Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baby's Busy Day

My favorite children’s book was called “Baby’s Busy Day”. That kid had it made. He patted a few bunnies, drank some juice, watched raindrops….wow, I know I’d be exhausted after all of that! Poor thing even got a nappie and more juice after the whole storm cloud scene. Good thing it was one of those cardboard chunky books so I could leave son #1 to chew on it while momma got herself some “juice” too (as nappies were not part of the real life growing up process in my house). Somehow my life never got past that book. Every day is a busy day even though bunnies and raindrops are not a part of them anymore…..”juice” however is a requirement for better health. That being said……

I was asked recently if I would be reviewing a new show in town and had I seen it, and why I was not a part of it. The answers were maybe, no, and I don’t know. The inquisitor was incredulous and requested clarification. (Pretty good sentence there if I say so myself.)

So to elaborate….would I review it (and had I seen it because one needs to see it first right?). Maybe I will and maybe I won’t, because I need to make time to go there during the limited hours of viewing. That is one big problem for small, local venues. Owner operated galleries have to make a choice between being a full service retail venue open during “business hours” as defined by the American standard of time, and a working studio so the owner operator can make stuff to sell in the said location. Now some places do this extremely well such as Don Drumm’s empire in Akron. Limited hours means I have to check the family calendar, my work schedule, appointments and so forth, then carve out a block of time to drive down there, pay for parking, hide my notebook, then get out before the meter runs out. This circumstance is partly the reason why the answer to question three is “I don’t’ know”, even though I suspect I do. I got criticized for not making it a priority to get my behind downtown and write about it. Did my blog just get hijacked? Well excuse me person of interest, but do you want to do the laundry, the ironing, the grocery shopping, the recycles, make dinner, attend my classes and all that jazz while I wander off with pen (okay, sharpie) in hand?

The last part of that paragraph seems to be a sticking point with some people. “You are too busy to be a part of anything”…really? Seriously? Being too busy is a bad thing? What part of anything am I not a part of? I know the answer to that one too….seems this is the essay of rhetorical questions so far. Darn right I am busy. Making art is not a public thing in most cases. There is a whole subterranean world of which non-artists are unaware. Follow me into the cave for just a bit….

Okay, first of all, we need supplies (read the essay before this one) so shopping or ordering takes time. Once we have some stuff, we need an idea so as to make something meaningful out of it. Creativity is either a deep mind altering experience or a shallow smack on the head of inspiration, either way; it just does not show up at the studio door saying “make me!” The process of creation takes a bit of time (just ask God about that one), the more time spent, sometimes the better it is….and sometimes not, so putting a deadline on an unpaid project is impossible. Now if money is involved, oh yeah, we can make that deadline just fine. Once we have a “piece”, it has to be documented and marketed. Marketing means anything from submitting to shows or finding a venue for consignment to lining up a solo exhibition. In my case, pieces are shipped hither and yon which is time consuming as well.

Down another dark passage in the personal cave of creativity lie the obstacles of middle aged motherhood which can detour even the best spelunking lunatic. Male artists are at an advantage in this department as sexual stereotypes still hold true….sorry Gloria. Not many men stay home doing the chores, raising the kids, buying the presents, making the meals, and keeping logs on the home fire. Car needs repaired? Guess who is grounded. Somebody in the family gets sick? Guess who plays nursemaid. Somebody wants a commissioned piece of their cats? I’m all over that one because a check is involved so go sideline yourself my current canvas of comedy. My point is this, don’t criticize me for not having both feet in the flames at all times. Can I do it all? Eventually. Can I do it all well? Not likely. Do I like doing it? You betcha. Should my lack of involvement bother you? Only if you miss me that much. And if you miss me, ask me, I bet I would say yes.

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