Friday, May 23, 2008

Artists Community

Many times in my life I sat and pondered how I, of all people, have been so fortunate.
When I was a very young, unworldly, naïve, ten year old child, I went so far as to wonder how I was not only blonde and pretty, but a free American, as opposed to communist. I know, I know, that is as silly as a person can get, but I thought it. As I walked down the alley on the way home from school, picking fruit from the overhanging trees I decided that I could survive well on the fruits that my life handed me.
As a teenager, standing with my thumb out, on Topanga Canyon, I thought of how lucky I was to have a school that was right on the road to the beach. It never entered my mind that a school, right across the street from one of the world’s greatest malls, and just through the canyon to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, could not necessarily be a good thing. I was, after all, ditching school to go to that beach after meeting up with like minded teens at the mall.
Today, I wonder how I have been so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of artist friends that I can spend time and share with.
A group of us have been meeting monthly for two or three years at the studio of Patricia Seggebruch in Snohomish. We brought our own lunch and potluck dinner, and spent the day talking and comparing notes. As artists we tend to spend an enormous amount of time alone, listening only to the direction of our mind and creative muse. The time spent with others is precious because we not only are able to share what we are doing in our work, we get to share the feelings, emotions, and struggles as artists trying to get our work out into the public eye, and more importantly, sell it.
Being an artist takes guts and I have am so thankful that I have one gutsy group of artist friends. We work, eat, and chat endlessly. We show each other what we are doing in the safety of the group where we are not laying open our souls to strangers. That is what it feels like with strangers. It feels like we are laying our hearts open to someone who may not appreciate it. Our skills, our emotions, our ideas are all on that substrate and we risk rejection when we put it out there.
We talk about how to get out there and sell ourselves. We get ideas on venues looking for artwork. We tell each other if there are teaching jobs available to contribute to the coffers at home while we work to sell art.
In that group we have been through, divorce, depression, loss, business openings, celebration, child problems, and soon a new baby. We’ve grown as people and as artists to what we are today. I am so thankful to have had that. I have collected their work so that I can be reminded of them each and every day.
That is why it is so important for me to find a place where we can continue to meet monthly and bask in each others strengths. I fear the threat of loss. We no longer have the meeting place and I fear the loss of the group. It takes a lot of space for artists to spread out and work.
I count my blessings and celebrate what we have and if any of you have any ideas on how we’ll keep it I’d like to hear them. No matter what is happening in my life, I will find the time to spend with the women I so love.
Geeze, now who’d think a person could feel vulnerable blogging? I am just pushing the button anyways.
To bring you up a bit I’ll leave you with a few of my paintings. They aren’t new ones but I still like them. All three are encaustic.


Meredith said...

Yay Binky! I enjoyed reading your blog - all so true for all of us artists. Thanks for sharing and the pix really are very much appreciated. I love your work!


celeste said...

excellent post.
so true. those artists meetings mean the world to me and have really been my lifeline to sanity in this move and change in my life.
when is the next meet up?

bridgette said...

i will miss you guys when i leave wa. Even though I wasn't able to get out there every month, knowing that you all existed, was enough! :)

These meetings at trish's came at a critical time in my life- really reaching into my artwork and adjusting to becoming a mother. You all have been inspirations to me.

I am so happy that i have one of your pieces to remember you by.

Anonymous said...

dearest binky: amen, sister to all that you wrote here. i only just read this post and it was AFTER (really, it WAS!!) i posted my post about "community". i swear!! i think we are thinking along the same path, tho, with the possibility of not meeting any longer out in sno-ho. but i gotta ask......a new BABYYYYY?? huh?? help, help! who???? keep writing, sweetie! it's GREAT!