Thursday, August 27, 2009

Artist, interrupted

If you're a Facebook chum, then you know it's been an eventful week. First, I gave myself my two weeks notice. Yup. I quit myself. It was that or get fired, and I figured firing myself looked a lot worse on a resumé. Quitting seemed more proactive. I had become a grumpy, unreasonable boss, and as my own employee, I resented the situation a LOT.

So I quit. What the aftermath of that will be is not yet clear. But it will be... interesting.

For example, yesterday my newly-empowered self decided to take an hour to go draw, for cryin' out loud. Not with any purpose or goal or project or client in mind. Just drawing for the sake of feeling a pencil in my hand. I found a semi-comfortable spot on a rock next to Ditch Creek and settled in. Fifteen minutes later a young man approached, coughed politely and said, "Sorry to disturb you, but I think you should know that a group of convicts is on its way here to trim the weeds."

Right here. Right now. What are the odds?

"Okay, thanks," I sighed. "I'll wrap this up. How long do I have?"

"About two minutes. They're already out of the van."

It has been suggested that such an event would make a good opening scene for a quirky movie. Perhaps I should take up cinematography as part of my new working routine. But only if the boss promises not to be cranky.

water under the bridge, interrupted by convicts


  1. I can't decide between a Coen brothers movie and a James Lee Burke novel. Either way, it was probably a good idea to shift.

  2. I would have stayed actually unless I was sitting right where they were going to be working :p convicts be damned ;)

  3. Yes, Jen, they were headed precisely for where I was sitting, weed whackers and shovels and rakes in hand. They had the entire county to work in, but at that moment they chose my portion of the universe. Still haven't figured out what that MEANS, exactly.

  4. pick spots that have been weeded all ready? ;)

  5. Sherrie,
    too perfect, both the quitting and the next incident.

    People think the artist's life is wild and free.
    What they don't realize is that when you're doing what you love, there is no place to rest. You work ALL the time. The result is a passive aggressive abusive relationship- with YOURSELF! very crazy making.

    You know that good Picasso quote about the artist needs tons of free time w/o a goal in mind? Will try to find it.

  6. Sheri: In Alyson's Blog Triage class we were to find a blog we love and envy. I have searched and found the blog. I love and ENVY you straight forward approach. Bravo.You win my award.

    Now you're choices of places to draw...I guess you'll have to ask ahead. Is this the right place? I bet you'll hear the answer loud and clear.

    Thanks for this wonderful adventure with Sherri Y. :)

  7. Hey Patrick! Thanks for "getting it." I'd like to see that Picasso quote... for me the hardest part of all of this can be letting go of "should be." If I have uninterrupted time to just "be," I worry that I should be doing something "productive," and if I'm doing something productive I don't feel like I'm getting the time I need to just look at things and play with ideas and images. It's a vicious circle.

    And Jackie! Thank you so much! I am completely flattered and quite honored that "Brush and Baren" inspires you. (And thanks for the link to you website. It looks like you're working hard on your art and your business. Good for you!)

  8. I'm with you on the concept of quitting, at least in the intent to start over with less of a mean self-employed boss thing going on.

    I was very weak for several years, and could not make decisions easily. When that finally went away (woot!) I pushed myself for a good 1.5 years, with deadlines from the days of illness. I finally had to play, very recently. In my case, I went back to polymer clay, which is my most playful artform (I work in 3D). Here's the post:

    Lately I teach polymer at yarn shops (for button-making) but never do it for myself. This week I have had 3 polyclay classes and the students were doing things I couldn't do while they were doing their projects.

    So I made something for myself! Just easy, simple beads. I make and sell buttons, but not beads. There was no goal except to have fun. It was such a relief!!!

    This last 2 weeks I've started a lot of new knitting projects. I'm giving myself permission to not finish them. They inspire me, I start.

    Whatever continues to inspire me, I will continue working with. No sweat. In my case, yarn can be ripped out and used again if I decide to stop.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. It helps me know that I'm not alone. My life/artwork is much different than yours, but self-employed creative women are more alike than not.

    LynnH in Lansing, MI

  9. Hi Sherrie, I had to smile at the convict story. When I was living in Salida, right next to Ditch Creek, one of a number of convicts brought out to "clean" up the weeds escaped. Everyone on our stretch of Poncha Blvd (just above the Presbyterian Church) was ordered out of our homes while the police made a thorough search. They soon found the guy trying to hide in one of the culverts that ran through the ditch.

    It was a bit of an adventure :-D

    Better luck next time you go out to draw,


    PS - It's 107 here in Aguila this afternoon.

  10. Hey Lindy.. glad to know that Ditch Creek has a history of fun and games with convicts. I think Susan Tweit has a story or two there, too, since she's got a section of the creek through her place (she's below the church). 107!?!?!? Bleah.

    Lynn... Must be the season, eh? I read your post and laughed. We are SUCH wicked taskmasters with ourselves, aren't we? But here we are, trying to restore a little balance and find some joy again. It takes vigilance... without resorting to vigilante-ism! I'm glad you're along for the ride!

  11. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  12. Hi Sara! Thanks for stopping by, and for letting me know you're here! Thanks, too, for the link... I've never really worked with pastels, so it was intriguing to watch.