Saturday, April 10, 2010
Living the Artist Life: All in a day's work
My drawings from today's drawing session
Living the artist life is interesting, to say the least. This past week was full of creative, and sometimes unusual, activities that non-artists probably couldn't imagine doing. I sometimes wonder, when life is moving full speed ahead and I can't catch my breath, what it would be like to be "normal". Is there such a thing? I have this fantasy that I will wake, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, and go to bed. No major projects to complete. No big list of things I need to get done that week. No 3:00 a.m. wakings where my mind won't stop buzzing with the next thing I need to design.
If I were to experience that kind of life on a regular basis, though it might decrease the blood pressure immensely, would probably catapult me into complete and utter boredom.
This past week is a great example of living the artist life. I felt completely immersed in the creative process everyday.
After I blogged last Sunday morning, I spent the day working on a tapestry, then Monday began the "official work week" where days were spent at school teaching. The high school Art 1 class learned the monotype process and we had loads of fun! Albeit, there is a huge sticky mess that I am still trying to clean five days later! My other favorite project at school this past week was the aerial paintings in the style of Maine artist Eric Hopkins. We're painting very cool images of local Lubec maps.
After school, I continued my personal work as an artist. Monday evening I rolled clay slabs then worked on my end-of-the-month (a few days late!) project update for the MFA program I am in. Tuesday evening, I began painting a new sign for my pottery business, and edited some work I had been doing for the Lubec Arts Alive portrait exhibit that opens next Wednesday.
I know, you are thinking, "this doesn't sound very exciting for an artist's life."
Well....how about this? Wednesday, I plaster-casted a pregnant woman's belly. I mean, who gets to do something like this and not sound like a completely off-the-wall weirdo? Artists can get away with this sort of bizarre behavior all in the name of art. So, arrives Anne, I have covered the floor with two plastic drop cloths, cut strips of plaster, and loaded a bucket with warm water. Anne coats herself in petroleum jelly. I say how cool it is that she will let me cast her in her eighth month of pregnancy, then she explains to me that she is actually in her ninth month and says "I feel ready, like it could happen any day now." Of course, I'm not feeling too comfortable with that statement being that I am about to wrap her in a substance that dries solid and would completely render her immobile for a period of time, not to mention, I have zero experience in delivering babies!
We made it through the session. Two casts were made, one for each of us. And, those darn drop cloths didn't make much of a bit of difference. There was plaster all through the dining room, on the hardwood floors, into the living room, around to the kitchen, and into the bathroom. Somehow, there was even plaster in the toilet.
Thursday, I joined other committee members, my husband, and filmmaker Jon Wing Lum to view, for the first time, the video documentary about Lubec Arts Alive that Wing had been working on since last summer. We gathered at Jean's house, filled our bowls with popcorn, and settled-in to watch the DVD. This event definitely deems its own blog entry, so I will save the details for another time after the public screening occurs. I'll leave it at this for now. I am so incredibly touched by the film that Wing has created. He is a master of his medium and works from a place of love. I am deeply grateful for his presence, talent, and his willingness to share.
Friday evening....here comes the mundane but necessary. I spent several hours cleaning the house that had fallen into complete disarray over the past few hectic days of "living the artist life". I discovered that plaster doesn't mop up. Not at all, especially after it has hardened on the linoleum and hardwood for two days. Hands and knees, sponge and brillo pad. It wasn't glamorous by any stretch. But, I got the job done. Along with other cleaning and plant pruning duties to prepare for today, which was the third and final drawing group with Anne as our pregnant model. It's sad to see the sessions end, but I suspect she's willing to give up her gestational model sessions to birth that little bundle of joy.
The next week is looking to be just as full as this past one, thus the blogging a day earlier than usual. I plan to rise and shine at the crack of dawn on Sunday to fire the kiln, work on the tapestry, and prep for the days ahead that involve a small business workshop, field trip to UMM's Thou Art Fair, and the opening reception for "Faces and Stories of Lubec: The Portraits of Lubec Arts Alive 2009".
I kinda like how I live. I guess I'm not ready to give it all up just yet for a life of 9 to 5 and TV dinners.