I have been taking some down time.
I will explain in the next blog entry.
Thanks, I needed this.
I watched tons of art videos. I read bunches of art blogs. I stood in the middle of my studio only to walk out a few minutes later. For the first time in my life, I thought "Maybe I am just done making art(?)"
I have been having some health problems. Nothing deadly, but still worrisome. I didn't care about this except for the way it was effecting my art motivation. There were moments I thought I was doomed. However, I kept digging in that toolbox. I kept thinking, I just need to hear the CLICK.
I decided to resume my bucket list project. For the past few years, I have had it in my mind to continue to show in all the states united. I have shown lots in Michigan and Florida because I have lived in both states. However, I want to show my work in all 50. So, I entered a show in Minnesota. This is one state in which I have never shown my work. Weeks later, I was notified I got two pieces in the show. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm......................
This morning, I woke up very early and packed up the work to travel. I filled out the forms, paid for shipping, and dropped it off to put it on it's way. I love thinking of my work going to all the places I have no desire to visit. It is like my art is my proxy tourist. This is fine with me.
I came home after dropping the work off and fell asleep on the couch. The hours of prep made me tired. Then, I woke up. I got up and picked up some canvases and started working. I even got out my graphite pencils and worked on preliminary ideas. I realized I heard the CLICK.
I have 20 something states and 3 international exhibits so far. I have to recheck my resume to make sure the numbers are accurate. In the meantime, I am on my way. Now, I have to find shows in places like North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, etc. At least, it gives me a goal.
I want to keep clickin.
So after giving my notice, I had to go pack up all my belongings and fill my SUV up with all my teaching props, gear, and toys. When I was in my art room, there was a little part of me that wished a Super Hero would rush in and tell me it would be OK. We fixed it! We want you to stay! I really thought that! Packing boxes in the darkened room, I kept thinking the warden would call and announce the reprieve. I will not get the death penalty after all! Yet as the hours passed and I kept packing, lifting, and loading, nobody came to say anything. I was all alone feeling kind of crappy, but a bit relieved all at the same time. I have always known there are no super heroes or super anything for that matter.
So now I have all my art teaching junk polluting my own art studio. One big pile of mess. It reminds me of my life right now. It is kind of a wreck. It is so funny because so many times in my life I have been told to concentrate more on my art. However, I am always in such fear because of money. My art is not "commerce qualified", so to speak. I don't want it to be either. If it sells it sells, if not, I have always had my paycheck. This sounds so cliché, but maybe now is the time to just "BE AN ARTIST". Maybe I should rely on my own super powers?
I can find simpler jobs to pay bills. I have always figured out a way to support myself and have done a very good job for five decades. Maybe I am weird for thinking this way, but it just has to be time for me now. Things will work out. I have no idea why I was thinking someone would run into the art room and rescue me. That is nonsense.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN MY OWN SUPER HERO!
I have always been crazy like this.
We went to school together way back in the 70's. So losing her represents the end of that era. It is strange. Recently, we spoke about death via FB message. So many of our friends were dying. I told her that we are at that age. It is going to happen whether we like it or not. I just never thought it would be about either one of us.
So now, she is gone. It has taken a month for me to even say this. I need to let it go. I need to let her go. I need to get on with my art and life. I am so glad we shared a history. She was one person who I could talk with while voicing the same kind of "art speak". Right now, I am talking to myself. NO. I am still talking to her. She just doesn't answer immediately. I am sure she will send me signs. I am sure she is still listening to my crazy rants. I am sure she is thinking "That Sheree. She is like that."
She will always be part of my DETROIT memories. It is my hometown. She was my home girl.
Love ya Gild.
Click pic for larger view
This week my best art friend died. Her name was Gilda Snowden. I cannot start to tell you what a phenomenal woman she was. I met her in the mid 70's at Wayne State University. We were comrades in undergrad and grad school. We have maintained our friendship for nearly 40 years. Her sudden and unexpected death has left a hole in my heart. She was more than just a friend. She was part of my spirit.
When I heard of her death, I remembered what my dad had said. "Where did all those brains go?" I thought of this because Gilda's foremost goal was to be a scholar. She wanted to be smart about art and life. OH, she attained her goal. She was one of the smartest people I know. I could talk to her about anything and everything. This is a rare gift. I too am a knowledge seeker. Sometimes I feel all alone because I think of things nobody else cares about. Gilda always did. So where do those brains go? Every day when I am teaching, I am met with smiling faces ready to make art. Gilda had the same thing happen. We all touch lives. We share tidbits of knowledge and experience. Those seeds are scattered into the Universe. Everything we do and share is distributed all over our worlds. Little pieces of us are floating in the air and caught by the people we touch. That is the answer Daddy.
The happiest thing for me is just weeks ago, I sent her a crown for her 60th birthday.
On the day it arrived, she put it on and sent this photo to me.
I will always love you Gilda.
I have had the pleasure of meeting 500+ new students this week. It was a hot, crazy mess. However, I loved every minute of it. I was reminded that every human being needs to learn about creativity. Also, there are special individuals who are true, young artists. It is in their blood. For example, I met one little girl who cut her own bangs. I asked her about this. I asked her why she did this. Her response was "Because I wanted to." I asked if she got in trouble for doing this? She said "NO". That made me smile. She has a great parent or two. Some might see this as misbehavior. I see this as the work of an young artist trying to express themselves.
Despite the fact we need to teach everyone about creativity because no matter where your place in the world falls, you will need to be creative. There are always individuals who "get" this already. These young human beings already know the way. They are born creative. They express themselves through their dress and style. They might be moody even at a young age. They are different. Maybe this is why some artists feel like they have been outsiders their entire life.
It is very difficult to try to get close to so many students at one time. It is almost impossible to have a working relationship with that many students each week. This is why I focus on the art kids first. I can spot them from a mile away. They were born this way. Creativity runs through their veins. They are my young artists.
These are my people.
SOCIETY. We have a problem. Our values are so skewed. What are we thinking? If you watch TV, you will see people spending thousands of dollars on purses or being famous for doing nothing other than posing for selfies. What is going on here?
Even though I am a wise, intellectual woman, I too fall for the joke. I will admit. I have felt lesser due to all the stuff I see in media. When I see all the star studded opulence and grand lives parading in front of me, it is hard not to think "My life sucks!"
Then, there are moments of clarity. This week I was hired to teach full time again. I took two years off. This past year, I was an Instructional Substitute to help make financial art ends meet. During this time, I realized that I am an artist without a doubt. However it dawned on me, I am a natural teacher too.
I stopped at the store after work today. As I rounded the corner of the aisle, I saw a little girl looking at me. Our eyes met. Her eyes became as big as saucers. I smiled back and said "I know you!" I was her substitute teacher for a couple of days last year. She smiled the biggest smile. I guess she just ate a blue popsicle or something. Her teeth were all blue. We talked for a few minutes. I told her I couldn't be her sub anymore because I am a regular teacher now. We hugged and I wished her well. I told her to do a great job in 2nd grade.
When I left the store, I thought about all the little bits of Sheree I have left around the world. My art is floating around the globe. More importantly, I have decades of blue tooth children who have experienced my Sheree wisdom and weirdness. It will stay with them. This is why their faces light up when they see me. They remember the experience of being around me. Like morsels dropped on a path, I have left a trail.
This is what really matters.
“Making a "living" is not the same thing as making a life."
Dr. Maya Angelou
"Instead of jumping out the window, I am putting in the time."
"Producing art has been my cure for many years.
I feel better when I make things and draw. So I make more."
"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing."
“Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears.”
“Well, while I’m here I’ll do the work
and what’s the work?
to ease the pain of living.
Everything else, drunken
ARTISTS: Never be jealous of other artists if they sell or get attention. What is good for them is good for all. It is like poking a hot coal in a bonfire. After the nudge, everything starts to burn. In other words, we all stay warm!!! :-)
(aka: Sheree Rensel)
"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."
"Beware of artists - they mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous...".
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."
"I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite -- only a sense of existence." Henry David Thoreau