I have a reputation for making lots of art and getting absurd amounts of things done. I’m super organized and mostly on top of things. That woman behind the curtain, however, might be a bit more chaotic that I let on. In an effort to curb the stress I’ve been working at not being such a work-a-holic or such a perfectionist. It’s a tough job!
Yeah, that irony isn’t lost on me either.
One of my pitfalls is to pack my schedule so tightly that all my to-dos and projects are like stacked dominoes ready to, well, domino. Instead of sanely pulling a few off the table and leaving breaks in between, I’ve tended to shove more dominos into the spaces in between. It’s like reverse 2-D Jinga. It’s also been the root cause of a lot of neck and shoulder pain. Go figure.
So, as I embrace a saner, less frantic schedule, life still happens. I’m still a full time artist-metalsmith-writer-video-producer-designer-activist-mentor-partner-mom-fur-mom, type A personality with a bohemian soul and some Puritan baggage. I also have a side hustle as a strategic planner for my husband’s firm. (Why would I not make extra use of all that freelancer/entrepreneur acumen from 37 years of surviving in the arts?)
Today, however, was going to be one of those studio days with no outside events, no makeup, and no cut-off time, just my studio uniform of black t-shirt and yoga pants, fluffy bunny slippers, and lots of materials and equipment at my disposal. I played with the pups, took care of some online ordering, and showered all without undo haste because I was still going to get in the studio really early for the first time after last week’s trip to San Diego. Translation: I get my morning drawing time, my way to ease into the day’s creativity on demand. Yay!
As pups Bou and Lizzie rang the doggie doorbell, clambering to go outside and flirt with Linus, the terrier next door, I detoured into the studio to set down the tray of tea, OJ, and fizzy water my that husband had thoughtfully made for me. Now, carrying this tray into the studio, whether I make it or I get lucky and Chris does, is a morning ritual, something I do 6 days a week when I’m in town. For years I have managed to set it down without mishap amidst stacks of books, expensive specialty papers, and in-progress drawings and paintings.
Until today. You can guess where this is going, can’t you?
I have no idea what part of me caught the fizzy water glass. The first I knew some part of me had was when I watched the water go airborne and the glass domino the orange juice across my worktop, over the self healing cutting mat, under the self healing cutting mat, under the slant board under the self healing cutting mat, across to the window behind the worktop, under the sketchbooks, tray of inks, and various ceramics and bottles I keep nearby, into my 6-well palette, and down behind the worktop, past the storage boxes on shelves underneath, and all over the floor in front of and behind my drawing area, while splattering a watercolor painting in progress.
And, oh, orange juice is really sticky.
At least it didn’t get on any books.
Meanwhile Bou, aka Quasimoto, kept ringing that damned puppy doorbell while I freaked out, wondering why this had to be the moment that my worktop was not littered with helpful studio rags.
So now, on what was going to be a day with a doable to-do list, I was confronted with the reality that, in order not to literally domino liquids and other physical objects with dire results, I had to squeeze in a project-domino of fighting entropy and chaos in my sacred space. Yes, I could have asked for help, but then I’d have had other people going through all my stuff, which makes me about as relaxed as spraying orange juice across my drawing area.
Being a world-renowned artist is such a glamor job…or so I’m told. I keep waiting for the glamor part to show up.
At least I have a studio, with a door that closes…and what’s left of the morning.
Addendum: A run to Ikea, more bookshelves which my son Skyler put together, more spacial scheming, and a chunk of time spent finding the surfaces in my studio, and I thought the next day was bound to be better. As I was carrying my tea tray to the studio this morning, I bumped the edge on the doorframe and flung orange juice all over the hallway carpet. Maybe I should just drink my OJ in the kitchen from now on…or out of a sippy cup. I decided soldering at that moment, or doing anything else typically Type A, was dicey, so I spent a few minutes playing with something safe: The Edward Gorey Dracula Tiny Theatre I got for Christmas.
That irony wasn’t lost on me either.
On a completely different note, I have to give a shout out to the men and women who are fighting the good fight for aesthetics and individual rights in the USA:
In the brilliant book Art As Therapy, Alain de Botton and John Armstrong cogently argued that if there is one good kind of censorship it is through our literal landscape, urban and rural alike, that where we put billboards, factories, cell towers, etc. matters. Last October in the USA, the FCC ruled that cell phone companies can put cell towers (telephone pole sized) anywhere they want and as many as they want, like in your front yard along the street, without any recourse at all whatsoever by you, your neighborhood, city council, or anyone else. Potentially hideous? Slicing and dicing your trees or shrubs as they please? Blocking your view? Nothing you can do about it? Correct.
My very best friend and partner in life Chris Balch was asked by Axios news magazine to weigh in on this issues before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals hears the case between cities and the FCC next week. I’m proudly sharing Axios’ video here (he’s the 3rd guest).
If you’re concerned about this issue, please contact your city council representative before Feb 10 when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case between cities and the FCC. Please note: the threat that 5G won’t happen without these legalities is yet another red herring.