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Disappointment and Perseverance in a Corona World

Here we are in 2020 and its a whole new world. Everyone is social distancing and wearing masks. Music and entertainment is virtually non-existent, and your first haircut in months is the highlight of the year. Also, sadly, the art market has stalled. Some gallery shows have been rescheduled or canceled, others have valiantly tried to move forward in the virtual world. Artists who have been working all year long to share their work to the world now sit in wait and disappointment.

In all seriousness, artists invented "social distancing". We work isolated in our studios making our creations then quietly marketing them thru social media. It has always been a solitary existence...but now it has become so much more lonely and challenging. It's easy for anybody to become overcome with disappointment and fear during this time, but that will accomplish nothing. This is the time to think "Outside the Box". One thing is for certain, we will always face uncertainty. Why not embrace the uncertainty and see where it takes us? I myself am actually doing more painting than I have done in years. It's a quicker process than sculpture, and a lot less expensive to produce. My clients still want to collect art, but are hesitant to invest large sums of money during this time of uncertainty. Now is the time to offer affordable options. I've also started creating some smaller open edition pieces that will allow my collectors to continue to add work to their collection and help sustain me as an artist. Let's face it, we all need to put food on the table during this time of crisis. So Artists, don't discount doing things differently and working smaller with lower price points. Through creative thinking we can continue to persevere and come out of this stable and strong. As all things, this too shall pass.

Patrons please continue to support the creative spirit to continue to enrich and enhance the lives for generations to come. Together we can stay strong and fierce in the face of this adversity. This is a bump in our journey of life that will bring us to greater heights of creativity.

TIME vs MONEY

I have been trying to write something for my blog post for several weeks now, and, as usual, I have not had time. Ironic because the thought I wanted to touch on for this post was all about time. For me, it is a constant battle because I am always pulled in a thousand different directions. I often equate the situation to being a scrumptious over-stuffed apple pie that everyone is trying to get a piece of. The more I try to keep each tasty morsel for myself, the more I have to fend off would be scavengers. One slice goes to the minutia of running the machine of my art business, one slice to the business I run with my ex-husband, one slice to my dysfunctional family, one slice to being a mother, one slice to being a dutiful daughter to an aging parent, one slice to my relationship, one slice to household chores and obligations, and then one slice to actually getting to the gym and taking care of myself. Finally, after all the slices of my time are divided up, I finally get one tiny sliver for myself to actually get some thought felt artwork done. I feel like Gollum, coveting the precious "me time".

So this brings me to the topic of this post. Time vs. Money. What is your time worth and where do you want to spend it? Does it make sense to spend a little money sometimes to free you up to do the things you need to do more efficiently? There was a time when I was killing myself - literally - to keep up with it all and be Wonder Woman. I would take care of the needs of all the other pieces of pie and by the time I got have mine, it was stale and moldy. Then I had a revelation - or more like a wake-up call. I took a shower one morning and all the hair on the left side of my head fell out. Literally soft and smooth as a baby's bottom! It was a stress reaction called alopecia. Thank god it grew back! So the stress of all I was trying to juggle while try to create new sculpture, then have to make the molds, waxes and resin casts was killing me. Something had to give.

That is when I made the decision to start farming some of the casting and production work out. I have been accused of being a "Yankee" in my day - code for frugal - so this was a tough decision. However it has proved to be the best one for me in my situation. My schedule is still busy - but now I have time to create my artwork knowing I have help in line to take care of final production. I can make quality work without rushing. I make sure to block off certain chunks of time throughout the week for this and try to keep them sacred. I literally pencil my creative time in to my datebook. Granted, I do have to stretch my dollar farther to do this. Mold production and Bronze work are not cheap ventures, especially if you are paying someone to do these tasks. But I am far happier. I am happier with the time to do my work I love. So for me, time is more valuable than money. We don't know how long we have in this race of life, so spend your time wisely. Spend it doing something meaningful for you. If it means eating tuna fish instead of steak, so be it. It’s a small sacrifice and better for you!

"Decide, Commit, Act, Succeed, Repeat!"

I am blatantly stealing a statement from my personal trainer, Matt Chilleri, for this blog post. "Decide, Commit, Act, Succeed, Repeat!" This is good advice for the gym and life in general. It is also such an important thing for artists to remember. We are constantly knocked down by one force or another and only those who are unwavering will truly move forward. If we are not willing to commit 100% to our hopes and dreams, we will always fall short. Whether it be raising your skill level as an artist or progressing from jumping a 12" box to an 18" box. It is attainable, but only through hard work, practice and self evaluation. As my Latin teacher Joe T would always say, "Nothing in life is accomplished without blood, sweat and tears".

I feel this all goes hand in hand with the statement "You become like the people you surround yourself with". If you want to be the best, surround yourself with motivated, like-minded people that you can learn from and strive to be like. Rome was not built in a day. So accept that you will have success and failure and don't stop trying to climb that mountain. Do not listen to the those who do not have the faith and courage to pursue their dreams, just stay the course.

You have got this!

"Magic Under the Tuscan Sun"

So today is my 53rd birthday and I am in the company of the group of people I call "my tribe". I have to say, there is something special about being in the company of like minded people sharing experiences, moments of greatness and of failure. I am at the La Meridiana School of Ceramics in Florence for the 2018 Tuscan Sculpture Symposium with a group of truly remarkable sculptors. As as artist, I put my work out there, compare myself to others, second guess myself and live an isolated creative existance. This past week I have worked side by side with other respected sculptors who experience the same feelings I do. It was nice to be amongst people who totally understood me - the whole ball of wax! The good, the bad and the insecure...

They say that time heals most wounds and soothes the soul. I say, time in Tuscany with good friends, great food, plentiful wine and outstanding art is far more effective and enjoyable. Ciao Bella!

A quote for today

May 2018

"What does the artist do?

He draws connections. He ties the invisible threads between things. He dives into history, be it the history of mankind, the geological history of the Earth or the beginning and end of the manifest cosmos."

– Anselm Kiefer

Photo Credit: Artsy.net, a piece of red ochre found near near Scarborough and fashioned into a Stone Age crayon. Courtesy of Paul Shields, University of York.

Photo Credit: Artsy.net. A piece of red ochre found near near Scarborough and fashioned into a Stone Age crayon. Courtesy of Paul Shields, University of York.

Mimic the Great Creator

March 2018

As long as man has been walking the Earth, for some reason he has had the need to create. From the simple beginnings of crude tools and wheels, to drawing on cave walls. There is something about human nature that makes us want to create something from nothing. The attached article talks about the very first drawing implements used by primitive man. As it was then is now, for no matter how how far we advance as a society, we will always have the fundamental need to leave our mark and try to mimic the Great Creator.

Read article

Bowie's Advice to Artists

January 2018

Hi folks,

Just some food for thought during these chilly winter months in New England. I came across this interview with David Bowie and it struck a chord with me as a sculptor and the constant need to have work for every show and every deadline, and yet stay true to yourself. His insights were definitely good advice to me as an artist and to many I'm sure in all aspects of life. Give it a listen, you won't be disappointed.

Happy January 2018!

Copper Prep

November 24, 2017

Studio work is not always glamorous. Here is a process I use to prepare the copper before I make my flowers and feathers. It's called annealing. Basically I'm heating up the metal to red hot and then cooling it off in cold water quickly to make the copper more pliable to work with. This process separates the molecules of the copper making it easier to manipulate, and as you hammer the metal, it moves the molecules back together and makes it hard again.

Serena Bates

A new website and holiday cheer!

 

Warmest Seasonal Greetings to you!

I am excited to share my new website with you! What do you think? I am so proud of the job that InnoTech LLC of Pawcatuck, CT has done to create this site for me to bring my work and projects to you. It has been a lot of hard work pulling all this together, but now we can enjoy the fruits of all this labor.

Please stop back often to hear about what is going on at the studio and on the road. With this blog, I hope to give you some insights into my working methods and keep you informed of important events and openings. I am delighted to begin this journey with you!

May you open your heart to the magic of the season!

Memberships & Affiliations

Academic Artists Association, Springfield, MA
Allied Artists of America, NY, NY
American Artists Professional League, NY, NY
American Society of Marine Artists, St Louis, MO
Artists for Conservation, Signature Member
Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, NY, NY
Connecticut Academy of Fine Artists, CT
Copley Society of Art, Boston, MA
Deerfield Valley Art Association, Northfield, MA
Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT
Hygienic Art Gallery, New London, CT
Lemon Tree Gallery & Studio, Cape Ann, VA
Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme, CT
Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT
Marquee Gallery, New London, CT
MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
National Sculpture Society, NY, NY
Salmagundi Club, NY, NY
Society of Connecticut Sculptors, CT

Collections

Andrea Restaurant, Misquamicut, RI
Children's Museum of Southeastern CT
Don Mann, SEAL Team SIX Commando & NY Times Best Selling Author
Great Lodge at Arctic Watch, Somerset Island, Nunavut
Ledyard Police Department, Ledyard, CT
Mystic Marriott, Groton, CT
Ocean House Resort, Watch Hill, RI
Pequotsepos Nature Center, Mystic, CT
Pfizer Chemical, Groton, CT
Pleasant View Restaurant, Misquamicut, RI
Private Collections throughout the Northeast, England and Ireland
Raiche Realty, Westerly, RI
Renovations to Rentals, Westerly, RI
Salmagundi Club
Westerly Animal Hospital, Westerly, RI
Westerly Animal Shelter, Westerly, RI
Westerly Public Library, Westerly, RI
Zoe & Co. Lingerie, Westerly, RI

Education

LYME ACADEMY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS
OLD LYME, CT 1985 - 1995
CONCENTRATION IN FIGURE DRAWING, PAINTING, ANATOMY AND SCULPTURE

RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN
PROVIDENCE, RI 1990 FRAMING

SMOOTH ON INDUSTRIES
EASTON, PA FEB 2002
MOLD MAKING AND RESIN CASTING

KANE SCULPTURE STUDIO & FOUNDRY
PAWTUCKET RI 2005 - 2008
INTERNSHIP FOCUSING ON MOLD MAKING, WAX WORK FOR LOST WAX CASTING AND PATINATION

SOUTH COUNTY ART ASSOCIATION
N. KINGSTOWN RI 2015 - 2017
CONCENTRATION IN CERAMIC SCULPTURE AND ALTERNATIVE FIRING METHODS

Awards

Land and Sea - Annual Elected Artists Exhibition
Oct 9 - Nov 19, 2020
Lyme Art Association
Old Lyme, CT
Juror: Robert Pilsbury
Award: Third Prize, "Shoo Fly"

2020 Annual Members Exhibition
Aug 10 - Aug 28, 2020
Salmagundi Club
New York, NY
Juror: Edmond Rochat
Award: Mary Fitch Memorial Award, "Padawan"

107TH Annual Associate Member Juried Exhibition (online)
Allied Artists of America
Aug 2020
Salmagundi Club
New York, NY
Award: Excellence in Sculpture - Elected Artist Status Awarded, "Amun Ra"


View all Awards

Exhibitions

"Point of View" Elected Artist Exhibition
August 21 - October 1, 2020
Lyme Art Association
Old Lyme, CT

"Salmagundi Summer Show"
August 10 - August 28, 2020
Salmagundi Club
New York, NY

2020 Annual Members Exhibition
Apr 27 - May 21, 2020
Salmagundi Club
New York, NY (Virtual Show)


View all Exhibitions

Teaching

MY STUDIO
GROUP AND PRIVATE LESSONS IN OIL, PASTEL, DRAWING, SCULPTURE AND MOLDMAKING

MYSTIC MARINELIFE AQUARIUM
MYSTIC, CT

MYSTIC MUSEUM OF ART
MYSTIC, CT

HOPE VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
HOPE VALLEY, RI