It’s finally my year! The Year of the Rabbit has arrived I could use a good year for a change, the last few have been interesting-meaning, I’m still alive and I haven’t given up yet on being a 30 year overnight success. Last year, my job and my field of expertise in the “real” world disappeared like the buggy whip–the Perkins Loan Program and campus based lending are going the way of the dodo, and being over 50 just sped up my personal extinction. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not whining, this whole thing feels like the Universe handing me my life back on a silver platter.
Full time art in the studio for the first time in years. Even with a difficult full-time job and lots of travel I never stopped making work, painting, glass, wire, photography; and the list of what I love is ever expanding unfortunately. For me it’s been down the rabbit hole since I was five and I’m never going back up if I can help it. One of my pet irritations is people I meet who say, ” I used to (paint/sculpt/take pictures/fill in the art/craft here) and I just don’t have time…maybe after I retire.” Give me a break, those people never had a passion or a hunger for making art or they’d do it at midnight on a teevee tray hanging upside down in the basement if they had to.
Making art is something I am compelled to do. It always has been. When I was in kindergarten and everyone one else was making ashtrays out of clay I sculpted a fat man. I still have it believe it or not. I have drawn, written, worked in clay, painted, and expressed myself through art my entire life and like Joan Miro, I’m hoping they’ll prop up my bed in the old folks home and give me a signpainters brush if I can’t handle a regular one.
This last weekend I went to the Puyallup Antique Show and Sale with my friend Lynn, a very clever and funny blonde. We have the same cattywompus world view and we have a ball together, this trip was no exception. I found lots of great bits and pieces for my repurposing, two really cheap pretty chocolate molds (papier mache and chalkware supplies) and a gorgeous pine cabinet.
I was not expecting to fall in love with this cabinet but I did, and it is now installed in my house. I tend to just stand and admire it and pat us on the back. We stole the thing for a very small amount of money relative to what it is.
The point to this aside is that I discovered something else about me I knew on some level. The work I love the most is the things I repurpose/reclaim/recapture and it dawned on me I’ve been that way my entire life. I would rather find elderly furniture and tschotskes and see their potential than go in a store and buy something new. Epiphany.
There is something to be said for taking a piece of junk and making it something wonderful, there is nothing more satisfying. In Oregon two years ago on a trip with my kids and husband, I found a table top in a dumpster. Okay, not the top exactly, the flat top part was gone and what was left was the four sides sans legs of a beautifully carved old 4 foot long 2 foot wide huge table. Coffee table? Side table? Who knows? My charming and wonderful husband took the table top at my direction and turned it into a gorgeous coffee table that went to live in the youngest son’s apartment in Seattle. Terry had to make a top, cut down fancy legs and build curved pieces to fill in gaps. A lot of work and about an $80 investment. I painted it the most beautiful gray black and gave Tor 60 tiles for the top. We didn’t grout them because this way he can change the top out when he wants with glass or whatever he likes. It got installed, it has another 100 years of live ahead and it didn’t go to waste. That makes me happy. I’m still waiting for the picture….but for now I’ll go with the last picture I took at the antique show. which was held on the fairgrounds, hence the odd signage. Perfect end to the day, Sillyville, exit stage right.