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Summer 2024 Writing and Painting Adventures

Getting Ready For New Things

"True Seasons" SOLD 9x12" oil on board.

A flurry getting ready is going on in Chris writing-and-art-land. Charlotte Art League is being slowly but sure-handidly resurrected. I am among a handful of artists with studios in the current space who have hung in and waited out the patient process of reassembling the organization. The upshot is, I will be moving my studio into new space in the same building. We'll still be there, just in a smaller footprint. I'm going to continue to have my workspace/display space. I'll continue to be a volunteer on the gallery committee. And the next few weeks will entail all of that moving, reorganizing, etc. New monthly shows in the public gallery space will commence this summer. Calls to Artists for their work will begin again soon. You'll be invited to show openings in the near future and have the opportunity to see some of my new work. YAY!


Hopefully, I'll have this all sorted in time for a vacation and wedding up in Michigan. I'll pack up the paints and the writing notebook for that. Expect the relocated gallery and studio space to have lots of new stuff in it as a result. And it's time for the next poetry book to be shaped. Here's my tentative title:  Poetry Isn't Memoir: Come At Me.  What do you think?

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Back From Wildacres

Wonderful week at Wildacres. The picture above is the full moon shining in the woods and through the window of Azaela Cabin. I got two paintings done and major revisions and submissions on poems. I also did several hikes, some on my own, and one with my Charlotte walking posse, who were in the area for a quick weekend vacation and birthday celebration. The hikes gave me some much-needed confidence in my strength and capacity. Being there gave me time to think uncluttered with the stuff of daily life. A very inspirational week, as to be expected. At Wildacres -- the setting and the staff are incomparable. It is a huge honor to be able to do a residency there and I am very grateful. 

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Workshopping and Wildacres

In the last three months, I've done a series of writing workshops in my area, five in all.  A couple of them have been "ekphrastic" workshops, others used word or story prompts. All have been thankfully well-attended and I've been paid well enough to cover my rent at the Charlotte Art League for the rest of the year. (Still holding out hope that the Art League will continue to get it together and I'll be able to stay on there.) Although I "angst" over preparing these workshops, much like I used to do getting ready to teach classes, they have all gone well. Reviews have been positive. I even set an attendance record for the Charlotte Writers Club workshop. Invitations for more have resulted. So all in all, yay me. :) 


Now I'm turning to getting ready for a one-week residency at Wildacres later this month. Ah, Wildacres. Without a doubt one of my happy places. I've started making little piles of things to take along. Which books, notebooks, pens and paper, notecards, journals, a bag of teas and snacks, all must be thought through and organized and packed then unpacked.Decisions must be made! This is not my first residency there, though it's been since 2018, according to my photo library. What did I learn then that I need to remember for this residency? 


Thankfully I don't need to bring my own sheets and towels this time, don't need to pack those. But I do need to remember that I'm on my own, in my own little cabin, with no car, so no last minute trips to the store for something I've forgotten. Last time, I got a pretty crap cold while I was there and had to make due with the catch-as-catch-can cold medicine they had on hand at the desk. I'll be a little more circumspect with some of those OTC meds this time. And, I'll bring a few snacks for when I'm on a roll and don't want to go to the dining hall for meals -- although honestly, rousting oneself to hidey over there gets your head clear and provides a lovely walk 3x a day through the woods, and adds up 3 miles. Which means maybe once in a while I'll go for that cookie at lunch, or the pie at dinner.


That's the practical stuff to think about. What's more complicated is figuring out which writing projects to work on and what art supplies to bring. Do I write in the mornings and paint in the afternoons? Do I put together the next poetry book, adding and revising what I've got in my stash? Do I paint the cover of that book? Do I bring out that novel? Do I play with those flash essays that might turn into a memoir? Do I submit to those lists I have been building since the beginning of the year? What are the priorities?  I'll be there for a week...  Stay tuned for what ends up happening. 


And if hanging out in a nifty cabin in a glorius mountain setting, by yourself, to work on creative projects sounds like heaven to you, go to the Wildacres website and check out the Residency opportuniies. They have three cabins and run the residencies April though October. It is not an onerous application as these things go, and you don't have to complete any reports or duties if you get one. (wildacres.org) Residency applications open Aug 1 for the 2025 season. 

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Looking Up and Out

Here's an update on the Charlotte Art League, where I have a studio and paint several days a week. A new board and officers have been seated. And there's an interim Executive Director, who was with the league a few years ago. She returns with an MPA and some solid non profit experience under her belt, so, yay for that. Those of us who did not bolt are continuing to be hopeful that something can be negotiated that lets us stay where we are. FINGERS CROSSED! 


I continue to do workshops, too, and have one coming in May with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, South Regional Branch this time. If you're able, come on out. The info is to the left here. I did the monthly presentation for the Charlotte Writers Club on Tuesday and it was a blast. Of course, i angst about this stuff and it ends up going great. I told the story of my long strange trip to becoming a poet. The secret is, of course, to prepare, prepare, practice. 


And, of course, it's now BASEBALL.  Been to a couple of Knights games and following the Tigers every day. Spring is good. :)

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It's All Good

Things are really up-in-the-air at the Charlotte Art League these days. While I don't have the inside scoop, and honestly don't want to know too much, I can observe that many of the studio artists have moved out of their spaces. I am keeping the faith that the administration, new board, and lawyers can get all this figured out, and I can stay put. CAL is more than a place to put things in shows or display my work, it's my work space, and I am probably the person who spends the most time there doing so. Keep your fingers crossed. It would not be possible for me to find another affordable work space at the moment -- I've looked -- and my condo isn't really the place for a messy painter like me to work, if I can help it. 


In the meantime, I've taught writing workshops for Charlotte Writers Club, Charlotte Lit, Jay Ward's Poet Laureate workshop series, and I've been asked this week to do one for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's south regional branch in May. In April I'm the presenter for the Charlotte Writers Club general meeting, it being poetry month and all. This is what retirement looks like. It's all good. 



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CANCELLED - sorry guys, but we'll have another


Due to unforseen circumstances with the gallery space, I've had to cancel this year's ekphrastic show, scheduled for May. Stay tuned for the next ekphrastic adventure. You know I'll figure out something :)

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Art Show - Workshops!

I've got a piece in the January show at Charlotte Art League. Come out and see my ekphrasitc work "It's Never Just Black and White."


Thene there's Charlotte Writers Club worksbop on Saturday the 13th, and another on Saturday the 20th for Charlotte Lit.

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I Just Hit Send

Just now I hit the SEND button on my manuscript for "Nobody Cares What You Think" my first full-length book of poetry, coming not-soon from Finishing Line Press. Pub date is January 10, 2025; presales will start in September. Now, it's really time to start the holidays!

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Coming this Fall at Charlotte Art League

Busy times at Charlotte Art Leaguel... good thing I've been doing some new paintings I'm really pleased with. I'll have a "little" in the Miniatures show opening Friday, Nov 8. Then in December, opening December 8, I'm managing CAL's "Renters Only" show. It's an exhibit featuring the art of studio and wall renters at the League. I'll have two paintings in the Renters Only show as well, including this one, which is oil on board, 11x14". It's titled Arcadia Marsh #5. I hope to get something into the juried Winter Show in December as well. I did several small Fall scenes in Michigan last week when I was there - the color was glorius. So stay tuned for those. 

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More Art More Words

I'm managing an exhibit at Charlotte Art League for December/January, and another ekphrastic show for May. Hard to believe it, but they are both herding cats and requiring attention, timelines, etc. already!  


The December/January show is called Renter Only and will feature those of us renting wall or studio space at the CAL. We're going to spin things for the holidays by offering instant sales, so lookers can choose hoiday gifts and take them home on the spot, rather than wait until the end of show.


The ekphrastic show for May 2024 is "1+1 = 3" and it will be juried with prizes. I'll be doing a couple of workshops locally in January to get people geared up for it. Stay tuned for more info on that. I'll be hunting people down to participate :). 

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