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Behind the Scenes with Andrea Sawyer

Charles-Baltivik Gallery, Provincetown
Behind the Scenes

Hello, I’m Andrea Sawyer – please call me Andi – one of the artists at Charles-Baltivik Gallery. If you have been following our FaceBook page you may recognize me from my occasional Paint with Andi feature and from Katherine’s “Wet Paint” morning posts of my new paintings.

I’ve never written a blog before but I have written many newspaper columns and real estate ads in a previous life (BP- before Provincetown), and I’m a whiz at Words with Friends, so I intend to have fun doing this and hope you enjoy reading it.

The photograph is from the August 26th opening of my show, Andrea Sawyer Paints Provincetown – the walls are hung and well lit, soft music is playing, the wine is chilled, and the artist is wearing artful makeup, a dress (!) and shoes.

Behind the scenes is quite another story…

The weeks before an art opening are pretty frantic – canvases in every state from bare to drying enough to varnish to needing a tweak litter every surface of my studio. I’m painting every spare minute, and desperately hoping everything will be dry in time. My usual attire is a paint covered tee and shorts, my feet are bare, and I’m apt to have more than one smear of Pthtalo Blue or Cadmium Red Light somewhere on my face. There is music – everything from Leonard Cohen to Luciano Pavarotti, and it’s loud – there’s no wine, but the coffee pot is always on.

After the paintings are dry, I varnish them and leave them strewn decoratively on every available surface until they’re dry enough to frame. Framing is at least a day-long project and I try to enlist my friend Pat to help (because she knows how much I dread it). Two hands, and a lunch break make light work, and by the end of the day we’re ready to drive out to Herring Cove to watch the sunset and high-five each other.

A few days before the opening I load up my car (a blue Volvo wagon named Fernando) with paintings, grab some coffee and a cookie for Katherine, and head to the gallery. Pretty much everything currently on my walls must come down before the new stuff goes up, and it takes me most of the day to mutter under my breath while I figure it all out and make labels. Then I have to take the paintings that came off the walls back to my studio and stash them and clean up the wreckage from the past few weeks.

I take a nap and get my nails done, while Katherine does her thing with publicity and presales, and lo and behold, we have an opening!!!

Thank you for your interest in Charles-Baltivik Gallery! Next time I’ll fill you in on how I happened to end up painting, living in Provincetown and showing at this gallery in the historical old Buttery on Kiley Court.

Thanks, Andi

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