Happy New Year and Merry (belated) Christmas, Happy Holidays!!!
Hope you were festive and spent beautiful time the way your hearts desired with loved ones, friends, family, pets, self :)))) I am wishing you a wonderful 2019, full of joy, health, inspiration, sincerity, respect, love, care, laughter, understanding...doing what you love! It's been birthdays and holidays galore in our family and I feel so fortunate to be here for all of it, cheers!
Since last chapter I’ve been mostly staying put (besides trips to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Helsinki for tango, ha!) and I’ve been painting almost every day. A friend generously offered her extra studio apartment and I made it into a studio and an occasional hideout for which I am beyond grateful. Peculiarly, this apartment happens to be exactly the same as the apartment me and then future, now ex husband used to live at right before we moved to Arizona (different apt house, but same layout). I must be 17 here :)
The studio is cute but small and doesn’t offer much options when arranging furniture. Incidentally, kitchen table is in the exact same place, and there is a cup with pens and scissors on the windowsill, just the way I had it. I went to grab a pen and fell into a time warp - like I was back in 2003 working on my art school project. My body immediately remembered how to move through the space and fingers remembered all the light switches. To add to the strangeness-there is a huge photograph of red rock formations in Arizona (or Utah??! but shhh… I like to think it’s AZ) on the wall that previous tenants left. A sign?! It is bizarre to end up exactly where I was 15 years ago; at times it feels like I made a loop and didn’t get anywhere, but I know it’s not true.
I rigged an easel for bigger projects out of a dresser, water jugs and an ironing board, and tied a string connecting ceiling lamp to the window by way of curtain rod to adjust the angle of the light. The system is fragile and gets messy sometimes, but yelling “Get back to the ironing board, woman!!” in a deep voice never gets old. I have a civilized little easel for small works.
I terribly miss the Sun and the warmth. This year’s weather outdid itself on the nasty-meter. Seems like darkness lasts forever, breaking for a few minutes with lighter shades of grey, that's called “daytime”. There were a few glorious exceptions, though! So I painted Tucson, thinking of the Sun and inspired by my friend's photograph. I gave this painting to my dad, who has been waiting for one for about 14 years.
Being in the studio full time is a new experience for me. I’ve always had a full time job, side gigs, plenty of social engagements going on and I would find myself frustrated that I could not dedicate more time to painting; there was no luxury to experiment and fail. Now I have the time, and I must say it’s been a beautiful, yet a challenging experience. I went from “I got this” to a desperate “I don’t know what I am doing” rather fast and painfully. As uncomfortable as self doubt and frustration is, it is also necessary: dissatisfaction pushes us to learn and improve. All of it makes perfect sense on paper, but as all of you know, going through it is not pleasant.
Last year “Laundry Day” painting won the People’s Choice Award at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival, which means this year I am an invited artist! So I’ve been working on a few pieces for the show and going back and forth between 5-6 paintings. Here are some wips.
Inspiration is an interesting creature, it reminds me of being in love. It barges in, flips your eyeballs and brains, colors the unexpected mundane (like the bathroom in this studio) in spectacular colors, connects all lines in logical geometric patterns, pumps in profound meaning, sprinkles confetti, makes you greedily repeat “I love you, I must paint you!!” and then leaves as unexpectedly as it came, changing you. Chemicals. Learning to be patient and graceful when it hits (or does't hit) is a struggle and an art form. There is a beautiful and humorous TED talk that I love on this subject, it's been around for a while but perhaps you have not heard yet, check it out!
In other awesome news, I will be coming to Tucson January 15!!!!! I am really looking forward to seeing you and reconnecting again!!! Sending you lots of love, hugs and I can't wait to see you all!