30" x 30"
Oil on Canvas
I have experienced more life changes and made some hard decisions. Now life is reverberating the positive effects of those changes making my changes prove to be positive improvements.
There was the birth of a son. The decision and incredible support from my significant other to shut down the classroom and to take a break from teaching for the purpose of focusing more on my career as a painter. If I do teach in the future it will not be to the same extent as I have been teaching in the past.
I was teaching up to ten classes a week. I was quiet sucessful at teaching but it meant that the rest of my life suffered. Sometimes we are really good at things that we shouldn't be doing. Teaching comes naturally to me, it is easy (because I'm bossy and like to chat about art), and I would get a lot of outside praise for it. Just because I am good at it doesn't mean I should be doing it. I saw my own career as an artist start to suffer. I wasn't able to focus on improving my technical skills and work habits because I was having to focus too much on improving others. I'm too helpful to a fault, I guess.
The word 'quit' is often equated to failure, but that was not what was happening. I am incredibly grateful to have been able to teach private lessons successfully. It provided the funds I needed at the time and I gained exposure for my work as well. Teaching was turning into a world wind and there were so many teaching opportunities for me. It was taking me where I didn't want to go. I am an artist, specifically a painter. I want to paint, I have lots to say with endless ability and skill behind me. Doing what comes easily is not always the path we should leap onto. Part of creating a phenomenal meaningful career is the journey on the way to being successful. I'm stepping onto that path that leads me on that journey to be a successful artist instead of the superficial easy path. My teaching would mean a lot to others but not to myself. Painting would mean a lot to me and the world forever. I want to be apart of the Canon of Art History not the person who introduces others to the artists in it. I don't remember the names of my all my art history profs and I am indeed grateful for all of my instructors and teachers that I have come across in my life. However I will always remember the names of Cassat, Picasso, Matisse, Kahlo, Freud,Warhol, Saville, Okamura, Barber, and others that have changed my life and made me want to be a painter.
As soon as I had made the decision to focus more on my painting career I immediately received a call to do a commissioned piece (which I just started working on and am thoroughly enjoying paintings it). When I was toying with the idea of letting teaching go I was asked to be apart of two art shows.
The above painting 'Grip' was shown at the Madplatter in Spruce Grove, AB this past spring. When I painted it I was in the throws of pregnancy hormones. It took longer than usual to complete because my back was very sore from my body being unproportionately heavy in the front. This painting reflects the changes I was facing in every aspect of my life, the relationships with everyone around me, I quit two of my day jobs that I no longer needed to pay the bills and eat up my time, and I was wondering if it was just my imagination or was my body that huge and distorted. (To my surprise, my body somehow magically reformed it's shape).
While showing 'Grip' I received several comments and all seem to enjoy the work. I love how it meant different things to different people. It could be seen as holding on or taking action. For me it meant both.