Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Can I Get A Witness?

Okay, I'll just go ahead and confess to having an angst-ridden morning - likely heavily influence by a 6 am wake-up, but here goes. I'm a stay-at-home-mom and part-time homeschooler (my kids go to school 3 days a week, we hs the other two), a wife, an artist, a musician, friend, blogger, etc. So, like most people I know, I wear many hats in my day. One of my least favorite hats is housekeeper. It's not that my house is DIRTY, it's just, well, lived in. The clothes get washed and folded, but they may sit on the recliner in my bedroom for a week until it is time to wash them again; the papers pile up on the end of my counter, or on the kitchen table until we can't eat there, and then I try to figure out what to do with them, etc.

Anyhow - I started thinking this morning about why it is that I feel so guilty about painting or drawing when I could be putting away clothes or filing paperwork, and I've come to two conclusions:

1. I don't value my artwork very highly. Somewhere, back in my past, someone either said or implied (either to me, or regarding someone else - I don't know...I'm just speculating here) that it was a waste of time or that it always had to be secondary to my real "job". Well, what if art is my "real" job? I haven't ever really considered it that, mainly because I haven't sold anything or shown in any real shows. But maybe that's because I don't consider it my real "job" either. What if I were to really get out there and take some risks and try to sell? I've tried a couple of shows, been rejected, and stopped. What if I were to spend 8 hours a day in my studio working out concepts and ideas and try some new things? What if I really spent some time investigating the market that my art might be saleable in? What if my kids brought me lunch while I was working, rather than...okay...that may be pushing it.

2. As a society we've placed a higher value on the idea of home as a perfect, spotless ideal than as a place to play and enjoy life and teach our children about art and nature and messy stuff. Just take a look at some of the shows on daytime television (which I don't watch now, but have in the past). There's one in particular that I won't mention by name, but the woman goes through her day sharing tips on the use of capers and garlic presses and the delight of folding a fitted sheet just the right way so that it fits in the linen cupboard just like a flat sheet. Whew -now that's living. oops. I mean - that's a great way to live. How many people out there are watching that and thinking, "gosh, my fitted sheets are all fluffy and rounded and I have to kind of jam them in between the hand towels and the crock pot because I don't even have a linen closet. I'm such a loser." STOP THE MADNESS!! A home that doesn't border on antiseptic cleanliness, but is full of laughter and glee, of silliness and puppet shows, of music and art is probably more healthy anyway. We need some germs to keep our antibodies up.

So, the moral of this story is...Diahn...either start placing more value on artwork than housework, or put away the paint and call yourself Mar...uh...oh, right - like that's going to happen...
(in my large Moleskine sketchbook)
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