Art, real estate and teaching

Friday, March 9 2012

It is another sunny day in Minnesota. March is already here and in two months the first show of the year. I am trying to figure out how many paintings I need to make for the Lake Minnetonka Arts Tour and for Gallery Artisan in Lancaster, PA. Right now I have 22 paintings completely done, 5 in progress and about 7 in concept stage. I think 35 paintings should do it.

My latest projects have been making lino cuts, which has been a revelation. To simplify one’s style is sometimes helpful. Bringing it back to b/w or one color is liberating. I keep experimenting with styles and shapes. I really could use a bigger printing press, but they are hard to find second hand. A new one that goes up to 30”x 60” is going to cost me close to $7000. So I better sell some paintings.

Tuesday I start teaching again at Blaine City Hall. I look forward to the evening. It is exiting to get feedback from people who truly love art. This time it will be working with pastels. Well, that has been a long time ago that I worked with pastels. It is always messy and dusty. But I love to use the vibrant colors.

Nancy and I are looking to buy or starting a “creative vacation art school”. We are still interested in acquiring the school in Castelnau de Montmiral in Southwest France, but to date the sellers and us have not come to agreeable terms. The housing market has changed and the economy is still going downhill. So the risks are great and we don’t want to overpay for the house. In addition, we have to pay for the business – which we understand, but we want something in return for that – for their price, more than just the name and the website. We were hoping they would let us have some of their current content for the website (with their credits as teachers, of course) so that it continues to look like an established school, but they were not agreeable to that – then it is worth paying for. We were also willing to pay them something for continuing to sign up students for the coming year – again so that we would have instant clients and for that we would compensate them for their help. We still hope they reconsider our offer, but in the meantime we have started to look at other options for locations of such a school – as well in France as in the U.S. We explored several possibilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Two of the sixteen places we visited look very interesting. It will take some time though till it is all worked out. Until then it will smell like turpentine in my studio. I am very grateful to Nancy who puts in many hours of work so she can support us both and I have the freedom to keep painting. Back to the drawing board and easel.

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