• PM Neist

The first step


Nine years ago, I took two weeks of vacation to attend a color theory workshop at the Jung Center of Houston. I was the first to arrive every day for class and the last to leave. I used up three tubes of yellow paint in just a week. It was like drinking from a fire hose.

I followed up with hours of sketching - in my car, on the plane, at work, in bars and restaurants - followed by some experiments with color pencil on birchwood, then it was oil, then pastels. When time came for my first group show, I was convinced that the art police was going to cart me away and denounce me as a fraud. They didn't but the curator of the show did come to see me: I was the first artist to sell a piece that night.

I went on to produce a book and got good reviews. I kept creating. I got into flash fiction. I taught workshops, I documented my work on Facebook. One of my short stories was published and nominated for a Pushcart Prize and you would have thought I had won the Pulitzer. Finally last summer, I had my first solo show, a modest event at a friend's juice bar but I ended up selling almost two thirds of of my art anyway. So it is true: I am an artist.

And now for the next step: I must venture beyond the circle of family and friends.

Project 105 will be a test of endurance.

Over the course of a year (maybe two) I will create and give away 105 pieces of artwork. Each piece will have a secret short story attached to it. The story will be known only to me, to the recipient of the artwork and the editor for this project.

The recipients of the art will get to decide on whether or not to make the story public. If they decide to keep the story for themselves, they will have to justify their choice in a written response posted to the site. I will document the project and occasionally invite guest bloggers to share their thought on art, words and the artistic life.

The plan.

With time spent at my day job and at the studio, I don't have 105 friends to send art to. Even if I did, the purpose of this project is to expand beyond my comfort zone.

So here is the plan: I am going to start just two friends, reach out to about a two dozen more and let the project grow organically from there. People who sign up to follow the blog will get a chance to be selected to receive a piece of artwork.

One more thing: Project 105 art will be given away. For free. I have lots of opinion about art and money and will share my thoughts in future blogs but one thing is for sure: Project 105 is not for sale. I just ask participants to respect my work: keep it, regift it or send it back to me.

Other pieces will be for sale though. Those will be featured in the soon-to-be e-commerce portion of this site.

Ready to accompany me on this adventure?

Next: the faerie godmothers

#Newbeginnings #artistlife #artistjourney #artpolice #creativity

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