a gift, more stuff, excuses & dreams

I got a surprise present earlier this week from Tod, he knew I've been hemming and hawing about different tools, a dremel being one of them, and low and behold I got one from him! It was a complete surprise, and a very thoughtful and generous gift. Should make it easier to remove rust from objects which up until now I've had to do with a big clunky grinder that isn't handheld so I have to try to shove whatever object I can under the furiously spinning grinder wheel. According to the manual these dremel tools can do it all, if you get the right attachments you can engrave on stone, glass, tile or whatever else your brain and come up with. I doubt I will be needing too many attachments, mostly I just need to grind things or cut pieces of metal that are small and in the way.

For those of you wondering about the cow bowls, I went there today and was a little disappointed but also a little relieved that the bowls weren't 'pretty' like the three I have. These were smaller, not as bulbous, and the patina was pure rust. There were still rusted nuts, bolts and attachments connected to the bowls and I knew I would never get that stuff off without losing my mind. I guess I am relieved a little, I am feeling a little cramped for room lately and depending on the day not sure if I'm going to ever make another piece of art again! I did get a few more of those hay drying things that I made our shelves out of. More to come when they take the rest of that mechanism apart next week.

The one thing I think that stops me from really forging ahead is space. I look with envy at artists in documentaries who might be poor as dirt but at least they live on their own land with buildings and enough space between them and neighbors to use tools and make noise and fill up their yard or shop with stuff. We all have excuses, I'm sure this is an excuse at times, but mostly I marvel I ever make anything given the circumstances. To do one simple thing I have to lug everything up into the garage, move the car and am always needing to go up and down the basement for something else I need or forgot. I don't have a real work table out there or a place for anything, I am in competition for space with the gardener, she is forever pushing her stuff into my little space and we are always at odds with each other. In the winter its almost impossible, the dread of going out there and freezing and having poor lighting usually stops me from even starting. It's just not my space and I can't leave stuff out. Have to be quiet when people are here. Can't work on anything in the garage and keep it out there so whatever it is has to come back down the basement. This may not sound like the end of the world to anyone, and it isn't, but when you are trying to do something and don't know what you are doing lets just say efficiency isn't even in the ballpark and it doesn't take much to loose concentration or mojo. In a perfect world...I would have helpers. People who had good tools and knew how to measure and cut and I would say do this and do that. I would get to learn and help but mostly I would get to dream up ideas and have others put it together.

But I'm here and this is what I got. I know there are plenty of artists who have kids in the way, spouses to deal with, all kinds of distractions and restrictions. I guess the question is how badly do we want it? How important is it to make whatever it is we want to make. How important is anything? Only as important as we make it. It's still winter, probably not the best time to consider all of this, gotta keep that one day at a time thing going and trust the passion will return when the mud and bugs come in the Spring.


Rob Hitzig said...

Congrats on the dremel. I've been thinking about getting one of those but not sure how well it would work for me. I might like to come over and play with it at some point, if that is okay. Have fun.

self taught artist said...

sure you can test it out, i could bring it by next time i come over to pick up work (aren't you about due to have another artist highlighted in the main space?)

sarala said...

In my total ignorance of tools, I had never even heard of a dremel. I've spent my day spinning my wheels trying to get my son to open a bank account and when we got to the bank we couldn't do anything without his social which we didn't have. Last time we went to the bank I needed his passport which I also didn't have. He has two paychecks which expire as we speak.
Sometimes I too feel like my life is composed of circles, mine spent in the car.
I sure wish you had your own private space. My coach house has an unused attic (too structurally unsound for me to use professionally). Want it?

self taught artist said...

what the heck is a coach house? lets see, if it is structurally unsound for you to sit and do your work, ya think I could put a pile of heavy metal in there and work :)
thanks for the thought, if it were a real space i'd pack up and move IN A HEARTBEAT

Karen said...

I am just snickering here at the thought of such a wonderful valentines gift!! Who the heck wants flowers that will wil and fall over when there are tools and such to be had!! SO very very special. Good Going TODD!!

Steve Kane said...

I keep wondering how badly I want to write and make music. If the last three or four years are anything to go by then not much. A vague constant hankering, sure, but no driving need. I wonder, therefore, if I can really justify referring to myself as a writer or composer.

I dabble occasionally. Is that enough?

Margaret Ryall said...

I just love the Valentine's gift. Suffice to say, I have gotten many gifts of a more practical nature. It is interesting that these are often the most thoughtful ones. We have a dremel and I have found many things to do with it but most are not art related. I should give it consideration now that my surfaces are mostly wood.

Having a good place to work is imperative in the creation of work. When there are all these other factors that interfere with your production, it drains your creative energy. I could not imagine ever working in the cold. The fact that you have worked in these conditions totally amazes me. I moan about the negative impact of going to my nice warm but poorly litbasement studio because I prefer the north light of my studio space in my summer house. I will not complain again! You have created amazing work under adverse conditions. The next good thing can be just around the corner. Hang in there, you are meant to be an artist.

self taught artist said...

i got the gift last week, not a vd gift. what we got for valentines was tod got sick and i had to take over driving the cab by myself that night.
margaret, thanks for the hope and words.
karen, i certainly have never wanted chocolate and flowers :)

BlueJude said...

Cheers to One day At A Time...the promise of Spring and renewal...and YAY DREMELS!! (:
Happy belated Vday ST...hope it's a LOVEly month!

Tamar said...

Hi Paula, my name is Tamar. I stumbled upon your blog when searching for self-taught American artists. I looked through your site and love your work, and wonder if you can offer me some advice. Are there any self-taught artist scenes in any particular areas of the US that you know of? Perhaps in Vermont, or in parts of the Deep South? Please let me know by e-mailing me at tamarshmallows@gmail.com. Also if there are any particular galleries or museums that feature self-taught artists?

Thank you SO MUCH!