Latest Musings … (excerpt)
Survived the Show - So, I survived the art crawl. And I'm not crashing as expected, so that's great.

Latest Poems … (excerpts)

  • Sometimes Grace Sucks (4/26/2016) - To put too fine a point on it: / Sure there are still things that frighten me / Oh, God, yes / Always room / for another stark surprise...
  • Head Trip (NaPoWriMo Day 25) (4/26/2016) - I'm half-sick of shadows / of catching the reflection / of my darker inclination / behind the lens of my own eye.

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Sometimes Grace Sucks

To put too fine a point on it:
Sure there are still things that frighten me
Oh, God, yes
Always room
for another stark surprise
a new specter to flinch under,
a new fluke-slash-diagnosis.

imagesGod thinks you have broad shoulders,
we’re told again (and again)
But I have to think
He’s playing that block tower game,
but in reverse,
laying it on, piece by piece
seeing how much we can carry
before we collapse

Then maybe He’ll chuckle, have a beer,
and start again.

Head Trip (NaPoWriMo Day 25)

shadow-198682_960_720I’m half-sick of shadows
of catching the reflection
of my darker inclination;
not in a mirror, no, but
behind the lens
of my own eye.

Makes it a bitch
to drive sometimes.

Too fleeting to call it a vision,
a hallucination, derangement –
that’s when they up your meds –
but too real to call it
a trick of the light.
Rare enough that docs
dismiss it completely.
Merely a cognitive quirk.

People may not be jumping
out of the shadows at me,
but my brain
sure
is.

 

The NaPoWriMo challenge for Day 25 was to write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (in this case, Tennyson’s Lady Of Shalott), but then take it elsewhere.

Survived the Show

my artwork at 2016 St. Paul Art CrawlSo, I survived the art crawl.  And I’m not crashing as expected, so that’s great.

Still, it’s another nail in the coffin, finance-wise.  Covered my show expenses, but that’s it.  Not a good show.  If I don’t get in the fall local outdoor show, this might be the last one.

I watched dozens of people stop across the room and point at my work, then come closer.  Or pull their companion over to look and comment on it.  Lots of smiles.  I gave out a pile of business cards and answered commission questions.  I think two of them may actually call to commission work.  Someone said they want to buy something “as soon as they’re employed again” — and boy, can I sympathize.  Another person said he “might come back for that painting … and maybe that one.”  (Of course, he didn’t.  Then again, the odd security guy I didn’t think would come back for two teeny watercolor seascapes did come back on the last day…)

My point is, I got great feedback from customers, passers-by, and other artists.  They like my work, think it’s very good, and unique enough.  Some responded to the nudes, a few to the dance-themed pieces, and many, many people to the animals.  My prices seem to be in-line with other painters.  (Or even a tad low, but I’m really trying to move some of these pieces!)  Unlike the fall crawl, this time I saw many people walking around with purchased art.  They just weren’t buying my art.

It’s such a tough nut to crack.  I’m trying very hard not to take it personally, or feel like a failure (“they say they like it, but why don’t they want it?!”).  If we had the luxury, I could do more market research, try a few more things… but we don’t.  Bad shows and a few sparse months have given me a beating.  And really, we need cash-in, and soon: hospital bills going to collections, a sprinkler line leak, a blown tire, less tax back than we thought we’d get, and oh, yeah, we’ve basically eaten through our safety net.  You’d think we were approaching thirty, not the mid-century mark. That plus our combined health issues means we just can’t mess around like this anymore.

So.  I’m trying to convince myself I was lucky to have an opportunity to try this experiment after I lost my long-term design job.  It’s true; not everybody gets that chance.   I’m trying to tell myself even if I can’t/won’t go back to the physical strain of a full-time high-stress (and discriminatory) corporate design job, I have other employable skills.  At least I hope so.  I hope I can convince someone else in an interview.

And in the meantime, I still have a few small commissions trickling in, so at least somebody wants my work, right?

Okay, picking myself up.  Again.

I ain’t strong yet, but I hope to fake it.

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