Three weeks was my birthday and I turned 43. The day was a nice one. I traveled with my ex to Longwood Gardens, one of my favorite places in this region of Pennsylvania, and had a lovely dinner with friends that evening. I managed to not feel the ennui that normally accompanies birthdays for most folks however, the weight of my current economic state did and does weigh on me greatly. I found myself the very next day, going to my necessary but very emotionally and spiritually diminishing job and throwing up from stress and just plain frustration.
The frustration that I felt wasn’t so much one of typical regret. As I said I’m not all that bummed out at being 43. I’m just about the age I always imagined I wanted to be as a kid. Fully actualized, not living at my parents, free from school, etc. The frustration was a typical artists irritant. It’s the burden of being filled with so much inspiration to do work but not being able to do much of it because you have to work to pay the rent and other bills.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Octopuses lately, Heres on that’s been on my mind for a future piece
It’s really cliche for artists to complain about needing to work but I’ve been told that sharing these frustrations reduces the impact of the irritation slightly. I’ve been impressed lately with the quality of work that my peers do. I know no truly lazy people, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Folks around me fetishize and brag about how overworked they are which is always sad for me to hear. When I wonder about the internal dialogue an arts-patron might have lately what I think about is just how tired they likely are. Just weary from life. It makes such pastimes like watching tv, or zoning out on some other screen make sense to me. I’m additionally aware that my likely audience isn’t these weary fellow-travelers (other extremely busy tired hardworking people) but instead folk who come from means. They might be hard workers too, but their comfortable lifestyles sets them apart from the bulk of the population. I think there’s necessarily a disconnect that happens when those who are in a position to appreciate, and maybe buy your artwork are not quite able to identify with the gritty subject matter which comes out of a life of very perilous economic and emotional struggle.
There’s a sign off from a classic hip hop CD from A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders, that goes “we marauder for ears”. I always liked the poetry and almost violent desperation in that act, marauding for attention. Visual artist certainly do the same thing, unfortunately we are not always able to choose our preferred audience.
I’m one of two resident artists whose works are featured at the Banana Factory this month, the other being the amazing printmaker Keith Garubba. Below are some of my pieces on display.
I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz lately, the cooler fall weather tends to put me in that mood. Here’s a few songs I like that are on repeat on my Pandora right now, “Blue Back” by McCoy Tyner and “O’ Town Blues” by the San Fransisco Chamber Jazz Quartet.
I’ve been working on two sets of paintings in the studio right now. One inspired by the Higgs Boson and another a continuation of the “Timmys Porch Petunias” series of paintings. I think I’ll blog about them next in the coming weeks. Until then do be well.