Adore's new series will follow the typical morning routine of a New Orleans mover and shaker.
Rebecca Rebouche is a New Orleans-based artist who has been featured in a myriad of publications and whose work has been popularized on products at Anthropologie and Roger LaBorde. She has over 10 collections under her belt and can be commissioned for her notable Family Tree Paintings. Her newest body of work, Exotic Memory, will be toasted on Saturday, October 19th from 7-10 p.m. Guests can expect "a dreamy menagerie of visuals, sounds, scents to delight the senses."
To see how the artist begins her day, check out her morning routine below!
7:00 a.m. Wake and get dressed.
7:30 a.m. I love to start my day in nature. If I’m at my treehouse, I sit on my deck overlooking the woods and drink my coffee and write in my journal to the sounds of birdsong. If I’m in the city, I walk to one of my favorite coffee shops. I keep a steady rotation of HiVolt, MoJo, French Truck, Cherry Coffee, and Solo.
8:00 a.m. Over breakfast and espresso, I write in my journal. As per Julia Cameron's book The Artist’s Way, I write three "morning pages" every day and have done so since 2007, so by this point it's my most established habit and my most beneficial vice. I get all my best ideas for paintings while writing in my journal. And my favorite place to write is in the sort of bustling privacy of coffee shops where people are all around and I may see a friend and have a chat, but otherwise I can focus on my notebook. I fill journals like a mad scientist so any notebook will do, from composition notebooks to Moleskines, to my own designs sold by London based stationer Roger LaBorde.
I divide my days into 3 stages: 1. Conceptual/Emotional 2. Menial/Physical 3. Productive/Rewarding
9:00 a.m. I head to my studio/gallery in Holy Cross. When I first arrive to my studio is the best time to sit down and do some sketching. I love the gentle morning light and the calm before the day gets busy. Even if I only get 30 minutes, its important to keep a daily habit of drawing in my sketchbook because that's where I will cull my ideas for eventual paintings. When I keep the habit of visually representing my emotions, I find that I have a vast well to choose from for compositions and visual metaphors. My work is somewhat surreal and truly effective surrealism is best expressed by poet Pierre Reverdy, who said surrealism is "a juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities. The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be−the greater its emotional power and poetic reality." The only way to tap into those strong but true juxtapositions is to honor this practice of emotional sketching.
10:00 a.m. With the “Conceptual/Emotional” part of my day done, I move on to administrative tasks like checking emails and making phone calls. I check to see what orders have come in online and because I am a one-woman operation I then set about packing orders for shipment and making shipping labels. I also then wash my brushes from the previous day if I didn’t do it the night before. I like to get my supplies from Mo’s Art Supply on Bienville in Mid-City, or their store in Covington when I’m at my treehouse. Then, I do physical tasks like stretching my own canvases which I build myself. I then apply 3 coats of gesso for that gleaming white surface to begin a painting.
For the past 6 months I’ve been preparing for my exhibition which opens this Saturday, October 19. There are many elements to mounting an exhibition, beyond making the paintings. So, my morning is also full of checking in with everyone involved with the elements of the show. I now check in with my graphic designer Lisa Cohn of birdie-birdie.com to discuss invitations, social media graphics, and product packaging. Next, I follow up with Kathleen Currie of Smoke Perfume who I have been working with for the past year to design my first perfume: the scent of the new collection Exotic Memory. Together we crafted a unisex scent that gives the wearer selective amnesia and the power to invent beautiful memories and walk in a garden of them all day long. When I get a whiff of the scent during the day, I am reminded of my expedition on the Sea of Cortez collecting butterflies or the migration across the Bering Land Bridge to preserve a single specimen of beetle. It does not matter that I never did these things, only that I can conjure the memory at will. Exotic Memory is a potion of invented memories that are unique to each person who wears it. The only way to find out which memories you’ll experience is to wear it. The perfume will be for sale on my website following the exhibition.
If there’s time, I do other tasks in preparation for my show, like pinning butterfly specimens for painting from observation, or packaging the new perfume in vials with moss, jewels, and butterfly wings.
Before I lose steam on business tasks, I also follow up with clients such as my Family Tree Painting commission clients to schedule their in-home interview or arrange delivery of a finished six foot tall painting.
11:00 a.m. I prepare to transition into the Productive/Rewarding part of my day, where I actually paint. I might start here sketching and doing research for Family Tree Paintings before moving onto painting "Alla Prima" works which I list for sale on the Small Works section of my website. These often are studies for larger works which are part of a Collection, like Exotic Memory, which I’ve been working on for two years. The idea for Exotic Memory came to me in a dream in the fall of 2017. So all the work I’ve done since then has been building the concepts for this collection.
By 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. I break for a hard-earned lunch, preferably with a friend outside the studio so I can "step away" before returning for my favorite time of day, the afternoon "magic hours" from about 3:00-7:00 p.m. when I get my best painting done as I race against the dying of the light.