surviving as an artist
The fear and anxiety of this pandemic is activating that basic irrational human instinct of Fight or Flight. Instinctually we want to live and we want to feel safe and comfortable while we do it. For many people, when they feel intimidated they go into fight mode. See Karen refusing to wear a mask and having a tantrum in the grocery store.
For me it’s always Flight! Run! Get away and go hide someplace where I feel safe! Go to my happy place – go to Poppyland…
For the past couple of days I’ve been hiding in my studio, back to painting my friends, the sock monkeys. Now they are enjoying a huge buttery bowl of popcorn and watching a moving on their vintage Movector Super 16 projector.
#pandemic #fightorflight #inthestudio #workinprocess #wip #oiloncanvas #sockmonkeys #vintage #stilllife #popcorn
The adventures of an artist–the continuing and ever surprising saga of trying to exist in a world that doesn’t quite understand us…
One summer day Jeff and I had taken a job building a fence at the home of a woman I knew. (Jeff could build and fix just about anything, so we were perpetually looking for odd jobs to supplement our income.) After we met with my friend, discussed what she needed and agreed on a price, we showed up as planned to begin work. The homeowner was going to be at work that day and had directed us to just set up in the backyard and go ahead and get started. Shortly after, an alarmed-looking woman came trudging down the driveway, talking on her phone. She was the next door neighbor calling the homeowner to report that there was something suspicious going on in her backyard. We were friendly and introduced ourselves and chatted a bit, of course. After she interrogated us and looked around at our tools, etc. she seemed assured that we were not burglars and she went off on her way.
Later my friend called me to tell me her side of the amusing story. Here is the conversation she had with Mrs. Conservative Nosey Neighbor who called her at work to report the “disturbance” in her backyard:
Nosey Neighbor: Are you aware that there are people in your yard?! There’s a guy covered with tattoos and a woman in a black halter top! (I can assure you I was NOT wearing a “halter top” it being 2011 and all. It was a tank top; it was summer! And we didn’t rumble in on a Harley but even if we did…)
Homeowner: Oh! It’s OK…They’re Artists! We hired them to build a fence for us.
Nosey Neighbor: You hired artists to build a fence?! Are you sure they’ll get it straight?
Homeowner: (trying not to laugh audibly) Yes, I think they’ll do just fine.
Here are the scary-looking culprits:
This was Jeff, a skilled blacksmith, wood-worker, sculptor, and jeweler who graduated with a BFA summa cum laude and me a realist painter. And yes, we did get the fence straight.