I marvel at artists who have taken advantage of fellowships and residencies despite marriage, children and job obligations. Through the years I, too, was offered these opportunities, but couldn’t figure out the logistics of juggling all my other commitments to make it work. My solution was to stop applying for these opportunities. Unfortunately, I played it safe, which in the end didn’t advance my art.
So what did I miss that all those other artists already knew? The answer, believe it or not, was a simple one. My art friends who took the residencies and travel grants didn’t think how they would do them; they just had faith they would figure it out once they received the award. In one case a friend hired a housekeeper who cooked and cared for her children for the three weeks she was gone. Another friend had family and friends stand in for almost two months. I think men must have it a little easier. However, what this points out to me is how sometimes you just have to take risks no matter what the logistics.
This brings me to the point of this blog. In some ways I’m still holding myself back and I’m not alone. I see it amongst my artist friends who are accomplished enough, yet have limited their art because of studio space or the size of the family car. I know finding room to stretch a very large canvas can cause a whole set of problems, but I think this is one of those logistical problems that can be easily solved.
This is where I start talking to myself. It’s time to stop thinking about how to limit my work and figure out how to expand it. This might mean building a canvas that folds in half so it can fit in my SUV, or maybe, renting a truck, or making multiple paintings that expand the size of a painting. Works on paper need a certain kind of framing and this may get expensive, but again, there are ways to get around this...possibly internet framers who charge less because you assemble the frame yourself.
I see a new dilemma on the horizon now that Facebook and YouTube have opened up the world to us creative types. With new friends in 15 countries, I see opportunities arising that may create a whole new set of logistics to conquer.
This is the time I have to take a deep breath and remember, there’s a solution for every problem if the spirit is willing and an open mind has a greater reach when allowed to seek its level.