I am baffled that my last blog post was September 30th. If you haven’t read it, that’s fine; it’s quite melancholy. I think my emotions and writing lean melancholic around the time that rent is due. All the existential questions pop up. What am I doing, why am I doing it, am I any good, is it even possible, who do I think I am. Imposter syndrome rears its head and I start scanning classifieds for administrative gigs again.
This journey has been and continues to be a tough one. Learning all the aspects of running a business, engaging with social media, keeping everything organized, securing sales, and then just simply making art is overwhelming. A lot of the time it’s trial by fire and learning as I go (and a lot of learning from mistakes). Here and there I wonder if I haven’t lost myself somehow in an effort to become successful. The majority of my artistic journey over the last 6-7 years consisted of experimenting and then narrowing my focus. I settled on painting over other art forms, then abstract over other styles; I still feel like I’m finding my voice within abstract painting. There is a lot of self-editing that goes along with creating a persona or niche or voice. There’s a lot of forced positivity. It’s hard to tell sometimes if I haven’t gone too far and lost what makes the work special.
Rent’s due soon, isn’t it?
October has been a good month. I’ve had enough to do, plus a handful of commissions, that I haven’t spent too much time obsessing over the existential stuff. I got to visit with a longtime friend of mine in Los Angeles, and we packed as much as we could do safely in one day. The following weekend Kyle and I traveled north to Death Valley for a two-night stay in a tiny tent under the stars; an experience that has helped inspire a new series I’m currently working on and also cemented the buzzing thought I’ve had that my art will take a new direction soon. I’m hoping now that we’ve got our camp-legs we’ll be able to start camping more; it’s so good for the soul (plus now we know all the supplies we are likely to forget, since we forgot them. Learning from mistakes as usual).
Then last week I made my first west-coast public MGPaints appearance at a lovely little farmer’s market in Orange. The market was an encouraging experience; it was hard work getting everything set up and bringing my extrovert out, but people were kind, complimentary, and interested in my art so I left feeling good about what I’m doing.
Now that things have calmed down a bit (well, just a bit. There are wildfires about 5 miles from us, plus y’know the whole election is coming up sooner than I’m ready for oh god oh god) I’m trying to find ways to keep the days full, keep the ball rolling, continue with the momentum. I’ve been using Lacy Phillips’ Pathway to do the inner self-worth work necessary to call in the things I want to manifest, so I’m getting back into that. It’s very hard for me to meditate, which is required of the program, so I’ve let it kind of slip. Meditation and cognitive reprogramming are definitely things I need, but because of the nature of the work (being that I can’t make money on it), I have a hard time sticking to it. Luckily, my introvert needs replenishing so I’m prepared to sit back down and do it. Hopefully it’ll help to steady me going into the next few weeks of chaos and stress as the United States election takes place (Vote Biden/Harris!).
Apart from that, I’m excited to see where my art takes me from here. I’m working on a series inspired by nature in Southern California. I’m thinking about calling it “The Other Coast” which is the name of the first painting I completed after my first visit (just over a year ago) to California. Most of my work has been focused on texture and color and I’m looking forward to embracing the influence of nature on my work in a more concrete way. So far I’ve created three new pieces. I’m hoping to land at twelve in total. Here is a first look at my latest: