its a puzzle

....where to live that is. I have no reason to blog about this stuff other than bouncing it off of something other than the inside of my head (and tod's). who knows...maybe an idea will come to fruition from some happenstance comment.

we have outgrown this care taking situation. we could keep living here but the suffocation process has begun and the oxygen depletion is showing. we are stagnating. which brings me to the questions that plague me constantly.

first, where to live. there is the thought that one should live near a city that is an art mecca of sorts. in the city is fine too but then costs and space are an issue. were i a small scale worker it wouldn't be a problem. i need at least 1000 sq feet for my supplies/tools work space. even then, i need a separate area to cut metal and wood. renting a studio and a living space seem expensive and not fruitful to how i work as an artist.

if we move midwest, south or west would i be able to find the plethora of barn/farm free scrappy stuff that i use? i know the midwest has that but i hate living there, i grew up there and i'm over it. i need mountains in my life. i need people that are educated, not obsessed with religion, not obsessed with how beautiful their kids are and how expensive their this and that is. real people. people who accept each other and dont stare you down with looks of hate, anger or superiority. that doesn't exist here which is a huge plus, but it isn't enough. another plus is vermont has a population of about 600,000, its a small state both geographically and population wise. there is lots of land and tons of supplies, more than i could ever gather. but the snow thing and the job thing (for tod mostly) and the art thing aren't really ideal. i guess if i were wealthy and could have my own studio space and place to live and not care i wouldn't care, but that isn't the reality.

there could be a possible opportunity next year to live in seattle but the house situation isn't ideal. i would be stuck in another basement and honestly, i feel like i can't stand living underground anymore. and it wouldn't be my place, yet again i would have no freedom, even less than i have here actually. in a way [here] they dont care how we decorate our space but this possible place in seattle i wouldn't even be able to put a nail up to hang art where i want. i think as an artist, the more space i get to play with and use the better. i'm more interested in how i can make space artistically functional than just making a piece of art to go on a wall. sometimes beggars can't be choosers though and if nothing else comes to the forefront who knows. seattle is a great place...although again, a basement work life and months of dreary aren't really ideal for my mental health.

yeah we could probably find a foreclosed house in a bad neighborhood and spend all of our time fixing it up, but when you have no skills or money that might take up all your energy and art wouldn't be in the priority line.

is there a place an artist can go live for a year and make art? is there a place that is large and i can be left the hell alone and bring all my stuff? tod can go off and find whatever it is he is supposed to be doing and then we can come back together and get our lives going? i dont know. we are trying to think of every possible solution. i know in europe they have this thing where you find an older person who has no children and needs cared for and you sign papers and be their caretaker and when they die you get their house. could i do that here somehow? do i have the time and patience to ignore my life to do that? at what cost am i willing to sacrifice my art for my life. or sacrifice my life for my art. i'm still waiting for that YES! feeling, not the take whatever you feel you can get even if it isn't what you want feeling.

we all have to make sacrifices i know that. i'm just waiting for that yes i want to do this feeling...the feeling i had when i left arizona with nothing but a carload of maps and camping gear. that feeling of yes i will live in vermont now and make art. i was scared shitless but excited. i didn't mind all the perceived negatives as compared to the positives. so far the negatives outweigh the positives. its just time. not only for me but for tod. he is over breathing in radiator fluid and nasty fumes being trapped in a cab all day. he is over living away from people and not having access to things happening, to chances to network and get started on something. he needs to be plugged in. and we need to get our lives going. i've been all over the united states and i can't for the life of me imagine where i can fit in and make it. i'm at a complete loss. i guess until i know i dont know. hopefully an ideal or an inkling turns us on before we blow.


Vilte said...

don't have the missing parts for your puzzle.. but your way of writing so straight from the heart touches the deepest corners of one's soul..
Sometimes when you get completely puzzled in your life, something unexpected happens and shows you the way. I just wish that the insight for your "where to live" and the possibilities for you would come faster..

self taught artist said...

thanks vilte...i'm sure nobody really cares, everyone has to much to deal with these days, i appreciate knowing you do and hope i find those missing puzzle pieces soon!

p said...

Have you investigated Paducah, KY? There's a growing and thriving artists colony there. Good luck with your next adventure, wherever it takes you.

LucyLuxx said...

I'm Canadian so I don't have any first hand experience but I very much enjoy reading your blog and wondered...what about New Mexico? I don't think it would have an ounce of dreary in it - a thriving arts community in Santa Fe and maybe other places?
Personally I'd love to live in Portland with all the cool artists I read about online.
Or...you could move to the west coast of Canada to Victoria Island where all the folksy, artsy leftover hippies live. All cool places.
Your art is beautiful btw - you maybe just can't see it because you are too close to it.

p said...

I forgot to add:
Here's the website for the Artist Relocation Program in Paducah:

self taught artist said...

hey p, yep, last year another blogger suggested i check out Paducah. i think what brings me and tod to want michigan if that is the route we are going (artist commune type area) we like prefer michigan as it is more solar and new and things are totally open for change...close to chicago and detroit does have some good galleries..toronto etc. i appreciate the link/thought.

lucy yeah...already poured over santa fe and oregon/seattle.....santa fe would be terribly hard. we dont have job skills and its pretty fiesty there. very expensive. and you are out there in the middle of bum fooey egypt. thanks so much for letting me know you have been by. another etsy person brightens the blogosphere!

Karen said...

Having lived in Santa Fe I can vouch for its beauty and arts. But it IS an expensive place to live. Taos is nice but too far from everywhere. Now Michigan! What a great idea! Close to big cities and all kinds of thriving arts communities. A really cool lake too. And junk ( cool casts off ripe for pickings ) hey its automobile land, there should be a whole lot of stuff out there to find!!!

Kim Hambric said...

Have you looked into Baltimore. Seems to have a variety of people--upscale, downscale, artists, musicians. Near people with money, yet a city with issues, so it may be possible to find live/work spaces inexpensively. I used to live near D.C. and on weekends the hubby and I used to hang out in Baltimore.

self taught artist said...

no kim, haven't looked there. is should! is there nature there? another thing to google..i'll be having that little yellow google man worn out and no one else will be able to use him.

Kim Hambric said...

I guess you would have to drive to nature if you lived in the city of Baltimore. There is a lot of nature in Eastern Maryland. And use that little yellow man hard. That's what he's there for. I was just exploring Fells' Point in Baltimore with him. He did seem a bit stiff.

Tod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tod said...

mmmm . . . Paducha. Well, the one thing that nobody seems to mention about Paducha is USEC Inc. What's worse than living near rampant crime, strip mining or nuclear powerplants?
How about the only operating Uranium enrichment plant in the U.S. It cranks out enough radioactive material to supply 25% of the world market. But, hey, they're very green! They're only 4 years from completely fulfilling an 18 year contract to recycle 20,000 Russian warheads. Oh, look there's a nice river in the city. Huh, their manufacturing process requires a bunch of water. Looks like a shortlisted spot for places to blow up too.


deb said...

IDK but I have to say I like it here in WNY its rural but not too rural and property in unbelievably cheap, of course u'd still have to deal with the snow... I know that Oil City PA id trying to revive itself as an art town, make the little google man check that out for you too!!