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Is the New Year Trying to Kill Me?


Leave it to Murphy's Law which states that if anything at all can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible time. We started the new year with all sorts of grandiose plans, and had every step of the way planned and scheduled. And that system worked well during the first week, but by the second week of January, it all started to fall apart. But all is not lost, and if there is anything Bogdan and I have learned over the years, is that the unexpected is never to be unexpected. When everything turns upside down, we simply move the goal posts and continue playing ball.

After a wonderful session with curator and art advisor Rosa Ana Orlando, we were flying high. The event was wonderful, all our guests turned up, and I think everyone enjoyed the evening and were inspired by Rosa Ana to take their art collecting more seriously. Right on schedule, Bogdan and I wrote a book to give to our collectors and subscribers, as well as to sell in the studio in the future. And then, once that orchestrated set of activities was complete, we were to get on a plane to Romania for three weeks. Everything was to function like clockwork, and I felt really good that we were so clever and planned so well.

Then came the forecast of the impending polar vortex swooping down to Texas. We realized that, as Texas homes are not build for such extreme weather, we found it difficult to winterize the house adequately for a three week absence. We called Air France, and not surprisingly my "non changeable" tickets could not be changed. I decided to stay at home anyway, ride out the storm, and eat the cost of the nonrefundable ticket. We thought that the repairs to the broken water pipes, and three weeks of water damage would actually cost us more. Besides, I could be just as cold and miserable here in Texas as I could in Romania. I had plenty to do here since we would be launching the new book anyway.

Then we realized that the printed copies of the manuscript that were due last week were in fact due to be shipped last week, not delivered last week. Our super, organized plan revolved around me launching the new book this week on all our social media platforms, but I still haven't seen them. How much do you want to wager there's something wrong with them when they arrive? Any bets?

But the universe cannot defeat me. So this week's blog will be a sort of hybrid presentation about Bogdan heading off to Romania (the topic for next week), and the launch of the book that hasn't arrived, (this week's topic), and the great Polar Vortex of 2024.

Starting with the later, I have to say it has been incredibly cold here. Now I realize that others have had it far worse than I have, but that's not the point. I live in south Texas for a reason, and that's the reason. We're not built for the cold. Our houses are not built for the cold. My water pipes would burst every year even when I drained all of them. After replacing them several years in a row, I finally started wrapping them in electric warming cables. Even then I am still without water until the days warm up a bit. Add to this year's drama some freezing rain, and the highways were virtually impassable from our house. I have been sitting at home for two days now with no showers, no dishes washed, or clothes laundered. The worst of it is that the temperatures will not raise above freezing until tomorrow afternoon. That means my week at the studio won't start until Thursday. You would think that would have made me hyper effective in getting work done here at home. Nope. Not only am I too stinky and dirty to film anything, but I don't even have enough water to wash brushes if I paint. Ok, the cry fest is over, thanks for letting me vent. The fact is that I actually have been able to get some things done in the past couple of days, even if they weren't the things high on my list. 

Bogdan did get off to Romania, and arrived delayed, but healthy. He has to finish up some dental work over the next several days, and will take advantage of this time to interview some Romanian artists. We had our Board Retreat for Aripa Arte last week, and we decided that we were going to move ahead with planning our first gala in March, even though our 501(c)3 status is still pending. We're hopeful that the paperwork will go through before then, but even if it hasn't, it will. We will make it clear to everyone that the nonprofit status is pending, and that they will not be able to deduct any of the money they donate from their taxes until such time as the permission is granted. According to everything I've read, that's pretty common.

The plan is to host the event with a smaller guest list of around 50 people. We don't want to postpone a fundraiser for another year, and the March 1st date is a significant one for Romanians. We are going to let people know they are invited in at the ground floor of the organization, and hopefully make them feel that they are the inaugural supporters of this amazing nonprofit. Bogdan is spending time interviewing Romanian artist, and purchasing some artwork to auction at the event, while I stay behind to firm up the planning for the March party. By the way, if you'd like to help with donations, I'd be thrilled to hear from you.

One of our art business goals this year is to have a series of events for our collectors. The meeting with Rosa Ana was the first of these events, and the gala will be the second. Granted, we have a number of people on our mailing lists of folks who live out of town, so a follow up event was to be a launch of our own book on the subject of collecting art, but from the point of view of an artist. I have to say, I really love the manuscript, particularly after hearing the presentation by Rosa Ana. You see it is almost the same material covered in her presentation, as a professional and an academic, but it all sounds very different when viewed through the lens of an artist.

The book is an effort to convince all of us who collect art that there needs to be a deliberate plan for any serious art collection. There are tips and tricks that can make the process smarter, and there are ways to avoid horrors we don't even know are coming our way. The book was a delight to write, and I hope you will all enjoy reading it. As I mentioned, the physical copies are not yet in, but they will be for sale in our studio when they do arrive. But we also wanted to make the book available, free of charge, to anyone who would be interested. You can find a downloadable PDF version of the book on my website at www.johnbishopfineart.com. Leave me your email address if you're not getting my newsletter, and click on the download button to get a copy of the book. Let me know what you think. The whole master plan was to build a community of art enthusiasts, so your feedback would be welcome.

Have a wonderful week, stay warm if you're in the grips of this polar catastrophe, and thanks again for all your support as we go careening out of control into 2024.



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