Snapshots of Creativity and What It Takes

Snapshots of Creativity and What It Takes

Act One: The Show

I’ve got a new show opening July 14th at the Old Court House Arts Center in Woodstock, Illinois! The gallery sent me some photos of the work installed in the space and I have to admit a wave of both excitement and relief hit me pretty hard. It looks great. But boy has it been a nutty few months!

See, this show wasn’t supposed to be up until July of 2019. But…

Somewhere around March of this year, I got an email from the gallery.

Three artists had cancelled on them and they were curious if maybe I couldn’t just have my show ready to go by July. Of 2018. So ya know, a solid….15 months sooner than I’d anticipated.

So I did what any sane person would do….I panicked and then I said sure!

Now, it’s true that I was already going to be showing a body of work that was *mostly* established but the gallery needed 25 pieces and I only had 16 in the current spread.

Needless to say, I got to work. Nothing like the fire of a really, really quickly approaching deadline that you weren’t expecting to get you back in studio.

If this were someone else’s life, the story would end when I shipped my box of work off to be installed a few days before July 4th.

But it’s my life. So instead, despite doing everything right (and keeping good notes, thankfully), I got notice that my work had not gone out on the day it was scheduled and was going to be 2 days late. That’s a lot of days when you’re already running on a bit of a shoestring timeline as it is.

Luckily the gallery folks are absolutely awesome to work with and the folks at my local UPS store had my back and have already filed a claim for a refund since I’d paid for a guaranteed 10:30am delivery and not only was it not going to arrive by 10:30am, it wasn’t going to arrive that day at all. Or the next.

It did finally make it though and it looks amazing and I am very excited to be heading up there on the 14th for the opening reception. You can see who else will be showcased at this beautiful space as well as read the press release for Done/Undone here: http://www.oldcourthouseartscenter.com/

 

Act Two: Yellowstone and Glacier National Park

Tawny sunshine bathed the hills in a rose gold-green light, punctuated by navy blue peaks and a piercing sky. The road was open and clear as the sun sank behind us and as dusk approached, the vastness turned shades of periwinkle and violet and orange. It felt like the whole world had gone silent as we drove through the Montana landscape spread out before us.

3900 miles of driving gives a person some time to think (clearly). We recently took a road trip up to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park and to say it was influential is an understatement. I’d never been to Yellowstone–somehow that typical family vacation spot just got missed when I was a kid so heading up there, I had no idea what to expect. Which is how I think everyone should experience Yellowstone (or anywhere new, for that matter). Having no expectations meant that I was really open to seeing what it had to offer. And let me tell you, it’s a lot.

Aside from the smoldering landscapes and sprawling wilderness, the thing that struck me the most was the color. Everything was shades of aqua, orange, pink or blue. We’d crest over a hillside on one our hikes and a meadow would open in front of us covered in snow and wildflowers and buffalo. We’d come out of the shady, muddy dampness of the forest trail and suddenly find ourselves surrounded by steaming pools of thermal waters and petrified wood and 1000 shades of white and brown landscape that was rugged and beautiful.

It was crazy. And it definitely stole my heart.

 

From Yellowstone, we hopped back in the car and drove up to Glacier National Park. The entire motivation for this epic road trip was trying to time our arrival at Glacier National Park at the exact right moment to ride the Going-to-the-Sun Road before it opened to cars. If you’re not familiar with the Going-to-the-Sun road, let me help.

During the summer and after it’s been plowed in Spring/Winter, it’s the most efficient and beautiful way to drive the distance of Glacier National Park. It cuts straight through the middle and is your typical mountain pass–hugging peaks and offering jaw-dropping views of both mountains and valleys as you twist and wind your way up the Continental Divide. It crests at Logan’s Peak and then you begin the descent down towards the other half of the park.

For cyclists, however, it’s somewhat a unicorn. See, the road is closed to cars while it’s being plowed. But, it’s open to hikers and cyclists. And you can go basically as far as you’re willing to go or until you literally can’t get past the snow. And there is a LOT of snow. Like, 80′ of snow. We’d done our homework and checked the park’s Flickr account (yes…I said Flickr…) but we still weren’t sure until we got there exactly how far we’d be able to ride.

We literally couldn’t have gotten there at a better time. It was perfect! The morning we left, the sun was out and it was a perfect 65 degrees. The road was open all the way to Logan’s Pass, which meant that we had 15.6 miles of completely car-free, cyclist/hiker only amazing mountain rode to ride. We actually rode straight from the McDonald Lake Lodge where we were staying so we had 6 extra miles of biking and a little bit of traffic, but it was exquisite.

Now, prior to tearing my ACL back in July of 2017, 42 miles on a bike was pretty normal for me, if I’m honest. But this particular set of 42 miles kicked my butt. It marked the first major ride I’d done in over 12 months and it was a consistent climb on the way up to Logan’s Pass. It was awesome. The day we rode there were lots of other cyclists and hikers (and one runner!) so the camaraderie was great and I finished out the day feeling pretty awesome about making it up to the top and all the way back.