LILA ROSE KOLE asked me to step in on this the second of three posts leading up to her debut show this Friday night at my gallery in Tremont. Why have me, Rob, write her post about being a “working artist”? Because for the last six months I have been witness to the transformation of Lila from post student, sleep in late, laissez faire twenty something to let’s-git-er-done, into the studio early, full on – full time working artist. And so…she doesn’t have time to write this right now.
What is a working artist? There are too many attributes both successful and unsuccessful to mention. But instead, I can tell you what our days are like at Hartshorn Studios where Lila was an intern two years back and is Gallery Manager now:
We get into the studio in Tremont around 9:30am six days a week, put out the open signs, turn on the music, the heat, the coffee, the lights, the fans, fill the dog water bowls, clean yesterday’s brushes, dishes, counters and floor, prepare the canvas, easel, palette and brushes for painting, and sit down for a moment to make a sigh of relief that all that is done and we can begin to do the one thing that will make some money to keep the doors open…paint (verb).
But then the phone rings. Sometimes its a client, sometimes its a friend, but most of the time its a salesperson. Ok, now that’s done. Then because we are a studio that is also a gallery open to the public, customers walk in and visit and buy things we have painted (we love that, thank you). Ok, now that’s done. Then, as we again get ready to paint, we remember we forgot to do one of the many administrative tasks necessary to keep us going, like advertising, ordering materials, entering art shows, paying bills, fixing leaks watering the plants and much more. The day rotates around phones, customers and tasks and is happily consumed with the business of being a business….and we have yet to paint.
Ahhh. Now we get to paint for an hour here, an hour there. And it is heaven. A palette on one arm and a brush in hand (except when there is a cup of coffee in that hand). If we get “in the flow” we can accomplish great things and leave at the end of the day not hating what we painted that day and not mourning what we planned for but didn’t get to. Snow days and rainy days, early mornings, late nights and Sundays are best for that.
And as we paint, our brains open up and we talk about art, artists and creative stuff that artists think and talk about. We don’t wait for inspiration; its there already, and the muse is too fickle, and we have clients, collectors, galleries and ourselves to satisfy. So we keep painting as long as we can until 6 or 7 or 8 in the evening and then go home.
The new life of Lila Rose Kole, a working artist. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
Don’t worry, she’ll be back for Part III in a day or two after some more coffee and cigarettes.
Lila Rose Kole’s first solo show, “Against the Dying of the Light”, showcasing selected abstract pieces from her new collection will be opening during the Tremont Artwalk on March 14th at Hartshorn Studios in Tremont, Cleveland, OH.
More to come next week: The last of three parts, The Show: Against the Dying of the Light.