Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Art Blog: Cha CHING!

I am done. At least for now, I am done throwing money into the art “black hole”. I am over it. I feel like I am throwing dollar bills into the air and they are swirling and spinning around and I can’t catch even one of them. I am done.

We artists have to think rationally at least on occasion. I hate this premise. I really do. I like Sheree’s “pie in the sky” art dreams much better. However, somebody or something just woke me up. I am not going to apply for any more juried shows for a while. I am not becoming a "member" of art organizations either. I am not even going to spend money on too much supplies when nothing sells anyway. I am going to put myself in hiatus. It just doesn’t make sense right now. I hate this idea, but I slapped myself into reality. Even though I don’t like counting pennies and being economically reasonable when it comes to art, there has to be a line drawn in the sand. I am crossing it now. STOP SHEREE!

I know I am not alone. For those artists who see their reflection here, please chime into the conversation. I am guilty. I want to show my work and one way to show my work is to be included in juried shows. However it seems that lately, these juried shows are a bit suspect. Now before you give me all kinds of great advice about juried shows, I must tell you I have been entering juried shows since the early 70’s. I know about juried shows. In fact, I have been a juror for quite a few juried shows. I know how things work. Yet, there is something going on that is very different now. I really feel that many venues are promoting juried shows for the sake of the venue and not the artists or their work. I just have this feeling.

I visited an art venue and they were hawking their newest prospectus. The person handed me one and then the people at the venue began to talk amongst themselves. One person said something about the juried show and another responded with “Cha-CHING”. In other words, they were interested in the money it brought in for the venue. That isn’t wrong, but the smirk on their faces was troubling to me.

It is so funny because just over two years ago, I started Git Outta My Face Gallery with the intention of helping artists promote their work at no cost to the artists. I bankrolled the whole deal. Even though my intentions were good and honest, the gallery fizzled out. It will close in coming weeks and it is sad in a lot of ways. I tried. Some artists tried, but there wasn’t enough interest I guess.

This is water under the bridge. I just want artists to realize that all that glitters is not gold. Like I said “I am done.” At least, I am steering clear from throwing money away on things that rival Las Vegas odds. I am not a gambler. I can’t afford to be. I am an artist.

“All That Glitters”
Acrylic / Mixed media on canvas

(Click pic for detail)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Art Blog: SCARY: New Start

I haven’t been writing on my blog much because I am looking for a new life. I figured I better lay low for a while. Well my new life is not happening like I wish it would and I felt I needed to write.

So I will.

I want to begin again, so to speak. I want to do something different. I will always be an artist, but my day job needs to change. I already have my place in heaven. I have already done very good work for society and art. Despite my life plans, somehow, some way I ended up teaching. This was never my dream, really. However, it has worked out very well for more than twenty years. I went with the flow. All the while I have maintained my artist’s work and did the teaching thing. I did both very well too. But now it is time for a change.

I LOVE teaching. I really do. Every so often I have a day that is so wonderful. I am up there telling the students about this artist or that and how art relates to their lives……….I have moments of joy (or I should say mere seconds) that make me realize I am doing the right thing. However, every so often those seconds of recognition don’t compare to all the hours spent fighting to teach and not being able to do a great job. If you follow this blog, you all ready know I teach difficult kids. I have loved that so much. I am their people. However, our society has changed so much; my students are reflecting that change. I can’t do this anymore at least in the same environment I have devoted the past eighteen years. It is just too difficult and emotionally damaging. I want to teach and that is almost impossible due to systemic mandates and decisions beyond my control. So be it. It is time to move on………

This makes me so sad. I feel beaten down. I go to work in the morning with enthusiasm and by the end of the day my knees are literally weak and the life is sucked from my body. I have been yelled at, harassed, tormented, and have been surrounded by violence. I don’t want to live this life anymore. Like I said, it is sad because I have loved it for so long, but I don’t love it anymore.

The biggest problem I am having besides not being able to find an alternative job is my feelings of uselessness and doubt. I am a really great teacher. That has been proven. Despite great success, I feel like I have put all these years in to something and now, it is meaningless. I know that is not rational, but I really feel that way.

I want to start again. I want something new. I want something fresh. I want a job in which I can transfer all my organizational, technology, teaching, and administrative skills into another form. I want a job in which I am appreciated even if that only means I still feel enthusiastic at the end of the day. I am a happy person and smile a lot usually. This is not true anymore and I hate it. I want to be happy again and for silly me, that isn't asking much. I have so much to offer. I have so many skills and attributes. I have a long history of success after another success. But now, I feel beaten down. I don’t have my usual confidence. This is why I know it is time for a new start………..a fresh start.

The SCARY part is what if nobody cares or what if change doesn’t come? Ordinarily, I would spit in the wind and know everything will be fine. This isn’t in my head right now. I don't have the strength. I am trying to be positive, but I even doubt myself at this point.


“New Start”
Acrylic on Arches
18” x 24”
Sheree Rensel
(Click pic for detail)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Art Blog: LIVE before you die

I learned something today. Maybe I knew this all along, but it is good to be reminded. It is a sad day. Steve Jobs died. Hanging on the wall in front of me as I sit and type this is an "Appleholic Award". I got this silly, little award in the shape of a CD years ago. I have always been an APPLE girl. To hear of Mr. Jobs death makes me realize it is an end of an era.

Reading about his life, I got a little nudge. He lived a really great life. He was a true genius and his brilliance has touched all of us. One thing I read today struck me hard. Here is an excerpt from Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. Read this and think about your own life. I am doing that right now.

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."