I was staring at a painting in my studio, hung with six push pins. I hung the paper up today, painted it and collaged it. It’s a large piece of thick water color paper, 50” x 48”. I started it and finished in one day, which is impractical. It’s delicate paper, it’s large, where will I store it? If only I had another show lined up or someone to buy it? I need to start working smaller. I love working big, but I need to work small. I went on a walk today, up the trail, past blue bells and hedge parsley. Past the decaying tree stumps, getting smaller than they were last year. So many kinds of little green plants, clovers, grasses, dead leaves on the ground in ruby red and dark brown. The air was cold, my hands freezing. The sun was out, the sky so clear, I thought it would be warmer. It was my last day of having three-year-old children. My last day I could get away with calling them babies. I love Jack and Fiona so much, they have turned out to be good kids. It’s hard to believe when I reminisce of the past, of Jack and Fiona as infants, of life before they were born, my mind is filled now with beautiful memories. The sad memories of my most difficult times have diffused, leaving a stain, but not a strong stab to my heart. I have healed in the past four years. I have a collection of paintings that document feelings I’ve gone through. Lines and color, paper and canvas, lots of the work framed. My studio needs to be cleaned, to make space for my new collection, my new work, from the new me. Or the same me? The original, more confident, less broken me? I don’t know. I just know that this year I have changed.
I’ve always been a loner. I feel comfortable on the hills, the trails, looking out my window at the blue sky. Listening to the hawks on a cold January day. It’s quiet, my dogs by my side. Or sitting writing or painting in my studio. Nowadays to fill most of my social needs I join conversations on Facebook about instapots and menopause. In my radio interview the other day I said that I don’t have friends coming to my house, I live an isolated life as a stay at home mom, an artist, and a writer. I said my friends who I know and don’t know, my readers, the people who interact with my paintings, the collectors, I must communicate with them, with the outside world. I don’t know why. I am. Everything seems like a possibility. The farther I go into my artistic self the more real I become. The Sycamore tree outside is still bare, the sky is greyish blue. There’s not much warm sun to sit under outside or I would be there now. I’m in the house writing. I’ve been working on my manuscript for my new book. It’s all about babies. It’s raw and uncensored. My fertile and unfertile self. A guy at my art talk last week said while I was talking, and he was holding and leafing through one of my gigantic painterly notebooks, that the notebook was like my baby too, another baby I cared for and gave birth too. I realized that all the art I did during my early thirties has been destroyed and was all about fertility and babies and birth and secrets. They were made from wool, and glue, and plaster, and string, and musty old things. Stockings, black sheer and fishnets. Pods, fertility goddess inspired, death and rebirth. But during this time, I didn’t write. I was scared my husband would read my journal and think I was unhappy, or crazy, or just take everything out of context. So, I squeezed and pounded and stitched fabrics and canvas and old garments. I ripped and tore and scratched. I remember once I was in my studio at my old house, the house Alan and I lived in before this one. It was just a room in the house. Alan and the landlord were outside my room, looking at something in the house. I was working on a painting. I was scratching and scraping the paint off with my nails. I knew I should stop but I couldn’t. My nails were getting ground down, soft and black with paint. I knew the land lord was probably worried about what I was doing and that I sounded insane.
Yesterday was the last day of my solo show at Fourth Wall Gallery! The show was a huge success and in the end I think I sold enough paintings to begin funding my next book and series of paintings!!! I am SO THANK FULL to my collectors who bought my work and Believe in me!!!! I gave everyone a copy of my book , Nap Time Paintings too! I gave a talk yesterday at the Gallery during the art stroll, I am terrible at public speaking! I need to practice. For now though I won’t worry about that! I will work on my writing, painting, sign language, and fitness!!! I’m excited. Thank You SO MUCH FOR READING my blog!! I hope you have a terrific Sunday!
2008, I first think Obama, then it says Time For Change in a circle boarder with three paws and it says PETCO. Then I think that’s the year my mom died, and I realize 2008 was a long time ago. I grab a scoop of Billy’s dog food, that’s what I came in the pantry for in the first place. I ripped off the cardboard tag of the re-usable shopping bag. That date, 2008 has stuck in my mind all day. My clammy cold feet mind. I got a call from a woman from Readers Magnet. Before I called back I looked up the info about this company. “Beware of this Scam” it says when I type in the company. I take every criticism I read on the internet with a grain of salt. When I talk to the woman she gives me her sales pitch and tells me a bunch of new stuff about selling books. It gives me anxiety! But it’s informative. She talks about E-commerce and Pay Pal. Selling my books, myself straight off my web site. No Amazon. She also talked about SEO’s which I am befuddled by from my last interaction with SEO’s and advertising on WIX, the perverts the word “mom” brings out of the wood work. I don’t know how to sell my books or paintings or if anyone will ever buy them, it leaves me with the same question, how much time, energy, focus should I do on the marketing and selling side of things? I just want to write and work in my studio. My art show hasn’t panned out any big sales, I just get feeling like this sometimes. Things were so different in 2008, before 2008, there was a big change, for me and for the United States with Obama being elected. My mom died right before the Inauguration. She missed a time of hope and optimism. Even after she died I kept focusing on art and painting, getting into graduate school, I felt like the time would come when I could do what I love, which it has. I am doing what I love. I love painting and writing, and my life as a mother and wife and person in the community, I couldn’t be happier or prouder of myself. But Happy doesn’t pay the bills or store the art or pay for the publishing costs, only cash will. It’s not a choice, I won’t ever stop writing or painting, but, Do I let go of my dreams of my work I produce to cover the costs itself? And what about the hustling I need to embark on to try to sell my book and paintings? The time and the money, it’s overwhelming. With my disposition the only thing I can hope for would be a Gallery and a Traditional publishing company to pay me and sell my work! And that’s just a pipe dream, right? I mean what would I have to do?
I have never had a pear as delicious as the one I am eating right now. It’s…. I just sat here for seconds, maybe minutes tasting pieces of the pear, trying to….I just did it again, tasted a bunch of pieces trying to decide how to put this taste into words. I’m not even going to try. I would never be able to describe how incredible that pear was. I am glad I had the opportunity to eat it. I am also glad I had the chance to work in my studio today. I also had the most amazing shower because yesterday I went to the Beauty Store downtown, the one that’s going out of business. Everything is on sale. I got some shower Gel and Exfoliator and I feel like a new woman. I also got a new Italian professional blow dryer, my hair has never looked or felt so good. Why hasn’t anyone ever told me I needed a good hair dryer? I’ve been using the cheep ones. I always thought my hair took a long time to dry because its so thick, now I know it was the blow dryers! Crazy! At forty-six years old I just figured that out! As usual my alone time is wrapping up. I wish I had more time, but I do feel satisfied with my day off. I even got a bunch of chores done, laundry, toy purging, (gotta make room for the new toys) I just heard Jack calling “Mommy, Mommy” they just got home from the park. I figured out something else cool last night too. I learned that Jack and Fiona love to play games, not computer games but physical games more than they like T.V. Especially if I play with them. I let them open this chicken game I got them for x-mas last night. You role a dice and whichever number comes up you get to push the chickens chest hoping an egg pops out it’s butt. They saw the commercial for this game on T.V., they would say “Mom, look at this game” when it came on. I had to run over to the T.V. to see it. They like the game as much as the kids in the commercial do. It is a fun preschool age game, and it teaches taking turns and following directions. That lasted five minutes and a couple pieces are already lost. But it was fun quality time we all enjoyed together. I can hear Fiona crying, I wonder what happened. Time to get back on duty.
Have you ever wondered why you did it? Why you had kids? Why you wanted kids? It’s a trip. Then you walk in your room from the deck. A place to sit and take five. To your children watching Bob the Builder X-Mas, you have the heater on and it’s a cold winter night. Making it nice and cozy in the house. Your daughter is sitting on an arm chair with your pillows wrapped around her saying, “Jack, where am I?” he replies, “I can see you” But he giggles, he’s amused. I say, “Awww, how cute”, and they are, absolutely 100% adorable. But I do have the T.V. on. They are perfect with the T.V. on and when it’s not on, Jack asks me over and over again until I turn it on, which I know is my own doing. I give in 80% of the time these days. He’s so persistent, and I’m so overwhelmed in that sense, the keeping up with highly active twin’s thing. With being the perfect parent. Meaning trying to teach them how to behave. Or how I expect them to behave. Or “Go play with your toys”. It’s just exhausting. I realized I am on Full Time duty at least thirteen hours a day. When I work on my new manuscript, drawing from my time before kids, trying to have kids, I am struck by the amount of free time I had, even when I worked a full-time job because I would always get two full days off a week. All day and night. So, I ask you again, have you ever wondered why you did it? Not that you would change anything about your life at all and love your life and kids!
I can’t believe I only have maybe twenty minutes left before my morning free time is over. I feel a panic in my chest. I sat outside in the back yard under the sun this morning, alone with the robins. It was so beautiful. It was quiet, only the sounds of the chimes and birds chirping. The wind rustled a bit. Again, I was struck by how peaceful it is to sit alone in quiet. If I ever needed meditation in my routine now is the time. Maybe I should just tell the babies straight up, I need some quiet time when we’re all together. I can’t always answer so many questions, put out so many little arguments between siblings, wipe butts and feed constantly eating kids. They never stop eating or moving their bodies. It’s insane. Or talking. Kids. I’m SURE they are still too young to meditate but can’t they play quietly with their toys? And NOT watch T.V.? Jack wants to watch T.V. constantly. Oh Man. But they’re adorable kids. Last night Fiona said the funniest thing and I can’t remember what it was, but it was super funny. Jack gives me kisses and loves to hang with me in the mornings before school. We go for cool walks. Today we went to the coffee shop and I had an americano and he had a piece of lemon cake. It was fun. Fiona is wearing my bracelets! She is so sweet and creative, funny too. Last night during our bed time routine, Fiona laid her tinys(her little tiger blankies) over the vent as the heat came through. She wanted to make them warm. She lay her cheek over the blankies and stretched her legs out. She is so long, I was almost looking at a little girl, not a baby anymore. We read our books, there was a scene where the main character threw a rock threw at a window and he was put on the Naughty List! I told Jack and Fiona a story about when I was a little kid, maybe 7 or 8. I was playing rocks with some neighbors, two boys. I was with my friend, we were standing outside the chain fence around the yard and the boys were inside the fence by their dads Harley Davidson motorcycle. I hit the speedometer with one of my rocks breaking the glass. I heard their dad yell from inside the house. My friend and I ran as fast as we could, we hid in an old trailer in a field behind our house. We stayed there all day until night. I could here my mom and all the neighbors calling my name, “Jenny”, over and over again. I was so scared. Then I heard my pony neighing, I imagined my neighbors were steeling my pony for breaking the speedometer on the motorcycle. I told my friend and we decided to run back to the house to save Chu Chu. As I told this story to Jack and Fiona last night they were quiet, they looked at me seriously. Fiona said, “I want you to get your pony back” almost crying she was so sad. Then I realized I had to reiterate to Jack that throwing the rocks was bad and I was on the naughty list.