Thursday, November 7, 2013

Admitting It's Hard

When you are writing about your passion in life, which also happens to be your career, as I do with art, it's hard to think about posting about the bad things. I have to be honest, however. When people ask if I am OK right now, I have to say "I'm fine" with that twist in my gut... because I'm not.

I cannot be completely open with what's going on, but no one's deathly ill or anything like that. No one has lost their job, no one has died. But at the same time, it's big. It keeps me up at night with tearful worries, watchful and always on the alert. Which is exhausting, it's flat out exhausting! Having this sort of soul-deep worry all the time is... I don't even know how to explain how awful it is. 

And it's totally out of my control. I'm doing what I can to make things better, but it's like throwing pebbles at a mountain and hoping it'll move. It's just not in my power to make any more of a difference than I already do, and instead I get to spend my time fearfully. 

So, I'm sharing. I'm saying things are not OK. That I would break down and have a sob-fest, but that would just further exhaust me, so what's the point?

I cannot say that I have a silver lining, but I can say that apart from that mess things are not so awful. It doesn't cheer me up, because it's not enough, but at least I have some positive things to report.

The first is that I worked and worked, and I finally got my new website up and running! This is a big deal because I had to move providers and work on the layouts, and everything. More, I can finally offer prints and other merchandise (like fine art magnets, cards and more) directly from me - AND it's easy to add new products instead of a major exercise in web design every time I finished a new painting. I just didn't realize how wide an inventory I had until I did this though, wow.

Greeting Cards

Postcard sized magnets

So, YAY! And it's at or, just like before.  It's nice and clean, and works wonderfully!

I finished the last of my Halloween minis for the year:

White Owl, mini 2x4 inches acrylic on stretched canvas $35

Screech, ultra-mini 2x2 inches acrylic on stretched canvas $25

And then I felt I was done with Autumn and Halloween. I'm now in a distinctly wintry mood. I sometimes put artwork on Facebook in the art auction forums, and this week there is a theme for a snow queen. I had been thinking about doing one anyway, so it was perfect. I decided to pull out my watercolors and I sketched this out on a block:

The block for her is 9x12. I'm putting in little snowflakes and such all over. 

And then I got scared about painting her in. Totally irrationally, but it's been a little while since I did watercolors. So, I decided this morning to do a super fast sketch and painting just to remind myself how I do it. The result is this:

I'm calling her Jess. I think she'll be up in the art auction group tomorrow. It looks better than this in person. I snapped a quick pic with my cellphone, and well... there ya go.
I'm relatively pleased with how she came out. Her eyes and the highlights on her lips and hair are iridescent. Shiny, I can't stop making things shiny. It's still not up to what I'd want it to be, but it was good practice. I think I need to work on pushing some areas farther back, and of course I see all sorts of errors... but I still like her!

So, with that picture behind me, I've started on my snow queen. I'm layering in the shadows right now, working the skin and face first. I hope she comes out nicely! I also have a painting rolling around for my holiday card. I'm still working on the composition, but I'm leaning towards a row of stockings with mice and a cat... and maybe a squirrel. We'll see. 

Lastly, there are mice living in my car. Yes, mice. They're even in my ceiling (it's very creepy to be sitting at a stop light and hear scrabbling from above you.) It's turning into a full scale war right now, and they're winning. I'm waiting to see my car drive off one of these morning with a mouse at the wheel!

So, that's where things are at. Hard. Exhausting. Just moving forward, because progress still needs to happen. I sure hope things get better.


  1. Thinking about what you wrote, it struck me that as artists we MUST stay in touch with the feelings of our hearts. Your art is from your heart, and if you shut down parts of those feelings, even those they are not the "happy" one, then you would shut down parts of your ability to be so creative. So I send you a gentle virtual "hug" and applaud your courage to acknowledge the unpleasantness. I really think you've taken the wise way... to embrace ALL of your feelings.

    I hope things work out for you soon, and I'm glad to see you to continue to be so truly creative.

  2. Oh how wonderful, your beautiful painting has my name! She doesn't look like me though so it must be another Jess! ;)
    I've popped over to see your new website and I love it! It's just the sort of art website I love to visit, beautiful to look at with no fiddly 'enter' navigations to negotiate in order to get to the real stuff. I love the video section, fantastic! I'm sorry to hear of the mouse problem, have you told the extermination people? It's such an unusual problem, I've never heard of that before, it must be horrible for you to travel around in it at the moment. I wouldn't have been brave enough to myself.
    Sending a big hug,
    Jess xx

  3. You made me laugh about the mice! ;o)
    I am so sorry how you are feeling!! I truly hope you are feeling better soon!! I am sending good vibes your way!!
    Your new website is beautiful! Very clean and welcoming! I love it!!
    Your snow queen is very dramatic! I love her! I know it will be amazing when it is finished!!
    Jess is beautiful! She looks like she is in deep thought!
    Be well and try to smile ;o)


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