by Oliver Day Night (Terry’s alter ego and the originator of Eating Art)
ODNight – I can’t help but wonder, why has it been a year since your last article?
Terry – It essentially came down to time and lack of interest. 2010 started off really well creatively for Sue and I. We decided to really push ourselves into new areas creatively and have a gallery show in the summer of 2010. I was really pumped about my drumming at the beginning of the year (I still am one year later). I was learning how to use my recorder and I had recorded several of my original rhythms. I finished a new drawing in January and one in February as well, and had drawings in my studio of Book Art ideas. I remember I had a painting on my easel of Avalanche Lake and I got the flu. I had gotten a shot, as I have for about ten years, but there was such a mix up last year about which flu was actually going around that I probably got a worthless injection. So for two miserable weeks I was sick. Then Sue got it and then my Mom. My Mom at the time was 92, she’s 93 now, and for two weeks I was taking care of her, until we had to put her in the hospital. She had pneumonia and they said she must have had heart attack within the last day or so. It was a really bad situation and I probably should have gotten her into the hospital earlier. But, she made a remarkable recovery in two more weeks and I brought her home. She was way different however than her former self and I began doing all her chores, took over her finances, etc…etc. Improvement has been slow but steady and she’s had another wonderful year in her own home, she’s making about half of her own meals and Sue and I provide the rest, do the shopping and cleaning. She won’t be driving anymore, and she only walked up to her mailbox once I think last summer. I gave her a drum and taught her a rhythm, but she has her own beat and she’s plays the drum quite a bit. But she’s sharp as a tack, loves crossword puzzles that she does in pen, reads poetry and studies poetry too. She is remarkable and has been an inspiration to her family.
So, needless to say that really took my time, everything came to a stand still creatively for about three months. Once the summer came, Mom could handle a day here and there on her own. I found for myself I was very scatter brained however, I wanted to work on something but I didn’t have the focus I needed. I wasn’t touching something anymore, I wasn’t feeling. It took a little work to get all that back. I thought about other times when I wasn’t creative, but never this long. Even after my heart attack I got right back into things, it probably only interrupted me for a week.
I put things back together and now I’m making things again and loving it.
ODNight – Wow. It must feel good to write that out, huh?
Terry – Yeah. It was worrisome to me while I was going through it. Of course the number one worry was the health of my Mom, and having that huge responsibility was like having a young child again. I’m actually glad to be having this interview.
ODNight – So what happened to the gallery show you wanted to have in the summer of 2010.
Terry – We had it. But we didn’t take it seriously. We just didn’t have the new work. We had some nice hors d’ oeuvres and wine and eight friends came. We didn’t advertise, just word of mouth.
ODNight – Any plans for a gallery show this summer?
Terry – There are no plans as yet, it’s early though, we just were in two invitational shows. That’s the only kind of show we go into these days, because we haven’t been entering shows like we once did. One was with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Sue and I each put in 5 pieces, I think there were 40 artists in the show. We couldn’t make the opening because it was on a Saturday afternoon and the gallery is open and neither wanted to go without the other. Then just recently we were asked to be in a show at the Adirondack Artists Guild in Saranac Lake. We missed that opening too, CJ was home visiting and came down with a stomach virus. In both shows I put in only Artist Books and Sue put in some of her new sculptures, which you can see under the What’s New page this issue.
ODNight – How are CJ and Emily?
Terry – They are doing wonderfully, both living on their own. CJ is in Burlington Vermont, working and sending out 20 resumes a month, and Emily is in Rochester going to college. They’ve both had their ups and downs with significant others and like anybody their ages will go through all the discoveries of life (good and bad) that we all have to deal with. But we are so proud of the hard work they are doing in being independent in a very difficult environment.
ODNight – Which makes me wonder how your gallery business is doing.
Terry – It sucks, like everyone else’s business that I know. Except for the banks that is. The art has fallen off a cliff, but the pottery seems to be holding it’s own. The larger pieces aren’t selling right now, although I did sell several paintings and expensive books at the end of last year, so maybe things will be changing now. Sue adapted to a change in the economy and has many wonderful pieces under $20 that she can’t keep in stock. The beautiful large bowls and casseroles though are taking longer to sell. Sue also is doing wholesale pottery to a couple of really good clients, she gave that type of work up years ago. She once had a wonderful wholesale business in doing logos on mugs for many local businesses but gave that up to concentrate on her sculptural ideas. So we were lucky when she found these new clients. Sue also does Artist programs for schools, right now she is working with the Keene Valley School children and their Art teacher, and they will be making a tile mural.
I do web building, consultation and help on the side. Hey, it’s a living. I’ve recently decided to ease off the web business though, over the next five years. I’m not going to take on hosting anybody new, they will have to have their own hosting and I’ll build the site and maintain it.
ODNight – Why is that?
Terry – I’m going on SS this year, a baby boomer you know.
ODNight – Believe me, I know.
Terry – Right… and I want to get back to doing my art in a much bigger way, than I am right now.
ODNight – So what is going on with your art?
Terry – At some point I did begin to focus again, I’ve been working on some new Art Books, of which can be seen in this issue of Eating Art. I’ll be doing that continuously all winter because I have several new ideas to work on yet. I just finished very large coptic binding (7″x7″) that I really like, it’s part of my Portal series of books, where the book rests in a portal that goes through a pitfired clay object. The six books I did for this series before, were all a traditional sewn signature kind of binding, and I really wanted to change it around this time. I don’t have any pencil drawings in my mind, but I have been sitting down with my drawing board and doodling, and that’s usually the beginning of something. I have my studio cleaned up and I want to do some oil painting in the coming months. I have a total of nine original drum rhythms now, two of them include poems. I want another nine, but I’ve come to an impasse on that. Which is ok, you can’t rush these things, I can’t anyway, there’s always something else to work on. I just enjoy playing what I have so far and I’m going to request a small audience for the equinox to hear my new work. I’m going to have wine and desserts as a further incentive for the audience!
ODNight – What is down deep?
Terry – For quite awhile, Trees have been. Specifically branches. Probably started seriously for me about 6 months before my heart attack in 2008. Before that I had done several works that dealt with buildings, trees, branches and the shadows of trees. Then I started to sketch feelings into trees, like what does a sad tree look like or a frustrated tree and a happy tree. Always with just branches however, never with leaves. I’m determined this winter to create a series of pastel drawings of this vision I have.
ODNight – Pastel?
Terry – A friend gave me several sheets of pastel paper several years ago now, I don’t work in pastel, really never have, but I thought this would be the best medium for this work. It’s going to be very much more spontaneous than a lot of my well thought out drawings and books.
ODNight – And what about Sue, what is your beautiful and talented Wife up to?
Terry – Besides the mural project, making pottery for the gallery and special orders, Sue just got some sculpture clay and is planning some figure sculpture’s I believe. When the clay arrived she took a chuck right away and sculpted a little figure of a person sitting on the ground with a knee bent. It was so nice and seemed so easy for her (I love to watch her work) I thought she would be perfect for claymation work.
ODNight – Claymation, where they have little clay animation scenes?
Terry – Right. So that got a whole thing started. We began fantasizing about a little claymation animation studio right in the living room. I mean with the kids out of the house now we had more room! Sue researched what she needed as far as hardware, we have a camera and the computer. She found the right cables, software, etc…..
She found some great websites that do that kind of work. Then we got a little animation app for the Ipad, and that brought the creative juices out. But soon we needed something more, so I showed her how to do some Flash animation. But it’s in the claymation that she would really excel.
So we have about $160 invested in hardware, cables, software and we are wondering about the final price in money and time in this project. We would be starting from scratch at a time when our business really needs a lot of attention. But I think we should proceed with just a very short claymation of some kind. Just to get our feet wet.
ODNight – I recently visited your gallery and was fascinated by the clay instruments Sue has been making.
Terry – Oh man they are great fun! Ocarinas, flutes, udu’s and xylophone’s. I have the most fun with the xylophone’s. Sue can play a beautiful rendition of “Carol of the Bells” on the smaller one. I have overdubbed an Udu in one of my drum pieces and I’m working on a piece with the larger xylophone. I need to record all of these and with photos get them up on the web. She has this one piece not yet completed that will be a combination drum and ocarina. I guarantee no one has ever seen anything like it!
ODNight – Thanks for the new issue of Eating Art, do you think you’ll stay on top of it from now on.
Terry – As long as I have the time to do it. I’ve always enjoyed cataloging what the family was up to and what Sue and I were up to creatively. This is the 11th year of Eating Art on line, the only other time I missed was through the spring to autumn of 2005 when I was building the theater. That was like having a second job for 6 months and it totally burnt me out, I certainly didn’t have time for much else, and it took time to recover from that creatively too.
ODNight – Thanks for the update and the insights.
Terry – Thanks for the interview and thanks to the readers. I just checked my statistics and I see that viewership is down to about 2,000 actually viewers a month, it was at 4,000 for some time. I can’t tell how many people actually visit the site because they know of us, some of that are googles worms and some are from search engines, but it must still be a nice amount and we appreciate that you read our emagazine.