Other than beginning to plan The Best of..., I've been painting, planning two shows, and working on getting other shows outside of Richmond. I'll give you more details on all that as they are solidified as well.
Some other wonderful news - I got another piece, Susie Kissing Sally, accepted into a different national show, Au Naturel, at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, OR. It's my first West Coast show, so it's particularly exciting! I wish I could go out for the opening in February, but it's a bit far for that! I've applied for a solo show there in Oct. If I get that, I'll definitely go out then. Astoria is supposed to be a wonderful town with lots of art, so it sounds like great fun.
So stuff is happening like crazy art-wise. Not Barbie was a great success. Beyond Barbie, the performance series, was fantastic - I'm blown away by the talented women living here in Richmond who performed in it. Almost every day someone tells me how much the series meant to them and how much it affected their lives. It doesn't get any better than that as far as I'm concerned!
In addition to all that, I've also been managing to get a little bit of painting done. The two most recent pieces are "Present to You" and "Dancing with Hotei."
"Dancing with Hotei" is the first once. My model was sitting on the floor and "danced" with the wonderful statue I have of Hotei. Hotei is described on Wikipedia as follows:
Hotei is traditionally depicted as a fat bald man wearing a robe and wearing or otherwise carrying prayer beads. He carries his few possessions in a cloth sack, being poor but content. He is often depicted entertaining or being followed by adoring children. His figure appears throughout Chinese culture as a representation of contentment. His image graces many temples, restaurants, amulets, and businesses.
The picture here shows him from the back. My model saw my statue when she came into the studio and commented that she liked him, so when I was photographing her I asked if she'd like to have him in the shots. She immediately said yes then moved into a meditative dance with him. I feel like she's reaching the sublime in this image. The necklace she's wearing is one her friends put together for her at the Blessing Way before her son was born. Each bead was from a different person then someone created the entire necklace. I believe the model wore it when she gave birth.
The second picture is called "Present to You". I thought about calling it "Behind the Curtain", but I didn't want to give the indication that the model might be hiding - not at all! She was exceedingly comfortable in her body and modeling for me, very open and at ease, so "Present to You" feels like a more accurate description of the image. I have many beautiful images of her, but I liked this one for the expression on her face and the strength in her hand. I find everything about her completely authentic and present, no pretense, no hiding, no pretending. She is who she is.
It's fascinating to me to paint these women, each of whom is so very different and whose images come out so very differently. I love how much of a sense of the person you can get from each painting when I've done them well. My models are such a gift to me. And to everyone who sees the pictures! Thank you, models!