2017 began with the death of my mother, and ended with a studio being built in the back yard and a trip to New York City. It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was a long, twilight struggle where the battle seemed to be fought just outside the reach of my consciousness; and saw me mostly carrying on in a normal fashion, though I was lost in plain sight. I didn't get much artwork done, though I managed to squeeze out a few paintings. The artwork goals I'd had for the year never came to fruition, and I knew I was not to care. I was to keep moving forward however I saw fit at any given moment- when you're grieving you're supposed to take care of yourself. And maybe that's all we can ever do.
2018... HI THERE! I come to you with empty hands and a hopeful heart. I want to approach you not with my brain, but with that part of me that *knows* without having to think about it. With my new studio in place (thank you, Timothy Wilson Hoey) I am poised to devote myself to artwork in a way I've never been able to before, and I want to do only what feels right- any other considerations be damned. I want to hunker down and explore undaunted. I want to write if I feel like it- paint if I feel like it- stare out the window lost in thought if I feel like it. I want to slow it all down and find out what fits for me, and then... DO THAT.
I know I'm fortunate to have this chance.
Not to generalize, but I'm a bit of a stereotype. I'm a middle-aged woman who "lost herself" to a certain extent while raising her child and then "found herself" again after that child became a fully functioning adult. I'm glossing over all kinds of things of course, and please note that I regret nothing. But it's all true. And I can be thankful that the coming-full-circle occurred, because I'm sure there are cases where it doesn't.
I have a degree in Fine Art ("with Distinction") from Concordia University (1989). While raising my daughter I focused on collage due to lack of space and time, and I still love collage, but I always wanted to return to painting. I finally did that with my first solo show at Polychrome Fine Art in 2009, but it wasn't until participating in The 100 Day Project in 2015 that I gave it my undivided attention.
My 100 Day project, "100 Days of The Artist is Present", was revelatory for me in several ways: 1). I was reminded that I had some skills (and painting each day improved them quickly), 2). I was reminded that the act of painting is meditative and therapeutic, and that I mustn't stop doing it, 3). It was demonstrated to me that I was capable of more than I had believed of myself for several years, and 4). the level of response I got from people who followed the project buoyed me and made me feel hopeful. I later started a project ("Loved Ones", 2016) where I painted musicians who meant something to me, and then another ("Certain People", 2016-17) where I painted writers, comedians, and others I love. I will continue to paint portraits, but now that I've reminded myself that "yes, you have a few skills; and yes, you're allowed to call yourself an artist and devote time to it", I want to see what else I've got in there.
I'm going to revisit the 2017 goals, but I'm approaching from a different place. I finally made myself a new website at the end of 2017, and with the help of Jill Margo of GOOD I am in the process of tweaking and improving in the hopes of making something streamlined and fully functional. I hope to find a publisher for my "100 Days of The Artist is Present" book, once I receive an new introduction being written by a scholarly gentleman in The Netherlands (whose identity will be revealed in the fullness of time). Mostly I want to get back to making a mess in here, so without further ado...
Thanks for reading,