Saturday, August 13, 2011

Studio 632 F, One Year Later

This time last year, I embarked upon one of the most challenging ventures of my life.  I had been dreaming of getting my own art studio since my creativity class in fall 2007 when I was in grad school at Governors State.  Last summer I was finally able to make that dream a reality.  I wanted it more than anything.  Since my other plans, to get married and become a homeowner, hadn't worked out, I pursued my vision of an art studio with a relentless ambition.

I got my paintings hung just in time to have my first open studio on a muggy Friday the 13th, undaunted by any superstition.  I'd drawn a floor plan, but there wasn't enough time to move all my furniture in, so I decided to set my sparsely furnished studio up as though it were a gallery.  My family worked tirelessly to install my window air conditioner just in time to keep the studio cool for my new visitors.  I was so worried about making a good impression, so concerned about how my work and my new workspace would be received by my visitors.  Much to my relief, things went well that night.  And even though I didn't get to get married on August 14, 2010, on August 13th at least my dream of having an art studio of my own and showing my art there came true.

It was a bittersweet beginning to a bittersweet era in my life.  A month later, everything fell apart and the events that inspired my Dark Night of the Soul Series took place.  It has been a time in my life when I have re-evaluated my priorities, my perspective, my past, and my future.  I learned hard lessons about the difference between determination and selfish self-will, and also how an all-consuming ambition can create dangerous blind spots that hide important truths. 

And my art has been one of the things that has helped me get through a difficult year.  I'm glad I have my studio, my sanctuary for my creative process, a place where I have the freedom and clarity to live in the moment. Its bright colors have been an antidote to the great and terrible sadness that I felt during a painful time in my life. The privilege of having a studio has not been without sacrifice, but having a place to make my art has made the struggle worthwhile.

Now the first anniversary of my studio is a bittersweet milestone as well, as it is the day that the love of my life embarks upon his own great adventure, one that will take him many miles away from me.  This time last year there was no foreshadowing of the plot twists yet to come for us.  But for now, at least, I have a place where I can create and express myself.  And I am grateful for the support and well wishes of all the visitors who have graced 632 F with their presence.

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