29 March 2006

A Cloudless Day

Finally, the sun is coming out and with a bit of luck, it'll stay out. For the last couple of days, it's been cloudy and (shock, horror) raining. I know for most areas of the US, this would be normal in spring, but here, in the Mojave Desert, it's normally cloudless with a deep blue sky. So, having a grey overcast day is really different. And not welcome in my book. Supposedly, the rain has moved on.

The reason that I've mentioned the weather is that it's a good analogy to my own mood. I have periods of cloudiness that last for days and then becomes clear and wonderful. (I'm not talking about deep, dark depressions -- just the blahs.) This is pretty normal, I've been told, for artists. Partly it's due to the creative process and partly it's due to the financial aspects of being an artist.

With the creative process, there are times when work comes easily and then there are the struggles. Sometimes paintings almost paint themselves and at others, well,... let's just say it's more productive to bake brownies than try to paint. The key is to try to remain in the middle and just work steadily. Lately with my new plan, I've done that and I've finished some fine botanical watercolors such as this daylily.

As to the financial situation, that is where my clouds are coming from. Like most artists, I don't have a steady income. I'll go to a show and maybe I'll sell nothing or maybe I'll come home with $1000. I have potential clients that talk and talk about commissions and then just disappear. Then out of the blue, I'll get 2 large commissions in one day. But the problem is bills come monthly and have specific due dates. While I've learned to save most of my income to cover my bills, it still gets scary. Like it is right now -- I have mainly bills and few sales, in part because I'm retooling my eBay store and in part because everyone is feeling a financial squeeze.

What's interesting is that the solution to both problems is just to get to work and try to forget the problems. If the problems are still important after a hard day's work, then I'll deal with them then. And now, there's a peony that needs to be painted!

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