Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Art and Balance

"I was his mother and his wife and now I want the luxury of my own life"
Ani DiFranco
         This question, art and balance, plagues female artists more than male. We, who need to divide our lives into segments, are more vulnerable to the judgements and cultural influence than men. In the past, I think, women had to give up having the "traditional" family situation to devote their energies to the art. 
         And it does take an enormous amount of energy. Now we have more options. Sometimes TOO many!
I was lucky enough to be able to raise my children without having a second job. It was in the 80's when this was very untrendy. It was thought to be a cop out on the advances of women in the work place during the late 60's and 70's. Without dishonoring those said advances, I felt that the job of raising children was just as important! Our society does not compensate the at home parent with social security- which it should. I also feel that Child Development should be a required course in schools. Knowing what a child is capable of will help cut down on child abuse, which then affects the following generations. 
Anyway, off my rant, art for arts sake is something I must do. I feel out of sorts when I don't do it. It feeds my soul not only in the process of making it but wanting to capture what I feel and see when I go for walks, read a poem or even get inspired by someone else's creativity. 
Return to Our Senses        2008 silk organza collage
I am coming off of 20 plus years of selling my art with vigor. I've been taking it viva 'booth et all' to shows for the last 6 or 7 years. I will take 2012 off. I may not take my work on the road again. I am going to taste teaching this year. Then gestate. Decide. Rethink. 
Balance is not my forte'. I struggle with it. 

I wrote a blog post in 9/08 about this subject-


Connie Rose said...

Good for you, Wen! FYI, I did shows on the road in the late 90s, when I was a jewelry designer, and I was solo (still am) and did every piece of everything by myself -- making the art, promoting and selling it, loading and unloading all the shit from my vehicle, setting up and sitting at the booth all weekend, dealing with all the crap that artisans have to deal with...and in the end it just wore me out. And it cost a lot back then to do that, I know it's so much more expensive these days to do those things. Especially expensive when we think about our life energy.

So I really honor your decision to sit it out, maybe forever. I predict your art will get better!

Cris Winters said...

Balance is a big driving force in my life these days. I have some younger friends who I know believe me to be slacker. And I watch with concern for them to crash and burn, as I did a few years ago. So many demands; so little consciousness about living a sane life. I love what you said.

Judy Warner said...

It sounds like you are following your heart, Wen, in taking a year off. That is what is important.

starseasons said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings regarding life, art, and balance. Art for art sake is something I too am struggling with. And this after only 7 years selling my art part time. So as I make a similar decision I feel as though I am not alone in my decision. Blessing to you Wen.

Judith HeartSong said...

gorgeous work and I could not agree more. The documentary film "Who Does She Think She Is?" addresses this topic as well...

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