(Above: Rainbow lounging on the patio)
I wanted to do this blog as a way to record my journey of becoming a full-time, working artist, rather than to write about my life in general (not a topic of great interest to anyone but me and my near and dear.) Of course, the two are inseparable--if I have a fight with my mother, or have a bad day at work, or something happens with my adult son (who has the roommate from hell), I get knocked off kilter. But my art is always there for me, no matter what—and that is a fantastic feeling!! Even if I can’t work, organizing my collage files or putting together images for future pieces can take the edge off anxiety or anger.
On Monday morning of this week, I brought my mother home from an early dental appointment to find my cat seriously ill. (He’s all right now, thank goodness, but he really had us scared for awhile!) I ran him to the vet’s, where he had to stay while they figured out what was wrong and began treatment. I decided to take the rest of the day off my job (they are wonderful people, so I can always deal with emergencies) and while anxiously awaiting news of Rainbow, I went to my work table and indulged in serious art therapy.
I try to combine projects whenever possible, so I plan to use my piece from Theme Thursday’s “Girls” art challenge to offer for sale on Etsy and/or use for a printable image on Café Press. Naturally I wanted the piece to be really, really nice! It was a great way to distract myself, but I realized I was working with a sort of desperation, trying not to think the worst for my poor kitty.
Awhile later I was told that Rainbow, who has been on insulin since about last spring, was in hypoglycemic shock with a blood glucose level of 30, devastating for a small animal. It seems that cats can “get over” diabetes, unlike dogs and humans, and start producing their own insulin again, so that day his morning insulin shot nearly killed him! He was coming around with a glucose IV, but they wanted to keep him overnight for observation and would phone if there was anything to report.
So I worked and waited for possible phone calls from the vet's (none came--which was a relief, although the fearful anticipation was relentless) and I ended up working until around 12:30 AM because there was no way I could sleep. I was in a truly strange state regarding my artwork; it was as if my usual days' or weeks' worth of putzing, trying alternatives, tweaking, fiddling, etc, that I usually go through, became compressed, sped up, tossed into a time warp of frantic productivity, and I found that I produced a creditable piece of work in way less time than I would've thought possible even a week ago.
So I posted the “Best Friends Forever” piece here on my blog (SEE previous post) and went to bed.
Rainbow came home the next morning (more time off work, I used up all my vacation time) and has been getting back to his old self quite nicely. But I was disappointed later in the week because my piece wasn’t acknowledged in any way on Theme Thursday’s site, and the new challenge was already posted. I read the instructions again, and soon found I’d not followed them correctly. If I ain't dyslexic, I should be--! I needed to leave a message in their comments box with a link to my blog and artwork. I had merely put a link to TT here on my blog. Doh!! So I posted the link to my work on their site, and today I got a nice comment from one of the TT regulars. (I am such a slut for outside verification of my talent *sigh*)
In the aftermath of all this, I came across a couple of insights. 1) Guilt can hammer you like a pile-driver as you try to outrun it--because I thought I had inadvertently poisoned my cat; and 2) I'll bet I can find that state again that will allow me to tap into this type of energy (without the "frantic" adjective) to move me forward in my self-reinvention from office subservient to "real artist."
Yesterday I started an ATC which I will use for a swap on Art42, as well as post on TT for this week’s challenge (“Flourishes”) There is a wide, wonderful network of artists doing all kinds of art and putting it on the worldwide web--a dozen times over via linking to each others' websites/blogs--and I feel the urge to continue dipping my toes in this stream. I’ve visited many of the links, links from those links, etc., and it is amazing how many talented artists are online, selling their art and also sharing it with a wider community.** I really feel the need to nurture this kind of contact and develop relationships with fellow online artists, so that this synergy can contribute to my efforts of becoming a full time artist, of which selling on the internet is a huge part. Maybe opportunities to promote/market my work will arise out of this inter-activity, but it is basking in those good vibes circulating so freely and happily that attracts me the most.
**and it also made me realize how much I have to learn about pimping my blog, my site is sooooo BORING. My apologies.