behind the scenes

I'm going to keep people anonymous but I am going to relay some cool things. You know, for the most part I live my life pretty solitary. I have tod in my life, I live in the basement of this house I care take for, I have little to no interaction with anyone from my past and maybe one friend here in Vermont other than tod that I email and visit with when we are both up for spontaneous interaction.I rarely drive HUMANS when I opt to work at the taxi place, it's usually hospital STAT runs or courier runs.... I've always been a loner. When I was a massage therapist I had elite clientele. I've worked on a few famous people, upper echelon types etc. They were generous tip wise, I knew every Christmas I would get a few hundred dollars but other than that no one really got very involved in my life or who I was. It takes two to tango so I'm guilty of not fostering strong relationships. I usually made friends faster than normal because I bypassed the small talk. I went right for the main artery. People either got me or they didn't.

Since leaving Arizona, since quitting my life so to speak and finding Vermont, finding Tod, finding ART, I have also found you guys. People might think a blog is a self indulgent thing or just a way to use ad sense and make money, but for me it has been a huge part of my life. Bloggers have bought art, people have found my blog and connected with me sending me personal emails sharing things with me and bonding. Sometimes we continue staying in touch other times we don't but I NEVER forget those emails/people....never forget the exchanges. I've had a few people find my blog and then offer me supplies to come scrounge through. I've had people just say keep doing what you are doing! That is PRICELESS. Even the lurkers who decide to comment...PRICELESS. Believe me, I'm not writing this just to talk to myself. I'm here to learn, help, mentor, find peers, be a part of a living thing in this body of blogs. I crave the interaction of others who are searching and seeking. We may have different styles of art, different views and lives but as long as we connect as people I'm all in.

Today was a big day. I thank the bloggers that linked to me during my auction and during other times. Some bloggers have written about me and my art. I thank them. My God, I had a blogger offer me and Tod to come live with them and start an artist community!!!!!! I've have a blogger friend that emails me his music and non-sequiturs, makes me laugh, makes me feel like I'm not alone.

Why today felt big was I had someone ask if they could write about my work. This is someone I do not know, do not know how they found my blog but when I went to their site felt like it was an honor to be noticed by them. I also had a blogger paypal me a small sum of money just to support my endeavors. It came, and I'm NOT kidding, at a moment when I was talking to Tod and feeling very broke. I can't believe my life is so rich right now in every aspect EXCEPT money. I'm down to virtually nothing and was lamenting how the simplest of things I can't buy right now (which has more to do with enabling my artistic self than anything) + (i refuse to go into further debt if I can help it), how frustrating it is to feel pinned down and not able to do what I want. And keep in mind, I'm not a spending pig. Nor do I want to be a charity case. I want more than anything to be earning money and taking care of myself. I find it ironic that I was in a morbidly depressed, self absorbed alcoholic stupor most of my life and made shit loads of money (well 40-50k is alot to me) but my life sucked. Now everything is opposite. I'm not wanting shit or superfluous crap like I used to. I don't drink myself into oblivion. I'm smart with what little wads of cash I get. Anyhow, right in that conversation I heard my email sound and checked it to see I had money waiting for me in Pay Pal. It is the perfect amount to submit to the guild.com (a site this person recommended I get my clocks into).

I also had a great scrap finding day. I also learned more about how to do something from the co-owner of the taxi place. He is an automobile genius and works on old cars ~ he is an artist in his own rites. I took some aluminum pieces to him to see how I could cut something on them and get rid of a ridge and he showed me the tool I would need and how to do it. To me this is a big deal because most people who know this stuff make me feel like an idiot but he didn't. He explained it three times (i still forget the name of the tool but my eyes remember what it is). The scrappy stuff I found for free on the side of the road as well as took from the old abandoned house on the property (shhhhh).(see gutter on the side of the house). I also had a blogger (on her blog comments in response to a comment I made) tell me she thought my work was fantastic lately...to get a comment from her meant more to me than you can even know.

I'm learning patience. I'm learning every day about myself through the vehicle of being an artist. I'm certain most people take for granted how the simplest of gestures affect another human being. It is those little things that keep me going. It is someone who doesn't take everything for face value and sees the thing, the person, the idea underneath the outer shell. Because of YOU guys I feel I have softened tremendously. I'm still judgmental. I still get angry when I don't understand something. I still hate myself more than I care to admit. But I learn forgiveness every time I do what I consider a faux pas and people still come here. Every time I post art that I seriously doubt many of you would want to own. Every time I comment on a blog and dare to be me and question and receive answers instead of slaps.

Rudimentary. Things you would think a 47 yr old would have gotten years ago. Not so. I'm just now living my life. JUST NOW. And if it seems corny or dramatic I've not explained myself well enough. It's real. And you guys are part of the 'it' that has shaped me.

*I wrote this post hoping to share how cool bloggers are!


akula said...

it's rare that i walk by something industrial looking these days and not think about you- in fact, just the other day i had a peek into someone's garage and it was top to bottom crazy random industrial stuff. i thought, well, if paula was here, she'd be drooling.

the earth turns and turns and we turn right along with it. i'm so glad things are turning out well for you. that's all i wish for any of my friends :)

self taught artist said...

love your earth turns and turns line...and thanks for letting me know you think about me when you see junky stuff, that is endearing :)

peggy said...

It's interesting that you state that, at 47, you're 'just now living life.' Being a couple of years older than you I feel the same way at times. I do, however, remember other stages/ages in my life when I felt this way and now wonder if it's just part of the process of living.

Your willingness to be open about the trials and tribulations about your life and your art is something I admire. It is not something I am comfortable with...yet (hence my erratic attempts to be part of the art blog world). But I will keep on making in relative isolation and obscurity and being encouraged and inspired by artists such as yourself that prove none of us are alone in our endeavors. Cheers, peggy

Nellie's Needles said...

We're all part of the "flow". I'm glad to have connected with you now and then in this river of creativity. You make me think and feel outside my little area within it all.

self taught artist said...

peggy, just knowing you are out there makes a difference to me.

nellie, what can i say you are a gem!

Anonymous said...

Paula, I love when you open up a little bit like in this post. It reinforces the essence of "you."

I am often hesitant to share at this level, but can so identify with a lot that you've said here. It's a fun thought that we could actually be friends, but probably neither of us would want to be in each other's face. I like my "hermit" existence too. Online connections are special to me as well. And I love the dress code!

As for the economy and money in general -- isn't this an interesting time we're going through? If you don't have a lot of material possessions, you don't have a lot to lose. I feel sorry for those whose fortunes are threatened to the point they can't sleep at night. I sleep very well. The only thing I really worry about is having a roof over the heads of my dogs and cats. And paints. I need paints.

gigi said...

what a thoughtful and productive post, paula.

and we think you're cool too. :)

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, love when you let us into your life like this. It's great things are going so well for you, or at least better, or at least you're in a better place. If you make something spacey call me. Spacey stuff doesn't really sell so I know why you don't.

I think of you a lot being around our art galleries and maintenance shops all day long, and when ever I walk by some unique throw away my first thought is of you,lol.

self taught artist said...

artist journal: thanks for that...I am so glad for the internet. so many great people out there like yourself, i agree with you!

thx gigi ditto!

bob...something spacey...i dont even know what that would be. I DO have a few pieces of material that is from something manmade/space/related maybe one day.....
I think of you every time i look at the sky at night, I really do!

Kim Hambric said...

No matter how hard you try sometimes, people are still going to like you.

There are many times when I feel the same way you do, I just can't put my feelings into words -- I think I'll let you do that.

Thanks for blogging. Thanks for letting us in.

StellaD said...

Don't I know where you're coming from. I don't make friends easily, live in my own 'little world' as co-workers have often told me (so what??), and empathize with your struggle to make your art and make a living by it. I'm so glad I found your site. You so often say the things I'm feeling, but can't express and I can just nod my head with tears in my eyes when I read them. I know how it is when the funds run so low...my reserve ran out a couple months ago, so I lost my internet connection and my phone....and I have two minutes left now at the library, so going to try to post this quickly. Keep going strong...we need you!

self taught artist said...

kim, i adore you, i really do. you are funny and kind and insightful (plus your blog rocks)

stellad...long time no you...no blog posts....thanks for taking library internet time to write )hate hearing that). I am very touched how you relate to my words. you serve as a reminder that we can never know how what we do affects people (good OR bad eh?) sending hugs your way.

Karen said...

Raw raw post Paula. One of the reasons I so like your blog is that you put so much of yourself into it. I feel as though we are old old friends because of it, funny how that happens! I know that I dont put so much of myself into my writing. So I suppose the feeling is really on my part of the fence. But I for one am glad you blog!

self taught artist said...

thx karen, i feel the same bout you. just think you fiber artists and i would have never met in real life i betcha, i had no idea you guys were so wonderful!!!!