We have both been killing ourselves to get the work made and then we had to do the finishing - scraping the edges of the panels, taking off tape, painting the edges or not, installing D-rings and wire and bumpers. (I have the worst, cheap foam bumpers in the world and peeling the paper off them is excruciatingly tedious. Why don't I get something better?) Then comes the packing, which I've been working on for two days.
Packing encaustic paintings takes more care than any other medium because the edges are so fragile that if you knock them into something, you could break off a chunk of wax. My paintings are even more complicated because of all the embedded materials; I have to protect the surface so that nothing gets jarred or bumped. In addition, you can't put bubblewrap directly on the wax (well, you can but it might stick) so you first have to wrap the paintings in glassine or heavy wax paper and then in bubblewrap. If the surface needs extra protection because of ultra high dimensional elements, I have to build boxes from foamcore or insulating foam sheets so that they won't be crushed. All this takes a lot of time and making those boxes is not only time consuming but technically challenging. Luckily taping on extra pieces of foamcore because I cut something too short does work.
This is stuff you never think of when you walk into a gallery and look at the work hanging on the walls. How the artist (or an assistant) had to put in so much time and effort to get the work to the gallery in good shape. Then somebody had to hang the work, after spending who knows how long figuring out the order in which the paintings should be displayed.
It's the housework of a show, that stuff that gets done when nobody's looking, like cleaning the toilet.
So now, outside of packing the car to drive to Maynard, (a feat which my dear partner-wife, the World's Greatest Packer, will be doing for me) and then driving nearly two hours to get there, the fun of it all is nearly here. Figuring out how a show will all go together taxes creativity but is very satisfying once it gels, like reaching the solution to a difficult problem.