Friday, March 23, 2007

Now I Know Why Van Gogh Cut Off His Ear

It must have been because he had the urge to create, but had to work a day job and take care of other life and family responsibilities before he could get to his studio. That in itself can make a person crabby, irritated and maybe just a little bit crazy. I know.

Rarely do I whine on my blog, but this has been an extremely frustrating week. And in the grand scheme of things my problems seem quite small compared to many others. I'm not the only artist who has to work a "real job" to sustain a life that includes the basic necessities and a few luxuries. I have much to be thankful for...a loving husband and family (who continue to love and put up with me despite some my shortcomings); a life on an island in one of the most beautiful places in the world; a network of caring and creative friends; a great day job with terrific people which keeps me busy and challenged; and a place to create quilts that doesn't entail messing up the whole house.

So why my lament? Well, I recently achieved some hard earned success at a gallery show. The sale of a major quilt (which, according to the gallery, they could have sold ten times over), inquiries for commissions, and an invitation to join the gallery as one of their family of artists. All of this, all at once, a dream come true for any fiber artist! My problem? NO TIME TO CREATE MORE ART and the resulting frustration which has wreaked havoc on me all week long. So much so that it manifested itself physically. Not to mention the feelings of guilt and ungratefulness, thinking I should be happy I have so much already.

I am generally a very organized person, but I just can't seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel in this instance. How do I make it all work? I know about goal setting, discipline, good work ethic. I can purge a closet (or any other room in the house) without remorse. But how do you simplify your life without losing touch with what is important?

Thanks for listening!


PaM said...

I know how you feel, I haven't made anything in the studio all year. Could you go to some kind of flex-time at your job? I know people who work 4 ten-hour days so they get three off. I've also been reading in USA today how more companies are offering sabbatical programs for employees.

Sue said...

I think that's a problem that most creative women with families deal with. If you don't have any flexibility with your job is there any chance that your family could chip in and do some more of the work around the house so you could eke out a regular time period during each day to work on your art? Hope you can figure something out, you do beautiful work.

Nellie Bass Durand said...

Your frustration is justified. One of the most difficult things for me to do was to set time for studio work and then to respect it. That meant not allowing interruptions nor answering the phone during that designated time. This is not selfish, it is respect for your God-given talent. Surprisingly my husband and friends took it quite well.