|my first painting, ever|
I am a bad, bad, bad, bad blogger. It’s not that I don’t want to blog … I do. Blogging is my virtual journal, and I like looking back over my posts and thinking oh yeah! I remember why I wrote that! (Shocking, I know, that there are actual reasons behind some of the stuff I write).
No. I’m a bad blogger because if my life were a package of birthday candles, said candles would be chopped into little pieces and burning at every end. Here, in a round-about sort of way, is what I mean.
A long time ago, before I became a mommy, I was a graphic designer. I worked for the licensing industry because I didn’t much like graphic design, but that’s a different story than the one I’m telling here. For the licensing industry I designed stuff like wall paper and fabrics and poster art for Mervyns and Target and life was good. Then, parenthood descended.
I’ll say here and now that I had planned for parenthood (well, I thought I’d planned for it, but once you’re in it you realize parenthood CANNOT BE PLANNED FOR). But in the beginning, before this epiphany had struck, I figured I would just continue working from home and being a designer and my darling daughter would play at my feet and all would be well. My darling daughter had other ideas, the primary one being that art took all my attention from more important things, meaning HER.
To placate my little baby and my inner 'mommy,' I abandoned art for things like play dates and volunteering in my daughter’s classes and running her around to various activities like swimming and dance and for a while, ice skating. She hated every sport she tried, but again, that’s another story altogether.
Then, the economy crashed.
I blame big business and corporate greed for the fact that after eight years of being a stay-at-home mom, where I could give three hours a day to writing and the rest of my time to domestic hard labor, I had to rejoin the workforce.
To make a REALLY long story sort of short, I’ll confess that because I had let my graphic skills lag, I couldn’t go back into design. I no longer owned a mac, the god-computer of the design world. I hadn’t used photoshop for five years. I didn’t know illustrator. I couldn’t design a website and didn’t know html. The grass was wet, the sun was in my eyes and someone had moved my cheese. So I chose a job that would at least keep me busy, let me get benefits for only six hours a day, and would never require that I work from home, thus leaving me free to parent and write. Going in, it seemed do-able.
I’d been working said day-job for about a year when I became quite depressed. I blamed big business and corporate greed, yes, but after pondering whether a four story jump would kill or just maim, I had to blame myself, because I had allowed myself to fall into the nasty rut of feeling sorry for my lot in life. I wrote a little book on self-healing to help myself feel better, published it for three days, had one sale, took it down because I didn’t want my whining quite that well documented and though I couldn’t believe I wanted to jump back into art, signed up for a photoshop class.
That class oiled my rusty skills, to be sure. I can design great book covers for my own books. But it also taught me that I will never, and I mean NEVER compete in the current graphic world. I’m a hands-on artist. Not a teckkie. So when the photoshop class began the section on illustrator and I began feeling like I was trapped in a maddeningly alternate universe, I dropped out of the class and began to paint. Not that I had ever painted a picture in my life.
I entered my one-and-only painting into a juried art show and was … amazingly … selected. I couldn’t believe it and at the same time, deep down inside I felt that if my work hadn’t been selected I would have been royally pissed. I mean, I’ve been an artist all my life. Who cares that I had never painted a painting?
There was a four-month wait before the show opened, so I painted a second painting and entered it into a second show and what do you know. I got in again. Feeling positively cheeky, I entered a ‘call for entries’ for a local gallery and was rewarded with a one-woman-show. That happened last month, BTW. I’m now committed to painting thirty-five paintings by next July, three of which are done.
Complicating my fledgling art career and my day job is my writing habit. I refuse to let it go. I am working on two of the COOLEST stories my brain has ever conjured. I can’t just abandon them … that would just be wrong. I walk to my day job thinking about my stories and walk home from my day job thinking about my stories then write for 60 furious minutes because that’s all I’ve got. I have to spend the rest of my ‘free’ time (ha) painting, mothering, cooking, cleaning and painting. Meanwhile, my stories won’t let me sleep at night. I’d get a script for Ambien but then I’d have migraines.
If all that isn’t enough to turn anyone into a bad blogger, let me add the pending layer of doom. I mean, holiday stress. Here, in the fabulous Morrison household, we use the holidays for extra-curricular. We escape, taking Stealth Panda, and go on road trips: the Grand Canyon, Sonora Desert Museum, California … you name it. But this year we opted to stay in town for Thanksgiving (because we’ve blitzed the last five straight and feel a wee bit guilty) and therefore will attend (and cook for) family dinners on both sides of the fence.
Don’t get me started on Christmas ….
By now you’re likely clawing the screen in hopes that I will draw this blogging tome to a close, so let me say I seriously appreciate that you, gentle reader, have stuck through this with me. I love to blog and will continue. Sometime soon. Stay tuned . . . .