So we went to The Square Foot Show last night after debating the idea for the past few weeks, but intensely over the past few days. What it really came down to is that if I didn’t go, I’d probably regret it for the rest of my life, so we dressed the kids up, stuffed them in the car and off we went to The Big Smoke (aka Toronto).
After much debate, I ended up wearing my ruffled Free People dress because it was easier than the other two outfits I had planned. I bought the Free People dress specifically for this show and why it was even in debate that I might not wear it is because when we picked the kids up from Muskoka (up North) where they’d been up visiting Phil & Lisa for the week, we were all outside talking and I got about a dozen & a half mosquito bites. Y’know, I’m not implying that I’m some kind of unique snowflake in saying this, but mosquitoes LOVE me and worse, I seem to be ultra allergic to them in that the bites itch so bad that I scratch them into bloody scabs in my sleep (sometimes I sleep with gloves on to prevent this) and even after they’re gross, bloody scabs, they’re STILL itchy for up to a month or more.
Unfortunately, most if the bites I incurred up North were on my legs so I didn’t really want to wear a dress that showed off my legs because the bites looked like lesions from some nasty illness or something. I tried my very best not to scratch the bites since I got them, but that was impossible and I ended up scratching a few layers of skin off. To prevent further damage to myself, I got Blake to buy me this stuff called AfterBite, which I don’t think is sold in the US, and what AfterBite is, is basically a mixture of pure AMMONIA and “natural oils”. And it stings like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It doesn’t make my mosquito bites any less itchy longterm, but for about half an hour or 45 mins after putting it on, I don’t feel itchy. But it’s just a temporary solution and I still scratched the shit out of my legs, the result of which won’t be totally healed until, oh, October, because I just don’t heal very fast.
So long story short (too late!) that’s why I didn’t want to wear my dress. My other options were a new pair of jeans that my friend Charlie bought me and this corset-like t-shirt that he also bought me, which is so cute and super lacey and I love it, but the jeans are brand new and about 5 inches too long (which always happens when you’re 5 feet tall) so that meant I’d have to cut the bottoms off, or get Blake to, and then wash them a few times so they’d fray evenly and we didn’t have enough time to do that so that outfit idea was a wash. My other outfit idea was this white tank top I have that’s like, embroidered with eyelets (I forget what that’s called), that I’ve never gotten to wear because I didn’t own a white bra until a few days ago, but the jeans issue was still a problem so I had to go with the dress. (My other jeans are all way too big because of all the weight I’ve lost but I haven’t lost enough to fit into my old jeans yet.) So dress, grey tank top, knee high Doc Martens and my crystal necklace it was. I blew dry my hair to give it more volume but the rain & humidity killed that so I don’t even know why I bothered. Also the lipstick I wear ALL THE FUCKING TIME seems to be missing and I’m really pissed off about that because it’s only ever in 3 places and it isn’t in any of those 3 places, so where the fuck is it? GRRRR. I can’t afford to just replace it either. :o(
The drive to Toronto was pretty uneventful. Blake knew where we were going because it was the same place we dropped the paintings off to last weekend and it’s actually pretty easy to get to. The actual show is in a theatre building a few doors down from AWOL Gallery and you have to go upstairs to get to it. So we went there and a security guard stopped us at the door because they were only letting so many people in at a time as not to crowd the space. (Really, I think they should have been more diligent with this because there were too many people and seeing all of the paintings was difficult with so many people milling about.) There was free food there, like baby carrots and dry bread with some kinds of dip and a fruit platter type of thing that as mostly grapes which I forbid the kids to eat because god only knows who double-dipped and it’s an events like these where people get sick the next day from food poisoning.
The paintings…it was a good mix of awesome and awful. I think my favourite was one of a turd with a smiley face that said “War is poop.” My other favourites were the two Tascha pieces that leapt off the wall. One was a Frida Kahlo riding a bicycle down a hill and the other was a fortune teller with a glittery crystal ball. They were awesome. Everything else was kind of a blur to me. With so many people in the room I was feeling a little panicky and the sheer amount of paintings was overwhelming. I think we should have gone with our original plan to come today (Sunday) instead, when there would be less people. Basically all we really did was do one circuit around the room to try and see everything and we also tried to find my paintings.
“Shimmer II” got NO love at the show as she was hung on the very bottom row (H64 if anyone’s planing on going to the show) which was just about to the floor, where you couldn’t even see her shimmer and shine, but hey, someone’s gotta be on the bottom, it’s no big deal.
“Red & Gold” got prominent placing, just a row or two below eye level (F101) and there were people talking about her, according to Blake when he did another circuit of the show without us, trying to find “Turquoise Love Fairy”., which none of us saw when we were looking at all the paintings.
Here’s the thing with Square Foot: when you give them your $20 participation fee or whatever it’s called, you are only guaranteed to have 1 of your paintings in the show, even though you can submit 3. This is because of the sheer amount of people who contribute to the show and the sheer amount of paintings there are as a result. There’s only so much room. The overflow, they said, would be hung at “an off-site location” where it “could be seen by request”. So with the way it was worded on the application, it sounded like one of your pieces not being in the actual show was a bad thing.
However, I don’t think that’s the case. Some paintings, the supposed “overflow” were hung at AWOL Gallery itself and that’s where “Turquoise Love Fairy” ended up. Personally, I think that’s better than being in the mess of the actual Square Foot Show and when we looked in AWOL’s window to see if we could see my painting, it seemed as though the paintings hung there were less crazy than a lot of what was put in the actual show. So I think being hung there was a good thing.
“Turquoise Love Fairy” is at the second row from the bottom, 4 paintings in from the left (M10).
I wish the gallery had been open when we were there so I could have seen all of the paintings hung there, but it wasn’t so we just took that picture with Blake’s Blackberry through the window. In the pouring rain.
Next year, if we go to the artist’s reception, I’m bringing my camera. I didn’t bring it last night because I think it’s rude to take pictures of other people’s art, but at the show EVERYONE was doing it so I guess it’s an accepted thing? My anxiety at the show was through the fucking roof, so we only stayed about 15 or 20 minutes before getting out of there. And also next year? I’m wearing jeans and a hoodie. NO ONE was dressed “nicely”, so next year, fuck it, neither will I. I also think that next year we’ll go on the Sunday and skip the artist’s reception altogether.
So that was my Square Foot experience. I don’t think any of my paintings are going to sell there, but that doesn’t really matter to me because the whole point of doing the show was to have it on my resume. I would like to do more art shows like that in the future, but I just don’t know where they are or how you find out about them. It also sucks that they all seem to be in Toronto.
The call for entries for Touched By Fire is in a few weeks and I don’t think I’m going to be submitting this year unless I get all 3 of my paintings back from Square Foot, in which case I’ll submit those. I just don’t have time to paint anything new for the show. Square Foot had me so stressed out that I couldn’t paint at all so I spent a lot of this week in my Sims Bunker instead.
Anyway, I need a friggin’ sandwich and I have nothing else to say except that if you want to go to The Square Foot Show an see my stuff in person, the info is here.
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