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Painting again

Apparently you aren't supposed to pursue too many different mediums, it makes you look unfocused. Unless you are a "great artist" preferably male and then you can break all the rules. I don't care. I can only sculpt so much and then I need to take a break. I can only paint, or draw or whatever and then I need to create space from the work. So what's the difference if I step back and do something non art related or I just work in another medium?

I'm pursuing multiple paths simultaneously if that makes me scattered, so be it...or maybe I'm just "prolific."

It's been so long since I had a place to work. Having a studio space still feels like a dream. I'm only just starting to believe it. While I still can't weld, nor set up a kiln, I can happily paint, draw, and hand-build at a decent scale. Maybe someday I'll make huge sculptures or paintings but for now this works.

I didn't realize just how many art supplies I'd been hoarding over the years when I wasn't able to make work. A beautiful tube of Old Holland oil paint, a brush, small canvases, drawing ink, various bits of tools and hardware, it was all bought, often with birthday money and then hidden away.

Now I have no excuses left. It's all here in this room of my own. I started pulling my acrylic paint stash out, bought when I thought I had a better chance of using it than oil paint, but soon I remembered why it never went anywhere. It didn't feel right. It doesn't flow. As soon as I dipped my brush in the oil paint and added some linseed oil, it felt real. It seems I'm a wet on wet painter and acrylic just can't compare. I draw with my brush, and let it happen. Acrylic feels like it would work if I was a more planned painter, maybe if I was the type that used grids. That's just not me. I'll continue to experiment with acrylic, but oil paint speaks to me.

The smell of my studio floods me with memories. I always remember that first moment I stepped into the art building at Cornell University when I was 17 and smelled the painting studios. It was like coming home. I took a painting class there during summer college and as cliche as it sounds, it was like finding myself. I just found pictures of those paintings and they have beautiful little moments in them.

In college, my painting professor, Harriet Shorr, urged me to be a painting major, but I was so seduced by the metal shop and the bronze foundry. I said I could paint on my own, but when would I have access to these kind of facilities again? This made her sad. She recently passed away and I bought her book. I've been thinking of her this week as I paint 3 glasses in a portrait of my son I've started. I feel like I'm in a class again. Setting up challenges for myself and practicing non attachment. It doesn't matter if it's good. Just do the work. Two days of painting and I step away from the work, time to touch the clay again. Last week it was the same. I completed a dog painting and then hand built more panties. Maybe for me this is balance. I always need time for the work to ferment. With this little room, I can still keep creating while that happens.

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