Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Oldie Revisited. Again.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember this old guy:I haven't touched this piece since last January. And some of the components are even older than that. I remember painting those roses, cutting them out and dipping them in wax when I was living and painting in an apartment with a (now) ex boyfriend. That had to have been in 2004, just after I'd snagged my MFA. I remember what a fumbling time that was; out of school for the first time in my life, with no clue how to go about making work on my own. These roses were the last thing I made before I stopped painting for a whole year. I had a job working as a nanny, which turned out to be a bad match for me, and thereby became a bit of a life-sucking fiasco. My stepbrother once asked me what I did all day while the kids were in school, and when I described the various tasks and errands for which I was responsible (and which, incidentally were not part of the original job description), he exclaimed,"Oh my God! You're a butler. You buttle."
That was the start of an awakening on my part. Don't get me wrong, I was well-paid, and I even had health insurance. But I really HATE housework, and my brain (like most brains) tends to shrivel painfully without some kind of intellectual stimulation. After one year at that job, I was itching to start making art again. Something had to change. I moved home with my mom and stepdad, simultaneously chucking the boyfriend (that was a separate issue), and freeing up some income in order to rent some studio space. I sublet a tiny corner of a dark, dingy basement studio. I later found out that I was actually paying 90% of the rent for the whole space, but that didn't matter to me. Having that corner to myself helped me start painting again, and that seemed more than worth it. But I did start thinking that I could probably afford to get a better studio for the same price. That's when I found and moved into my current light-filled slice of heaven. I was working all day as a nanny/butler, and painting nights and weekends. I met Charley during this series of events, and with his and my family's encouragement and support, I finally took the plunge and quit buttling. I'd saved up enough money to paint full time for one year. I started teaching community ed classes too, and then private lessons, and now college. Every year since I quit buttling, I've been able to scrape enough income together so that I don't have to go back. Of course, things would have been different if I'd had a family to support, and if my family hadn't been able and (very) willing to help me. But I was really lucky. I am also willing to live pretty simply and ignore the holes in my jeans.
Those roses make me giddy. I've carried them with me through all that transition, and they remind me to stop for a minute and just be grateful.
Finally, I've figured out what this little piece is about, and how I will finish it. It only took five years.

1 comment:

Larien said...

You have had quite a journey to today. It amazes me what we choose do, where we choose to go and what we come back to. Now, where to next! :)