WEEK 14: Me & Art

IMG_1815Those who know me know that I’m not a boaster. But I am a good artist—a damn good artist. The thing is, me and Art are engaged in a long-term, unhealthy relationship.

Art moved in ages ago. Before I can remember, actually. Me and Art have lived together peacefully enough all these years. But Art is easy to ignore. “Art will always be there,” I boast—and it is. Art lets me neglect it, forget about it, think of it as a waste of time, and a waste of money. Art lets me use it for my own personal gain, makes me appear more interesting when I introduce myself to people (“Hi, I’m an artist!”), and helps me round out job applications for “real” jobs.

Me and Art aren’t on great terms right now. But Art doesn’t know it. I’ve scheduled my life to avoid Art. In fact, I would rather do laundry or mop the kitchen floor than spend time with Art. When we do interact, it takes everything I’ve got to maintain civility and eye contact.

If me and Art were once dating, we aren’t anymore. But neither of us can afford to move out.

But don’t go thinking that Art is some sort of angel or anything! Art causes me a great deal of anxiety. Art demands perfection. Art thinks it always knows best. (And the annoying thing is, it usually does.) And forget about “just making something pretty”—Art requires that every paper scrap, paint scrape, and scribble mean something. (Why that paper scrap? Why that paint scrape? Why that scribble?) Art’s greater purpose is illusive. For me, Art is a challenge, a source of frustration, and a mystery…

Is there any hope for us, me and Art??

Yes. I think so. Every so often someone or something comes along—a “relationship counselor”—who helps me remember to cherish Art. This time, all it took was an art-swap. “It’s what artists do,” said Teté, our artist-hostess in London, as she handed over one of her delightful ‘Ecotopias.’ Believe it or not, that’s all I needed to hear.

{Above: a detail of a recent(ish) piece from my ‘Home’ series}

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