I never did follow up on my impression or critique of the studio tour a few weeks ago in Jacksonville. Partly due to the fact that is was a two day event and unfortunately I was not able to back the following day to see the rest of the artists, rendering me with only 50% of info on the whole tour.
I don’t really intend to do a full on critique of all the studios (even though I did take notes) – but I would like to sum up the fact that of those artists that actually allowed you inside their home as well as their work space, I was particularly interested in seeing how their decor, lifestyle, and interests mirrored their work.
I will have to give you more details later. In the meanwhile, look up Ian Chase. Both he and his work are a trip.
One of the studios I visited on the tour was artist Leigh Murphy. For those of you that don’t know Leigh, she is an award winning watercolor artist and her work is so amazingly realistic. She lives in a modest bungalow in Riverside with great plaster walls, hardwood floors, and airy enough for any artist to feel content. She had an entire room that served as her studio office, and seemed sort of down on the fact that it was not a large as the has had in the past. She rattled off all the studio locations she had had over the years……probably 4-6 in all, or at least in Jacksonville.
I have still been thinking about that (which is the whole point of my post.) As the economy continues to decline I can’t help but feel helpless, as the burden my of expenses weigh heavily upon me. I am constantly wondering if it is even worth it to have a studio outside my home. But what Leigh helped me see was the future before me holds a possibility of change, not failure. Just a chance to reinvent one’s self and explore new paths. Many artists do not even have the luxury of having a studio outside their home, or even have the social or business skills to maintain an open studio – allowing visitors on a regular basis and adhere to constant interruption.
I guess in the grand scheme of things, I am still a young artist and my whole life is my only reference point. If I have no adversity or change, then I don’t really have a good way to gauge the current situation. And I don’t have an artist mentor to look up to. I often forget that change does not equal failure. Just a need for reevaluation, and adjustment.
Unfortunately we live in a society where mediocrity is the norm, and it is hard to set yourself apart or care when everyone around you is so content with just getting by. But as an an artist there is no such thing as just “getting by.” You will never be successful or celebrated by being mediocre. You have to work hard – very hard. I am stating this as a reminder to myself not to give up and succumb to exhaustion. Just because I don’t see an immediate relief does not mean it is not out there. I need to continue to be patient, adventurous, and brave, which is how I am revered both professionally and personally.
I was at a concert the other night and I overheard some lady mention to her acquaintance that she “was reinventing herself……which really means I am trying to lose weight.” I thought that was funny – but true. Reinventing ones self is like shedding pounds of unwanted __________ (fill in the blank) crap from your life. We should all try and reinvent ourselves at least one point.