I left the house yesterday morning for work thinking I'm headed in a certain direction with my plans and goals typed out neatly and tucked under my arm. But then I get a phone call - a good one. And at the end of it I'm looking at my plans and realizing this opportunity with my day job really is just that - a great opportunity and challenge. I'm excited, but what about me "wish" list of being a full time illustrator and artist, owning a farm NOT in California, having my own washer and dryer... and the list goes on. Does that mean that the things I hope and want won't come about? Absolutely not. It just means that they won't come about in the way I think they ought to. I guess plans are like a watercolor painting (see - you know I would bring art into it at one point.) I have great plans and intentions and even know the subject matter and color, but when wet brush hits the cold press paper- anything can happen - no matter how much control you think you have, and you can have a great deal, there are still surprises - some good and some bad. I can't tell you how many times I've put away a painting I had been working on thinking it was pure junk because it didn't turn out the way I had planned. Then, months later I pull it out and see that the unplanned accident really made the painting interesting, if not better.
I'm also somewhat bothered by my own ideas of what it means to be an artist. I wonder am I really an artist first and foremost if I don't do it full time? Is my personality one that really can enjoy being at home all day everyday working on my art and creating good work? If I'm honest with myself - NO. I need to have human interraction and I need to get out of my head and my ego. I've had many opportunities to work full time as an artist. I was lucky enough to have scraped by, but I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I do when I don't have to rely on my art to feed me and my mean cat. I think that just maybe the hardest and biggest pill for me to swallow this morning (after my humongous vitamins) - is that I'm not of the disposition to just live, breath and work for my art. I soooo look forward to painting and working on my books, but I also look forward to going to work and leaving my art behind for the day. I create better and I'm happier. (and I think I might actually get more finished)This painting represents a plan I had once. One I actually thought was in stone. This was the church I got married in. An old church in Haymarket, Virginia where during the Civil War it was used as a hospital. I did not stay married, as was my plan. But really good things can happen to you regardless of your best made plans. This church has a beautiful variety of grave stones all around it as well - mostly local families and soldiers. It took me a long time to finish this painting and I did this spring. I guess in some ways it's a picture of the "death of plans" and not just a pretty old church. But there is still beauty to it. And I've come far enough away from it, that I CAN see the beauty.