I haven’t forgotten about some of the things I’ve brought up – and then sort of promised I’d expound on later on. In fact, my brain doesn’t let me forget when I have hanging chads or loose ends just sitting around, even if they sit there for days, weeks, months. Maybe even a year or two. I mean, it depends on what it is. But even emails I want to return, that deserve my full attention, can sometimes sit in my inbox for nearly a year before I can file them somewhere else. I mentioned in Sorting it Out how I would post that doodle drawing I did on the inside of the Today’s Quandary. copy I sent out to Hosho McCreesh, so here’s that:
I also mentioned in the post, I Saw the Sign, that I was looking forward to 2018 and not so much this year of 2017, and about how I won’t be adding any major “art career” tasks on my To-do list. I’m planning on producing new work at a slow pace and if I happen to have enough work for a solo in 2018, great, but I’m not in any hurry to set a date right now. I don’t want to stress out just to work toward a show or toward a date. There’s a big difference.
I still have plans to make art. I said I would like to focus on my sketchbooks and transform them into a few larger pieces – at least do the two that have been in my head. We’ll see how it goes though.
But that wasn’t exactly what I said I was going to write more about. I In that other blog post, I was saying,
“…I found that the career stuff doesn’t mean anything and it’s all just empty. …I am no longer looking to make my CV “better.” (Yes, I really said that.) The new plan for the road to 2018 is all about “LETTING GO” of lofty ambitions and applying for grants. I will not write up another proposal for some intricate art project. I am done with all of that. I no longer have the energy.”
Well, I really did mean this, but I’m also well aware that I probably shouldn’t make any big life decisions while being in a depressive state. However, I am learning a lot from it. I’ve been here before. Sometimes it’s come shortly after I was able to conquer something I really really wanted. It’s happened in the past, like the moment I knew I no longer wanted to pursue being a “rock star,” or after I won a major award for my artwork. It really is empty, and it does not mean anything. But what do I mean by that. I know it sounds pretty black, and in some ways it is, but hear me out.
My whole life, I’ve been super ambitious. I’m a hard worker and I’ve been going after the things I really want, almost fearlessly. Sometimes desperately. I didn’t so much realize I was trying to fill an empty space inside me. But I was. I didn’t realize this until right after my mom died. I won the Pollock Krasner Award just a few weeks after her death and pretty close after I got into a major car accident too. Of course, I was very grateful and excited that I won the grant. But my mom’s death left such a giant gash in my soul, there was really nothing great enough to fill it up or take away the pain I was feeling. I was very torn. I celebrated in an awkward way, and only for a short moment it seemed. I also had my own death flash before me in that accident and all I could think about was losing Michael. I began to realize that achieving my goals was not like I thought it would be, because in the bigger picture, what good is it? Without your loved ones, what good is it really? The grant meant nothing. It was my relationship with mjp that meant everything – and that was true whether I won the award or not.
In the end, my mom had dementia, and before that, she really wasn’t ever present for me. That could have been what started the hole I had in me in the first place, I don’t know. No matter what kind of relationship you have with your mother, you will feel like a black hole imploded under your rib cage when you lose her. Trust me. It is still weird and awful.
Then, on the matter of “letting go,” well that’s a whole different skill – a skill I have been trying to be good at, even a little, my entire life! I could have entitled my book, “Can’t Get Over it!” That would have been a more appropriate title maybe. But as far as letting go of ambitions, that’s something I could get good at with hardly any effort because I really am tired of reaching for the stars. Or, perhaps I’d rather just allow things to happen more organically. This is when I can apply Bukowski‘s “Don’t try” policy. I don’t always agree with him on that one, and while I am a mega fan, I don’t believe he usually implemented that protocol himself. Contrary to what people believe about him being a drunk bum or whatever, he worked his fingers to the bone on that typer. Don’t let him fool you.
But back to my “CV” and all that, yeah. Whatever with that. I’ve worked a lifetime for every single line, and I’m not saying it’s finished or complete, but it’s not like those accomplishments go away if I stop moving like a shark. They stay. I did them. They are under my belt, just like the works of art, just like my good deeds and my mistakes along with them. Let it go now. Take a breather. Take a powder!
So what else?
I wanted to share this article about memory to go with what I wrote about earlier this week on the Shrapnel blog about how people remember things very differently. I found this article to be extremely interesting.
Then lastly, as far as finding good homes for old paintings, I still have to put some thought into this, so bear with me for not expounding on that idea just yet. I will soon though. I have thought about making some kind of contest where I give away a few things at once. And I have thought of some other ideas too – like doing something specifically on ello (only because I like it as a creative social media), or maybe just posting some paintings/art pieces on the blog here and see what kinds of responses I get, if any! I’m still not sure. I’m not sure what to do with some of these pieces. Like what the hell am I going to do with this?
The Fool, 2001. Oil and antique collage on canvas, 36 x 24 inches.
I can get better pictures of this if needed.
Anyway, until next time…