as usual.
I'll keep you posted as I figure this out.
In my last post I told you about the new collaborative art project that Sonja and I have started with my sister, Sue Gilleland. I wanted to bring you up to date on that. We are currently on our third round and going strong. It is so exciting to see what the others add to your base. It's almost always something you never would have thought of yourself. (It's also fun to get "real" mail once in a while too.)
The six works that comprised our first round are totally finished. Sonja and I mounted them on canvases and submitted them for the OurTown2020 exhibit curated by the Williamsburg Regional Library. They will soon be on exhibit at the Stryker Center next door to the library. I will post the details on our Events & Venues page when I have them. In the meanwhile, here's a preview.
Just a quick reminder - in each case the central image is 6" x 8" and the finished size is 8" x 10". There will be more to come on this project.
Finally, here's a quick look at the latest work I completed on my own. It will also be part of the OurTown2020 exhibit.
I call this one Sanctuary. I plan to do a separate post with the background story - hopefully soon.
In the meantime, wear your mask and stay safe and healthy.
Mother & daughter, Ann Lee & Sonja Lee-Austin share their joys and struggles in their art and lives.