The moment I walk into my studio I know this is precisely what I need to be doing right now. I am still out of white paint, so I need to think outside the box. I go in with a peach colored crayon. Then iridescent pearl, black, cerulean blue, green gold, a saturated bright, yellow, ink and collage. I’m a good painter. Today, in my messy, messy, closet, before I went to my studio, where I searched and searched for a lost check at the same time I tried to figure out how I am going to make money or cut expenditures somewhere else, so I can afford my fairly new eye brow artist and hair Styling Team. My new spa and salon prices are double what I’ve ever paid in my entire life. I think it’s inflation. I also decided not to go grey gracefully. I stopped dying my whole head of hair several years ago. I was letting the grey grow in and just adding highlights. I don’t have much grey hair, but recently I’ve noticed a ton on the top of my head. They grow in crazy, like cork screw sheep’s hair. It’s super expensive to get a full dye job nowadays! The only other alternative is to shave my head. I’ve done it before. I could just keep it super short. Like a monk. I thought letting the grey grow in was being a good feminist. Maybe it is. But I can tell you I’ve successfully weened myself off wearing bras, putting sugar in my coffee, and taking anti-depressants. I also thought of a possible solution to my salon situation. While my color was processed, I noticed several paintings hung up in the processing area. It’s a neat space for viewing paintings. Hanging was a series of Valentines inspired work on canvas. I enjoyed looking at the paintings. I had brought a notebook to re-write a story for my new book, so I did that and drew some sketches and looked at the paintings. I think I should hang a little show there of my older work. The customers who go to this salon could afford a piece of art and I bet the salon doesn’t take a cut. I can use the money from sold paintings for my hair do’s?
Blue and Turquoise, abstract color play, figures, gardens. February painting. I never stop doing what I love, painting. I always paint, it’s consistent and will remain so until I die. In the last two weeks I have found myself not taking celexa. At first, it wasn’t a conscious decision to stop, I was sick, missed a few doses. Then I consciously decided not to take it anymore. That night we were in the kitchen, I was preparing dinner. I told Alan, “I have something to share with you”. I can’t remember what detail I went into about how long and what drugs I’ve been taking for the past three years, but I said, “I’ve decided to stop taking my Celexa, I didn’t do it right, so I don’t what’s going to happen.” Alan knew I had tried some things for PMS and Insomnia. He told me I should try to do it right, go back and ween off the pills. I didn’t listen because I’m so impatient. I really can’t tell which discomforts I’m feeling are from the celexa withdraw or my flu. I had questions about what would happen when I quit, but painting in my studio just now I realized I’m just like always, I always do the things I love, no matter if I’m depressed or not. This week I’ve also been trying to quell any negative self -talk. I started to wonder if the whole reason I had to start taking anti-depressants was because of my terminal negative self- talk. I drove myself to madness. The next thing that pops in my head is, “You’ve always been crazy and done crazy things.” But is it necessary to change? To not do crazy things? Or think crazy thoughts? And where’s the red line? As I took my medicine for longer and longer and increased my dose when needed I started to distrust myself. I am afraid to see who’s behind the door, but it’s only been three years. How could that person I am have slipped away? I definitely got through a super rough patch, I started them six months after Jack and Fiona were born. Before that, at the very end of my journey through infertility, I took klonopin for insomnia and depression. That was great, but I was scared to let go and trust my bodies own ability to rest and sleep. When I stood back and looked at my crazy painting I did today I realized I’m an artist, I’m a painter. I trust myself in my studio. I trust myself.
A cold night made way for a sunny day. Tiny white moths flutter around in the glimmer December sunlight. The sycamore trees bare branches reveal themselves, scattered yellow and brown leaves and a shadow, half branch, half leaf lies on the ground under the giant tree. It’s Monday, but it feels like some other day, a day not on the calendar, a new day with a new name. Crunchy leaf day or Amazing Late Fall Breezy Day, or ALFBD for short. Can a new day of the week insert itself here? On what by all historical accounts is a crazy day for many, a worry day, thinking about what to buy, what to give, where to go, when to be there. Can the ALFBD be something magical instead? A dreamy, play in the dirt, look for worms, imagine the future and the past with equal delight. My feet, forty-six years on this earth, my beautiful feet that walk on the dirt, the mud, jump on crunchy leaves. Transform my giant body into a little tiny moth fluttering around the tops of the evergreens, with no apparent direction in mind. It’s a non-stress day on a historical stress day, switched up and served. Accepted and appreciated, I like today.
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.
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.
Yes, it is. And BETTER than ever. Its DAMN hard work writing and Self Publishing! Im gonna take a hot bath, but i LOVE MY BOOK, the content is exactly what i want!!! Just cross your fingers for the structure to hold up to the writing and artwork.
“Don’t have kids” I was told. “You can’t be a serious artist and have kids”. My legs got weak. My friend said the teacher of the art class and she were talking about me, that I shouldn’t get pregnant, I shouldn’t have kids. That I was a good artist, if I had kids I wouldn’t have time? Be taken seriously? This was right at the beginning of me trying to get pregnant. Years later, right before Jack and Fiona were born, I was turned on to a fabulous artist by one of my teachers. She lent me his catalogue. I took it and read it. He did wonderful paintings and studies. He did travel diaries which he worked on abroad for a year. I read he had kids and I became obsessed about who took care of the kids. It was the wife. She stayed home and took care of the kids while he went on a yearlong painting residency in a tropical rainforest. Is that why I was told women artists who are also mothers can’t become serious artists because it would be difficult to pick up and leave the children when they are young for a year to do a serious yearlong art residency? Or that we can’t just work in the studio all day long. We have responsibilities in home. Why can a woman have a full-time job and be a mother, but not be a serious artist? Why did my friend and my teacher tell me this? I looked through a book last night, a survey of contemporary painters. There are several women in the book, and it’s filled with top notch paintings. I read through the writings about the different artists. I noticed no one mentioned children, having children, how domesticity has influenced their work. There are a lot of fiber arts that deal with subjects of domesticity, but it’s mostly a direct connection with a material used in domestic products; fabrics, yarn, embroidery, wool, using these materials in new and interesting ways. My work uses traditional picture making materials, paint, paper, glue, charcoal, pastels, canvas, wood, the printing press, even my Nap Time Notebooks are in traditional sketchbooks. But my identity as an artist has been very influenced by my childhood, my relationship with my mom and her death, parenthood, wifehood, domesticity. It’s filled with memories through color and line. Raising children is emotional, my work is emotional. Was their critique of me having children saying I didn’t have it in me to do both? I wouldn’t work hard enough, or I didn’t want it bad enough? I remember my mom telling me I would never be able to be a serious artist because I would never be able to spend hours alone in my studio. After my declaration of becoming an artist she found out that she was wrong, that I did have it in me to spend countless hours working in my studio. Thank God for the women in my life who said, “Go for it”! Have kids and be an artist. Thank you, Ladies! It wasn’t easy, making time for my studio after Jack and Fiona were born. But I did it and I wrote a book about it too.