“Will I ever have kids?” I sat and wondered under this same December sky I sit under today. Light yellow mustard leaves, lime green, purple sage, blue sky with a low almost winter sun. Shadows in the yard stay damp and cool until summer comes again. Trying to get my kids to spend more time in our yard playing instead of always taking them to parks. I couldn’t imagine that thought, what feels like ages ago, when I would come out here to listen to the bird’s chirp and watch hawks fly overhead. I felt lost, sad, depressed, and confused. Nothing like the way I felt this past weekend, the accomplishment I felt having my first Solo art show and my first beautiful book published. I’ve been through so much, on such a long, hard, journey to get to where I am today, with everything fulfilled, married with two kids and a satisfying creative life. I felt secure and confident at my opening reception on Saturday, like I knew things about myself I have never known before. Like I was open and receptive to everyone who came to my show. I didn’t hide outside or drink too much wine. I don’t know if this change is due to the unknown being known or the anti-depressants! But it feels good to be here.
I never felt that same accomplishment when Jack and Fiona were finally born. I feel accomplishment as a parent, I’m a good mom. I feel a lot of stress as a parent and sometimes I want to have kid free moments, which are hard to come by. But what would my life look like now with out kids? I will never know. My life the ten years it took trying to have kids was a time I would not want to go through again. It was very difficult, but I would like to share my experience with others, I would like to share my journey in a way that I wish had been available for me at the time, something to read, to feel connected and not so alone. I will write this book, I will go back through my experiences and write the story for others to read and hopefully find comfort and not feel alone or hopeless. It takes a lot of work to make things happen, things that are gambles, 50/50’s, expensive. Things that need a person to take a great leap of faith, to take a chance on something that the outcome may not be in their favor. There are no guarantees in life, only that we all die someday. I decided to gamble, take my chances and work harder than ever to make my dreams come true, having a supportive partner really helps! Things have paid off, so I will begin to write my story about how I got where I am today
A fly just walked across the window pane. It’s 2:32pm and feels like 5 or 6 pm. Jack jumps naked from the couch to the chair, chair to couch while he watches Cars. Billy is sprawled out on the floor. I can hear Fiona whispering, I’m not sure what she’s doing. The sky is blue outside, trees have lost almost all their leaves. I feel like going to sleep right now. I finally received my author copies of Nap Time Paintings today, which included a hardback. It is beautiful, what do I do with all these beautiful books? My private opening was this past weekend, it was fun, I got to see best friends and meet new friends. All my dreams have come true, to have a solo show and to publish a book. I feel like sleeping or working in my studio today, instead of parenting! It’s just one of those days. Last night when I checked on Jack and Fiona, while they were taking their bath, I was confronted with the most disgusting scene. Jack and Fiona were laughing and having so much fun, I notice something in the tub, it’s brown, it’s three large pieces of poop! Jack pooped in the tub! He said he did it because Fiona had to poop at the same time and she pooped in the toilet! I couldn’t believe it. I had to throw away all the bath toys and scoop up the poop and wash the whole bathroom with comet. They are starting to spend more time playing together but it usually involves getting into trouble! All I must do for the rest of today, is make dinner and give them baths and make it until 7:30. I’ll worry about all the paintings I need to sell and what to do with my beautiful books another day!
Break something, instead of “break a leg”. That is my motto. Yesterday- A glass and a painting- fall, crack turn into a new form, unusable. This happens right before my opening. I took a Portfolio to my opening, sold each piece for $25. I sold over 11. I look at pictures now, of each piece. They are like people to me. They are part of my special collection of art, the pieces that have made it through every edit I’ve gone through in my studio. They know all my secrets. I feel like I adopted them out, the paintings, like spies infiltrating new spaces, bring my secrets with them. like they were going to good homes, like they will no longer be in a dark drawer. No light, no wall. Wait to be noticed again, wait to be framed with lots of space around them. They are the pieces that carry a story, part of a series. My hidden little gems that never made it into any shows, they were too special in a way. In a way I’ve sold my most precious, unique pieces of art for $25 each. Luckily there are still more, and of course more will always be made. I didn’t sell any large pieces yet, but I had interests. Those are the daddies and mommies of everything. The framed work in the Gallery and the Notebooks are a bridge from my past to my future. They are like rocks surrounded by feathers. I am certain they will sell. I will have money for my next book project. I want to write several books; each book will include/be dominated by pictures. I need a lot of money. The photographing of my work for the books is expensive. I have the paint and substrates. I have the content. I need money for the publishing fees.
Studio today. Cold at first, remnants from the making of my recent show, ghosts of pastel, charcoal, paint, frags, worked on new pieces, worked on new notebook pages, curated a $25 portfolio, 48 pieces on paper, unframed. Jack and Fiona just got home. I hear them calling me, “Mommy, Mommy”, I hear the pitter patter of their feet, looking for me. I’m writing in my closet, my bedroom door locked. I’m drinking a glass of wine and eating chocolate candy x-mas trees. I still have 40 minutes left before the babysitter leaves. They are snickers x-mas trees, I’m on my second one. They are so good. They go so good with red wine. I am ready for my show. I am celebrating. I am proud of myself. I just pigged out on candy, drank two glasses of red wine, worked in the studio, it’s 3:28 and I’m ready for bed! Tomorrow is December 1st, what a lovely day to have an art opening. I’m very excited, it’s going to be fun. My new book copies aren’t here yet, it will probably take three weeks to get them from the printers. I can take preorders tomorrow and mail people a copy if they would like to get an autographed copy from the artist! Otherwise it’s already available through third party sellers online. I love my book so much. I love my whole show and my range of pieces and prices, from low to high, something for everyone. I am going to bed early tonight. I am thankful.
It’s a windy, rainy Sunday morning, the ground is covered in orange, sky grey. I am missing my studio, it’s been two weeks since I’ve worked in there. I’ve been so busy with my show and book, and tired, I haven’t had a chance and it’s starting to catch up on me. I’ve snuck down to my room to write; Jack and Fiona are upstairs watching a show and Alan just got up to have his own breakfast. They will be coming to look for me soon. I’m excited to start my new project, my new series of paintings, drawings, and writings for my next book. I have some interesting ideas now that I’ve had some experience in the book publishing/ book creating world. I want to work this time with a conversation between the stories/writings/essays and the artwork. A back and forth, in the same way when I started having a conversation between the two opposite pages in my notebooks. A written word/ visual play, like the way children’s books are put together. I also was thinking about writing some children’s books. There are stories not being told, the children’s books seem to rehash the same messages repeatedly. I have lots of ideas, but now I have no seed money! I’ve been obsessively wondering how many books sold over the weekend? And I am HOPING I sell a few paintings at my show! I need to make some cash for my next set of projects! I think I am going to take Billy on an adventure walk now in the storm, see what’s happening out there, get all wet and muddy and come home to take a hot shower!
My book is BACK! Tomorrow is the big shopping day, my book is the BEST gift!
Amazon only has soft copies. To get a hard bound you need to go through the publisher.
“Pajaro-cu-cu”, today I read this book to Fiona, this old book from my childhood, one of my favorites. I wonder, how did it even survive this long? It’s a book of “Animal Rhymes from Many Lands”, illustrated beautifully with what looks like monoprints. The book was published in 1967, this is the copy I have. We get to a page that has been torn out. The poem beside the missing page is about a horse. I tell Fiona I probably ripped it out when I was a little girl because I loved horses. She asked me “where is it now?” I wondered, where could it be? The ripped-out page of the horse from my childhood book. “Probably was thrown away” I say. Or in a box somewhere hidden away, lost and forgotten. It’s not here, it’s not in my house. I didn’t save it or protect it. Maybe it was left outside in the rain, in the mud. I am surprised at the language used in this book. It’s complicated and rich. It’s diverse and fun. Fiona and I carefully dissect the sentences. It’s especially challenging for Fiona because of her hearing loss. It’s difficult to put the words in context because they are such unusual combinations and ordering of words.
Fox with his sack is on a jog;
He’s taking cabbages to Prague.
Hare, quick before they’re out of sight, Pursues that sack rich with delight-
One for hedgehog, one his own-
He quivers at the thought alone.
Then sly fox speaks, his tail goes flick!
“Come over near, and take your pick.”
Fiona was so tired and not feeling well she went to sleep after this. She hasn’t taken a nap in a long time. Jack is sleeping too. I haven’t been into my studio in too long. I’ve been so busy finishing up my book and setting up my solo show on the days I had a babysitter and the rest of the days the babies have been underfoot, especially Fiona. They haven’t felt well and that’s always tough. I hear one waking now. It feels dark and gloomy today. I need more Pajaro- cu-cu!