90 F, thunder and torrential rain
The Salem, Germany exchange stared on the 5th of August, last year, this year we started on the 26th of July.
At the end I was pleased (or as pleased as I could be) with the body of work I produced, I think my new paintings are better than the older ones, but that's just my opinion. Many of my German friends recognized the places I painted last year, which is why I included them, and to merge the two places in time.
I had wanted to write a statement about the conclusion of this year's exchange, the last few days have been a blur, and I've been exhausted, so here it is now. My personal goal going in this part of the exchange was to make the most and best work that I could and to participate as much as possible in the group activities and interactions. Now I don't want to make any excuses, but I felt as though I fell short of my own expectations. My life at home is wrapped up with my family, taking care of my wife and kids' needs; shopping, dinners, car repairs, paying bills etc.... usually I balance this with painting every other day for a few hours. While I cleared up some carpentry jobs, and put other repairs on hold, car repairs, shopping, meals and an occasional trip to the movies were not as easily dropped. I used my "wall" at Salem Art Works to put up paintings as I did them, I would paint in between here, there and wherever I went, then put the work up. I would otherwise split my time joining in with meals and other stuff at SAW. I had Emma and Hope with me when It was my turn to help with dinner, and of course they came to the opening. Alane and the girls were able to meet some of my artist friends and we learned that Hope in German is Hoffnung, so I call her that sometimes.
Having said all that, I would be remiss not recounting the beauty of the endeavor, to be among artists making art, to share and witness first-hand creativity in so many different forms as there were of us: to be a part. One thing you realize is that commonality and friendship are not bound by language or media, What a joy, an honor, indeed a privilege! Many of this year's participants were also there last year so we got to know each other and each other's work over time, saying goodbye was difficult, would we meet again, by chance or other wise or not? so here is a huge THANK YOU!!! to all those that made this possible, Anthony and Stefan, to SAW and Salem Bodensee, and too many others to list here, they are the people that put this endeavor on the map and it wouldn't happen without them.