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.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
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."
Posted by Kaetlyn Wilcox at 7:48 AM