Everything Takes Longer Than You Think It Will

First Communion (Paper Dolls) mixed media on paper 2010 jparadisi

Everything takes longer than you think it will.

I believe this to be true, so my strategy for managing the unexpected things that happen while preparing an art exhibition is allowing ample lead-time. Since I’ve been exhibiting for a while, I have a checklist of universal tasks such as documenting the work, updating business cards, making post cards, vinyl lettering, framing, etc. If the artwork is traveling to a gallery in another city, I build in time for packing and shipping too. Once the paintings are made, I begin crossing tasks off the checklist. Even so, the unexpected will occur.

Take yesterday morning, for instance. When I began this post, David was solving a printing problem we discovered the night before. Several hours later, he fixed the problem and we made the prints. However, it delayed their delivery to Luke’s Frame Shop for packaging a few days, because the ink has to dry and cure first.

Sometimes unexpected occurrences are positive. Last week, while showing the From Cradle to Grave: The Color White portfolio to Anna Solcaniova King (see Pulling a Rabbit Out of Her Hat: An Interview with Anna S. King), curator and co-owner of Anka Gallery, I discovered a new relationship between two of the paintings, strengthening each.

This morning, I’m writing my artist bio for the show. Maybe it’s my experiences as a cancer survivor and an oncology nurse that makes the task feel like a prelude to an obituary. I can’t help it. Nowadays, with electronic media, I’m aware that every word I write about myself is recorded somewhere in cyberspace. The days where an artist or writer could destroy early work, and preserve only the work they wished to represent them after their death, are over. Same with the artist’s statement. When my thoughts about From Cradle to Grave: The Color White deepen and mature over time, the words I write about the paintings today may someday contradict my insights of the future. I hate feeling committed to an inflexible opinion as if my thoughts are butterflies pinned to a board and hung on a wall in a picture frame. I want the freedom to explore and gain wisdom.

But a thoughtful artist statement is required, and so I do my best to express who I am, and what my painting and writing are about, knowing that if I’m lucky enough to live a long life, some of the information will change. Like my art, I am evolving.

Everything takes longer than you think it will.

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