Austin Be Ausome


Austin is quite nice, and a lot of that is due to the gallery’s owner/ director.  I like her a lot, and I’m staying at her lovely house.  The Friday night event was much fun, even though I was quite fried. It was very well attended, and rather than being a panel discussion, the three of us artists who were in attendance spoke about our work and answered questions; and a printmaking expert and faculty/ administrator from UT spoke about the two artists who could not be here.  (And a few pieces of mine sold, always good).

It was, however, horrid for hearing; just awful, but deafness was a part of my talk (since all my work is ultimately related to my reality) and so, folk were pretty accommodating and understanding.  A great huge group of us then went upstairs to eat at a gigantic table in an even noisier restaurant. The person who sat next to me was also hard-of-hearing, and very nice, so we had a good time talking.  I could not, for the life of me, hear anyone else, even a very interesting artist who sat  directly across the table from me, who I wanted to talk with.  Oh well.

Yesterday, we went to the gallery and I shot the show and then worked on editing the slideshow images for the two talks at UT tomorrow; then Judy (my hostess) took me to see the wonderfully-named Slugfest, a beautifully-equipped printmaking/ bookbinding studio/ gallery cooperative.  I’d met some of the folks the night before.  They had fabulous and varied tools, plus two cats and a land tortoise, too. Nice.

Then Judy dropped me off in the UT campus area of Austin, and she went back to the gallery for an event, a group of opera supporters who were having a champagne tasting.  I went exploring in rather stupendous heat, then walked down to the gallery when the opera event was supposed to end; it ran over for another 90 minutes or so, though.  Then we went and had delicious barbequed brisket in a great funky place where everything was home-made, and Judy drove me to see The Bats*.  I’m obsessed with them.  But we got there too late, so she drove me around downtown Austin for a bit, pointing out various landmarks and sites, and then we stopped at another gallery, owned by a friend of hers, for the tail end of an opening.  Folk are very friendly here.

Today, we’re just hanging out (I’m glad, I need a little slowdown, and Judy has a lovely garden), and later we’ll go to Whole Foods (which originated here in Austin), put together a picnic, and go early to find a good spot to see The Bats.

Gallery Shoal Creek window

*There is a huge colony of bats that have adopted a bridge in downtown Austin as their seasonal cave.  They fly out from under it each evening at dusk, a la’ Carlsbad Caverns, and though it’s a tourist thing to do, I’ve just gotta see this.  I’m fascinated by most situations when nature takes over manmade things (with the possible exceptions of rats and cockroaches). 

Auf To Austin

Been a whirlwind week, with lots of chaos, discoveries, validations and realizations.  I’m way behind on my e-mail and I’m off to Austin momentarily; will speak in two classes at University of Texas on Monday and then fly back.  Here’s how I discovered what I’m doing tonight!  (I knew I was there for an event, but somehow thought it would just be the standard gallery schmooze. This is actually much, much better, in terms of hearing!)

Three hours of sleep last night, and a hope for three more on the plane.