Wednesday, December 20, 2006


As much as I love being an artist, there is a when you have those insecure, crazy feelings like everyone is better than you, getting more jobs than you, and selling more art than you and for more money than you. Guess what? That is what I am doing today. Feeling a little bit panicky and anxious that I will not make it and everyone is passing me by. AHHHH. Stupid.

And to top it all off I have a big client who owes me a nice check and is late paying it and now my carefully budgeted money is dwindling to nothing. Makes me CRAZY!! and very ANGRY and stressed out. Writing it down kind of makes me be able to let it go. There ain't nothing I can do about it. I am trying not to throw myself a pity party because I really have it quite good and this problem is little compared to what others endure. OK I am done. Lovely. Crazy. Fun. Dumb ass.

Still thinking that blogs are weird. I should just be writing this in a journal or something. Jeese louise I have to stop being all insecure today.


plushpussycat said...

But don't we all have similar cycles?

I have, in my life, loved little more than pens and pencils. At three I drew my first series of Christmas cards. For nearly sixty-six years I have used pencils and pens and brushes both professionally and "for fun". Now I can no longer do that. My fine motor control is gone, vamoosed, out the window.

In my studio, where the dust of twenty months has fallen, I have an new unsharped box of Prismacolor pencils, 120 of them, that I will never use.

By God, it makes me sad.

Sometimes I deal with it. My mind remains (pretty) sharp and I can type to anyone with an e-mail address. I don't have a hare of the blessings an old lady (my age now) who lived near to us used to count when I was a child. I have a loving husband, a wonderful son and two kick-ass grandsons.

Yet, as late as yesterday, I sat plotting methods of self-disposal. I was not depressed but energized by the idea of THE END! Even if I did not draw for extended periods I always knew I could. Now I know I cannot. That knowledge EATS at me.

However, and this is the amazing part. It has to do with a line I once read that went: "Keep a green bough in your heart and the singing bird will come".

Sometime MY bird sings. I do the things I CAN do and nevermind the rest. Sometimes I hum with the bird. Sometimes I tap-dance. I put on my newest old tap shoes and WHIRL through the garage, tap-a-tappity-tap. Of course I am ridiculous...but the garage door is closed.

You are young Martha. I know the moods come and go...but you can do EVERYTHING! You even have time to be blue and lose your insight.

Where I am the options are limited. The horizon narrows.

In the face of that, I bake cookies and fret about cleaning the attic. I stimulate myself by pondering George Bush. His poll numbers give me a lift! We are such wonderful animals aren't we?

jaime said...

Yep. Worry is a full-time artist's part-time job.

But hey, you aren't letting it cripple you into not working, like so many artists do. A painting a day is crazy. You are prolific, have a lovely book of your artwork out and have your work on gallery walls and in magazines and all over the place.

I used to worry that no one would ever hire me to paint things. Then some commercial people started hiring me, so I worried that I'd never get a chance to paint anything personal anymore. Now I have opportunities to paint for galleries which makes me worry that I don't have anything truly interesting to say. Then I worry that I might need some more of that soul-sucking educational work (think: paintings of multicultural car washes)to pay the bills while trying to make something that is personal.

When I don't have enough work I worry that I'll never have work, and when I have too much work, I'm pissed at myself for not doing something more valuable with that lost in-between time. A never-ending cycle. yay.

I took a painting to a gallery a few weeks ago, and parked my car outside. I looked at the piece one last time, and wasn't sure if I liked the painting or disliked the painting. Part of me didn't want to take it in. There is always doubt, and it is comforting to know that others have the same thing going on.

I usually feel happy again when I consider the fact that if I didn't question my work and stay concerned with its validity and worry about its purpose - it would probably be very safe and boring work. (as an aside, "Daring" to me is painting larger than 8"x10".)

So there's an upside of being self-conscious. You are at the very least conscious of the work you are putting out, and not all artists are.

Martha Rich said...

Thanks you guys!

Omar said...

Dude. I feel like that more often than I care to admit. And then I snap out of it, just like that. Seriously, I thought I was the only one. It's a relief to know that someone else feels that way from time to time.

Now that that's out of the way -- I didn't know you had a blog! I kept meaning to start one but I'm way too lazy. The freedomwig stuff is awesome, too!

Okay, that's all. Say hi next time you're in SF.