Here is the thing: Have you ever noticed that cars with overly aggressive political bumper stickers are always occupied with the worst drivers?
It’s true. And it’s not restricted any particular party or cause. This thing runs across the board. Why is that?
Look, I’m not saying it’s the bumper sticker that *makes* you a bad driver, I’m saying the coincidence is more than coincidental. So wtf is up with that? I read somewhere that insurance companies charge more for people who drive yellow cars because yellow car people get in accidents the most often. That can’t be true. Can it? If the correlation of two things repeatedly prove themselves to be connected, in spite of all logic, does that mean they must be intertwined? And if that is the case, which one must cause the other?
I dunno. Weird shit has a way of coming true whether it’s logical or not. This is how I feel about a lot of stuff the last few months. I keep noticing the direct correlation between certain behaviors and certain outcomes. Certain people and certain outcomes. Certain places and certain outcomes. You know something? This is the dead truth: If I am driving east and Fleetwood Mac comes on the radio, that means it will rain in less than 20 minutes. That is a certifiable fact. It makes no sense at all, and typing it in public might nominate me for the tin foil hat club, but I dare you to prove me wrong! Fleetwood Mac on east = rain.
And here is a longer discussion. And by longer I mean rambling, but whatever, bear with me. I gotta talk this out. So. It’s hard to pinpoint where the line between art and craft exists, but I have been crossing it more often than not that last couple of months. This is dangerous territory for someone who makes part of their income as a craft blogger, but familiar territory for someone who spend five years and six figures in art school then never used it. (Backup recap…Nearly twenty years ago I decided I wanted to be a painter, went to school, loved it, graduated with a mountain of debt and set the dream aside, settling for jobs that allowed for some sort of creative output. All-in-all, not a bad way to make a living. Honestly, not bad at all)….fast forward to today, since going out on my own a little over a year ago, I keep finding myself spending my downtime painting. Late nights. Early mornings. It calls my name. And more often than not, I answer. This paint thing won’t quit me. And therein lies a correlation that seems to me more than coincidental.
My Aunt Pat is a geologist and worked for the state of Mississippi for many years, and over time chit chatting about urban planning and municipal regulations with her, I have come to understand the term ‘highest and best use.’ Meaning, say, a parcel of land becomes open and a city/state/somethingorother must ask “What is the highest and best use for this piece of property?” Everyone loves the idea of a park or a library, but maybe what the town needs is a parking lot because the ripple effects of a parking lot would benefit the retailers and restaurants which in turn would benefit the local economy which in turn would benefit all of the people who live in the town. All because of a parking lot. Or a gas station. Or something unglamorous like a 24 hour pizza-by-slice storefront. I mean, nobody likes the idea of a methadone clinic in the neighborhood but sometimes that is what a town needs. The highest and best use of that land dictates itself, the question is if anyone will listen.
This is where I find myself right now. Trying to find the highest and best use of my time. Despite my hopes that it would be some noble cause like saving cats or curing cancer, I keep coming back to painting. It is a devastatingly unpractical and expensive way to spend your time, but it’s all I want. When I am mixing paint and getting ready apply it to the canvas, I can literally feel my cells shift. That doesn’t mean what I am making is any good. But I think it means I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Do you ever have that feeling? Like you know, you just KNOW that this is where you are supposed to be? This moment, this person, this place?
But what if the place you are supposed to be isn’t actually where you want to be? That’s a real bummer. What then?
Malcolm Gladwell developed this pop psychology rule that in order to be a master of any given field, one must practice it 10,000 hours. Ten thousand. Accounting for an eight hour work day, that’s 1,250 days straight. Can you even imagine that?
Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing with this painting, and I don’t know where it’s going, but I do know that I am a nicer person when I paint. I’m a better friend. A better listener. I dare say I might even be a little smarter if I paint for an hour a day but that might just be me listening to a lot of audiobooks read by British people and their accents have that effect on people. I don’t know. But there is a correlation here and the idea of spending 10,000 hours to figure it out sounds like great time. There is something here, and it might take me 10,000 hours before I figure it out, but there is something here. You know what else is here?
A whole lot of art.
My pop-up shop last fall was great. Unfortunately, nearly everything sold in the first day. So, for six months now, I have been keeping a file of stuff to sell. Art stuff. Lots of it. Most of it is not sellable but some of it, particularly the floral bits, are ready to come out and play.
You know, I rented this studio for a lot of reasons, but always thinking I would keep it neat enough to meet with graphic design clients. And now it looks like two-dimensional flower shop bomb exploded, but messier.
However, in my defense, I always keep fresh flowers around. Interesting fact; if you sell paintings of flowers you claim the purchase of fresh flowers as a tax deduction. Live models, if you will.
Not a bad place to work. Also, my studio assistant is super cute.
This shot below is from two weeks ago. I set myself a deadline to stop painting at the end of this month (temporarily) because there is literally nowhere to put stuff.
Note the Princess Diana photo used for floral inspiration. The finished piece came out interesting!
Which brings me to a little precursor announcement: EVERYTHING IS GOING ON SALE NEXT WEEK.
Shop will officially open May 4th so look for a link here then. If you are on my mailing list by May 2nd or follow my personal instagram account (it’s new – I’m using it for art purposes only), you’ll get the link the day before.
What can you expect? Lots of flowers. Flowers. And flowers. Original art, much of it priced under $100. A few prints. And some pillows.
There is a part of me that does not want to sell off the things I have made, but there is another part, a much greater part, that is SO EXCITED to get this stuff out into the world! Hope you will join in the fun. See you next week!