Thoughts on Balance
I had an interesting day on Monday. My partner at The Wilds was out of town, and administratively, I was relatively caught up on business. That left me free to spend most of my day on actual creating! As I worked throughout the day, I realized how RARE it is that I get to do this. Usually, I probably spend maybe 5-7 hours a week actually creating. It doesn’t sound like much, but an artist has to wear many hats. We also spend lots of time emailing and updating – adulting, if you will. The Business Side of the art business isn’t what we always want to do, now is it? Add in business stuff for The Wilds, and other things like doctor’s appointments and other errands, and oh wow, how quickly the week goes by with very little creating. Sadly.
So what did I do yesterday? I touched up a sculpture’s finish. It was already hanging on the wall and I was living with it for a few days to see how I felt about the color. Then I finished up the color on yet another sculpture with an owl. Apparently, when I was adding underglaze to the owl, I was doing it in a darkened room, because I just sort of missed a section! How did that happen?? Weird, but good thing I do post-fired finishes on my sculptures, and it didn’t matter one bit 🙂
After that, I added some layers to two paintings. It’s the best part – I just turn off my head and enjoy the process and the colors. Over the past few years, I have really, really come to enjoy abstract paintings that others do. I love the gesture and the colors and the yummy textures…. Anyway, that was awesome. While my canvases were drying, I rolled out some large sketch paper, and drew a figure. I needed to start a sculpture, and I love to start by drawing full size. I used to have a giant chalkboard wall in my old studio, but now I just use a roll of sketch paper. I liked the way the figure looked, so I made some measurements, pulled out my tools and my rolling hydraulic table (a must!!), and started sculpting my figure. That’s how my day finished up. Then I went home to my family.
What a day! It’s never, ever, like that. When I left for the day, I felt calm and relaxed. And I know it was because I had so much time to create and I felt hugely productive – the complete opposite of running errands and spending my day doing a million little administrative things. Even though those things ARE productive, it’s just not the kinds of things that soothe my soul. Those things don’t calm me at all; in fact, they make me feel scattered and hyper and like I can’t focus for more than two minutes. Here, let me give you an example. This video is SO me – I have these moments regularly, where I maybe go just a little crazy. (This is actually an ad for perfume, but the whole thing is just awesome.)
I mean, I did do some other business. I had a meeting with a new member at The Wilds. I had another meeting with a LOVELY gallery manager from the Columbia Center for the Arts, in Hood river. I responded to some emails that needed some attention.
I’m not quite sure how it happened, but today, I found balance. I wish for more of that, for me, and for all the people I know who juggle so much in their lives. Not every day can be like that, of course, but I hope that we can all find these types of days more frequently!