My big o’l 2000 pound logs are sitting on a truck in Texas. While my chisels lie sharpened and waiting for the lovely mesquite in their near future, I myself haven’t let any dust settle. Thanks to Paul’s foresight and ambition, two large trailer loads of free logs have arrived on my mountain and will someday be part of The Studio. We unloaded and selectively piled ‘em up near the tractor-powered sawmill while he explained which ones are going to be beams and which ones trusses. Feels good to gather materials and begin to manifest a studio…it’s been MUCH too long!! Hard to believe I’ve been studio-less for a number of years. Luckily, site-specific commissions kept my business as an artist rolling (a bit bumpily) along. The small works on paper don’t require much space to produce (thankfully Cliff patiently lent me the use of his dining room) but it is really…really…REALLY time for this gal to have a “room of her own” again. I even had my own studio space in high school while a student…complete with a key to access it on weekends (yes…I was obsessed with creating back then too!) I never imagined myself without a studio…so a few years ago when I found myself suddenly studio-less I panicked. My identity and my livelihood had sprung from within studio walls for much of my life. Just who was I without a studio? Like a traveler who’s suddenly lost their luggage and their bearings, I took a deep breath and embraced the question, the unknown, and the adventure. Freedom comes from letting go…new possibilities arise…demons lurk…emotions swell and swirl…exploration intensifies.
Life gave me an unexpected sabbatical…time to adventure both within and without. I had just discovered climbing and found strong similarities between the world of rock, ice, mountains and studio life. The urge to create pushed me past excuses into uncomfortable places. Growth.
Alas, growth is rarely pain-free. I just re-read the words above and feel compelled to confess; I cried. I wailed. I sobbed. I whimpered…more than once. I cursed the Universe. I curled up in a ball. I gnashed my teeth (at night…in my sleep). Do you know what it is like to have a head full of ideas like monkeys all screeching for attention? Did you see the words “demons lurk” snuck in-between the positive rambling toward the end of the paragraph above? Stripped of a studio, I was (and am) at times totally discombobulated. Lost. I am not all grace and graciousness. Yes…I explore. I seek adventure. But I can be a klutz and I certainly am not without fear. I did take a deep breath each time. I plucked myself from despair. I donned a pair of tinted sunglasses to hide my puffy eyes and to cast a rose-colored glow on a seemingly hostile studio-less world so that could gather my gumption and move on. Am I better for it? Sure. (?)
BUT I am more-than-ready to return to studio life. I have yet to commit to a temporary space for the mesquite sculpture project…a short stop on the journey home. My guess is that another temp studio or two are in my future before I get to move into a “room of my own.” I will be lugging new suitcases filled past capacity with riches gathered during an unplanned journey. Maybe I increased the girth of a few muscles. I definitely have a few more scratches and scars…a deeper appreciation…a zillion ideas…a deepened thirst…and some new skills.