HAPPY NEW YEAR! Happy 2019! ...and 2018 wrap-up


As an artist, I believe honesty is the best policy. I’ve always felt comfortable being publicly vulnerable and giving a voice to those afraid to voice their ailments, illnesses, so-called shortcomings. People are still afraid to talk about mental illness. It’s getting better, a lot better, but still shockingly dismal progress in the obliteration of an unnecessary stigma.

Those close to me know that I suffer from crippling depression. I’m also considered a high-functioning depressive. I get a lot done and most don’t see the suffering I go through. …until this past year (so I presume)…

This is where my 2018 wrap-up comes in. While I’d love to say that I’ve completed another 15-20 pieces this year, it hasn’t happened (unless you count all the small pieces I’ve made). I’m still dealing with the grief of the loss of my mother, as well as the grief of so many other losses that I cannot begin to list here. But the loss of my mother is a big one. Whereas some people assumed that I’d be creating like crazy to unleash the feelings, I’ve crawled into a hole which made creativity very difficult to access. That being said,…

Somehow (mostly because of the help of a few wonderful individuals), I put together a solo show here in Los Angeles within only 14 months after moving here with all of the major family trauma going on and with the experience of a multitude of major losses. It was called Liminal Spaces (click link to get definition and read the short artist statement for the show). It was a success in a good number of ways.

That exposure lead to sales. As a businesswoman, this obviously was a great source of pride. To the outside, it looked like I was doing phenomenally well, while inside, I was in a lot of pain. I have been advised throughout my career to never speak of my suffering with depression, that people will not want to work with me because of it. My own gallery back in Chicago even doubted my ability to bring on a show when I showed them nothing but how amazingly I can get a lot done in a short period of time. They started to get to know me personally and saw how crippling the illness can be for me. But I delivered 15 great large paintings in time for my solo show with them in 2015. How could they doubt me after that performance? (Speaking of performance, I also co-wrote 10 songs during that time for that solo show; as well as worked on my own music and started recording 17 songs with my band). *Point Being — I Deliver.*

Which brings me to my next point, just because a person suffers from clinical depression or bipolar disorder, doesn’t mean they cannot get things done on time, do it better than those without a struggle, and actually soar. It’s just that we have to work extra hard when we do have short bursts of energy and motivation.

I know that my works done in 2017 and 2018 have yet to be posted here. I do need to find a professional photographer here who specializes in documenting artwork… I’m still learning the ropes in the massively sprawling, isolating town that is LA. I’m waiting for the bulk of paintings to come together before undertaking such a project, as it makes sense to do many paintings in one session, rather than constantly doing a few at a time. It’s good to leave this stuff to the professionals. As the saying goes, “If you want to be professional, you have to hire professionals.”

So here’s to a better 2019! I hope to be more creative, experience less grief and depression, and have an abundantly good year. 2018 wasn’t all bad… a good amount of sales came in and the value of the work has gone up. Let’s keep going in that direction, shall we?

We're almost halfway through 2017 and...

...(sigh) and... well, I haven't posted any new art here. I can tell you that I've made some small pieces and should add them to the small works page on the site (will do... I'm way behind on adding things to that page). But I haven't finished any large works, though two were close to finished before I left for LA and one of them is quite a lovely new favorite of mine; the other, I should have left well enough alone. I posted a 'work in progress' pic on instagram of it several months back and it's gotten the most likes of anything -- but I've destroyed it by going in and in and in with the paint, and now have to work out the mess I've made. I do have some finished medium works (a bunch of 24x48's) but will hold off on creating a "2017" page until I have more to show. 

This year started out tough from the get-go: I was tied-up with the charity art events I planned and hosted, a Cornelia show, and then packing up my art (CRAZY amount of inventory), and then the actual colossal double move of home and studio, then working on finding a home in LA and getting settled... then upended by a tragic family setback (which took me out of LA for a total of 2 weeks soon after moving here), and trying to get settled some more as if none of the bad stuff happened (which is not something one can even begin to pretend).

I had trouble picking up the paintbrush and the guitar during these many months in 2017. There was either no time or no sense of self during moments of duress, which there have been way too many of lately. It's been more like months of duress as opposed to moments. Actually, take that quite literally. There were a few days in May here and there when I made good progress on a painting for my aunt, which I started after her massive stroke, but I lost momentum when the stress of the current state of affairs took over. Only last night, did I start to work on two small pieces after weeks of nothing.

And music... ahhhh, music! (sweet music)... I finally picked up the guitar tonight in real way (in other words, I'm not going to count the two or three times that I picked it up in vain for a tuning and a 5 minute session of forced play, followed by gut-wrenching sadness over "losing the gift" -- have I learned nothing from my 20s?). I played for real, as in realtime cathartic, focused playing. My heart was in it, and it hadn't been in it in months... many months. I'm almost ashamed to say how many but I remember the last time I played live and it was two songs at a friend's art show. The circumstances surrounding that night (associated with a spirit-breaking loss that I honestly don't think I'll ever fully recover from) kind of put a hex on my singing and playing... it's like when you read about those cases where people experience something traumatic and stop speaking. I had experienced something personally awful that killed something in me. I was able to use that event (and the power of my voice and song) as my blow back but it left me winded and pained... and then I just stopped singing, writing, playing my own songs for many months.

So tonight, I feel like I came back from the dead. No joke. The power of music and whimsy of the muse. Oh yeah, and I painted some today too. So my sense of self (after feeling robbed of it roughly a year ago) had a taste of the return.

There's no telling what tomorrow may bring... and that really means anything...