Wednesday 9 September 2009

The Life Of An Artist Is Like Filo Pastry, Fragile Layer Upon Fragile Layer

Tell me, do any of you reading this have a life that is made up of many many deeply complex layers, one on top the other? The layer at the top is the one you need to deal with urgently right now, and when that is done, the next layer is demanding instant attention. So in order to have a day where you concentrate on just one thing, you have to say Down! to all the other layers and turn a blind eye, even if they all merge into one huge monster of Unresolved Issues and threaten to end life on this planet as we know it.

I have this as a matter of course. I am an artist. Pah! I am only an artist in one layer. I am a mum. A sister. A daughter. A friend. A partner. A cook. An oracle. A bringer of domestic harmony. A Fairy. A Person Confused By Numbers. I am so many things and they all revolve around other people ( the cook, domestic harmony, mum thing). The only thing that is beginning not to revolve around other people is my painting.

It is becoming clear to me that I am turning into an artist who just wants to do her thing. It is apparant that I am not being charming and networking like mad, that I am not longing to paint the kind of paintings I have painted. I want to follow my inner butterfly and have all domestic and financial concerns taken care of by Whatever so that I can paint Olivia's husband Mark with his violin, so that I can paint Cecil in London because she is beautiful, so that I can paint my Dad as Buddha (enlightened, not fat). So that I can paint myself and take time on it. And I can paint funny religious scenes re interpreted by me (hooray). I would like to paint old people I would like to paint people in hospices. I would also like to make garden gnomes and garden people to hide under bushes and put on your lawn. And up trees.

But first, before any of that kind of indulgence (hem hem clearing of throat and adusting of prince-nez) I have to make contact with 16 Year Old Son who has declared war on us, and has locked himself in his room since Sunday. How to resolve whatever it is that is going on there. How to keep my spirits up when I have had a bit of ill health (Yes! How I kept that from you all, and how now you must be weeping tears of admiration for how this plucky woman kept on going despite having Trouble With Me Innards). How to resolve the feeling that life is passing me by and that I have so much to do. The answer to life passing me by is to let the morphing into the Let Me Produce My Stuff happen. The only way to remove the domestic and financial responsibilties on my own is to sell up here and buy a small wigwam with plumbing and electricity and spare room for 12 Year Old Son. And 16 Year Old Son. And 19 Year Old Daughter. And Alan. Sigh. You see how difficult it gets.

However, back to today. I have much to be thankful for. A sister in law who could not be more wonderul, friends who really really care, children (even if they do hate me. Sometimes. At least, even if I have ruined their lives when I have any opinions or ask them a direct question like Where Are You Going My Sweet as they try to get to the door without me seeing them). I have Alan and 3 brothers who are really something. I have a kettle that works, and many teapots to choose from. I have a BIKE a bike a bike. Thank you Alan for my bike.

I also have two exhibitions that I have chosen to put on. That is wonderful in itself, these exhibitions are really, as Lucy says in Wimbledon, about the new me. That puts on an exhibition of her own thoughts and feelings, and what can be more individual than an exhibition on death and dying? Well, and exhibition on Every Day Angels running concurrently by the same artist on the other side of town perhaps.

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