Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Other Fronts

Last week was spring break at school, but I took it as an opportunity to apply myself to new directions. Applications to two teaching posts, applications for painting exhibitions, applications for grants and free studios. As always with these things, you send it out, and forget. Hope springs eternal, but do not hold your breath.

Just today I sent out an application for an acre of farmland on the north fork of Long Island, in the town of Southold. There isn't a day that I think this isn't crazy, but the thought seems also an enormous amount of fun. It is rent-controlled, and programmed, with monthly Monday morning meetings. They're serious -I had to write a four page business plan!

On Monday I spent the hours with my friend John, a successful artist, as I see it, with a gallery for over ten years and sales in the high teens for his work. I read to his 2 year old son for an hour (books are like drugs for a two year old), and when he finally napped, we talked about opportunities for artists, what it means to succeed, the always out of sight 5-year plan, and studio problems. I even told him about the garlic.

I keep these worlds somewhat separate, mostly because I wouldn't want the artists to think I wasn't serious about my art, but the truth is that, for me, these activities are deeply intertwined. We both agreed it will be hard to do all the things I already do, plus something as intensive as farming. Blogging, beach farming, teaching, the day job, studio practice, and garlic farming and selling. We agreed it would be great if I could leave my position at school and also that I need to find better teaching opportunities in the area. We agreed that I must keep painting. Betsy and I agree that we should give the farm idea a shot and I cannot do that without blogging. I don't know what to do with the studio, as it is awfully out of my price range now. I have a few days to figure it out, make the next move.

In the meantime, the flowers have not frozen, the seedlings are up and back in their cold frame, the garlic is growing fast, and there are paintings yet unfinished. Come what may.


  1. Sounds good, Frank; hard, but good. Not the studio part, obviously. Sometimes an unfair kick in the pants can be an extreme motivator. A farm. Wow. Will that be Island Farm? Fork Farm?

    1. We don't have the farm yet, never hold our breath. At this time it's a garlic and shallot farm. The website is Hudson Clove. Should the farm have another name? North Fork. Many possibilities there.

  2. It's hard to follow your dreams, but worth it and enjoyable for you hopefully. At least you know what you love, what's worth pursuing. Not everybody finds that or is able to really give it a go. Good luck. I know you'll enjoy the process, come what may.


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