The closer you get the further it is

Back in late '95, for no apparent reason I picked up a calligraphy pen & started making these thin doodle lines. And for no apparent reason, got some pastel chalk & colored it all. I made about seven med. to large scale drawings in as many months. A few years later I made a few more. I was still working for myself as a massage therapist.

Life went on. I had to move from the 12 yr rental house I was in and decided to go live in a nice new apartment with vaulted ceilings and lots of great amenities. I thought my slightly smaller diggs would be a good place to hunker down and get into my drawing. I was wrong. Anyone who knew me then was aware of 'derrick the dickhead', the 6.5' monster that lived below me who partied with his bimbo girlfriend every night. He managed to leave bright and early to get to some mysterious job every day and I would have a few hours to recover before door slamming/screaming/thumping of bass swirled into my brain and destroyed any peace let alone creativity that might have been lurking.

Then, as art lore as it, Paula(that would be moi) had a premature mid-life-crisis, quit her practice gave/sold/tossed all but a small storage closet of her goods, got in her tiny car and zipped off into the desert to live in a tent/work at Yellowstone/live some more in the tent, land in Minneapolis and spend the winter painting on about 100 coffee mugs (with tile coasters).

Spring came, then early summer and I moved on. Couldn't get rid of all those damn mugs, tossed a handful in the dumpster, gave some, sold some and boxed about 20 of them up and off I went, my car stuffed with fragments of hope.

Zing forward to arriving in VT. and getting a studio apartment (this time I got to live underneath a crazy person). I was dragging scrap and RR plates and all kinds of things into that upstairs apartment, my desire to collect and combine 'things' was outgrowing my space. I then moved in with a friend and finally got to have more peace and more space. That is when I was able to breathe and play. I had been hanging on to two part-time jobs as a massage therapist and hating it. I finally quit. That was just about two years ago. I cannot believe I have gone that long on so little money.

And it was yesterday, after I made the post showing how I do my photography mixed media works; after I went to the gallery to pick up a work and chat with the owner and received good feedback on my progress; after an art association I belong to in Burlington offered me my first solo show in a coffee joint in June (yeah, I know....buts its a nice place and I need exposure), after a day like that I had a mini freak out. For as unbelievable as it is, that I just started making art seriously just over two years ago and have been selling slowly to collectors and getting work shown here and there....I realized HOW MUCH FURTHER I have to go to even begin to get where I want to be.

I have so much to learn about how to fabricate things. If you saw the tools and set up I have you would laugh. If you saw how I made nearly all that art bent over on a basement floor and the tiny amount of materials I had, you would think me insane. Things have gotten better in that department, but as is the case in life there is always something more you seem to want or need. And I freaked out about what feels like a lack of resources financially and otherwise. I don't really know more than a few people here in VT. I don't have but a few connections. I can't spend too much time thinking about how I will get my self let alone my work, my 'studio stuff' somewhere else. How I will ever learn all the things I know I want and need to learn let alone the things I don't even know I need to know that I know I'll need to know.

Onward. Its all I know to do. If I stop and look at the mountain ahead of me I will exhaust myself. If I stop and look at the tracks I've left behind, I know I cannot pass the same things by again. There is no going back. If I freeze up and try to survive where I am at, well....I don't think I would make it too much longer. Dramatic isn't it? Thats when I know I have to go back in the basement (aka the 'studio') and somehow let things happen. Keep making my art and letting things meld into whatever it is its supposed to be.


Nellie Bass Durand said...

You GO girl! What I've looked at (and it's been a lot, but not all) is amazing. I especially like your combination of photos and metal. I appreciate the sharing of your thoughts about art and on being an artist. Thank you.

Self Taught Artist said...

Nellie, very uplifting to read, thank YOU. Checked your site out, unbelievable what you are doing, you must have the patience of a saint~I love how you use color. Thanks for the blog link too!

Misplaced said...

Self-Taught, I'm going to send this post to a friend of mine who is just now weighing 'making art vs. the 9to5.' This is inspirational -this move to follow your dream took incredible amounts of courage. Excellent news on the show.

Self Taught Artist said...

I'm humbled Misplaced, thank you.