Work in process

WIP, Poppy Cock. Acrylic on canvas. 2015.

No one’s home except for me and Star. I’m supposed to be doing laundry and cleaning up the bathroom, but instead I am listening to Bjork and updating my blog. I also slept in until 10:30 this morning. It’s been a few days since my last day at work and I can honestly say I don’t miss it. I’m excited about my little show in April, but I also feel pressure to finish all the big pieces by the end of February, in case I decide to do any custom framing. There won’t be time to frame the wood paintings, but they are sturdy enough on their own, and the wood “box” look is modern and minimal enough to keep them out of country/craft territory. I hope.

The large canvases are going to be more ornate and painterly. They are the stars of the show, I suppose. The art pieces, rather than a cute painting you can put in your kitchen, like the small wood ones. I’m optimistic about what I will produce, though I recognize that these paintings are much more difficult to make. As challenging as it all is, I love it! I’ve learned not to fight it, but to dive in when things get hard. I’ve learned that it’s ok to erase, and start over if something doesn’t look or feel right. I’m no longer sensitive to my ego about the quality of my work. It’s not always pleasant, and many a tear has been shed in the process, but in the end it’s all worth it when you see your work complete and to your satisfaction.

I guess housework has a similar effect, but it’s not as joyful. It’s nice when things are in order, and clean. It’s easier to relax in a clean, orderly environment. I just hate sharing my time with the chores of daily life. I want my time to be spent creating, not cleaning.  I wonder if male artists struggle with this? I feel like this is a woman’s dilemma. Like when Sandra Cisneros says she burned the rice because she was so busy writing, that she knew she could never have children because of it. Or something like that.

I can totally relate, except of course, for the fact that I already have a kid. Sharing my time with my daughter, oddly has not been very difficult. In some ways, very small ways, I had some control over the situation. Especially because I was a single mother and didn’t have the demands of a partner on me. But also not having a partner made it very difficult for me to deal with the bigger problems like money and support, and in turn that made it difficult for me to grow as an artist working on her craft. Anxiety and creativity don’t always play nice.

Life is too hard, sometimes. I’m being facetious, for crying out loud I survived ten years as a single parent, and before that I survived a whole lot more. I’m grateful to be in this position. And that’s part of why I do take care of the house, eventually. It’s a small price to pay for being able to be a full time artist. I would not be able to do this without my husband, and I feel no shame saying that. I’m not the only one who recognizes that this is a reality that artist and writers have to live with: we all need to be supported in our work. All the artists I have known that are actively making a living through their art, would not have been able to do s with out a supportive spouse, or a trust fund. I don’t have rich family so my husband supports me while I establish myself. I am in a very fortunate position. For that I am thankful.

I think I hear some laundry calling.



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