Monday, March 30, 2009

Know Where You Are and Who you are.

Walking the beach in Costa Rica, leaving footprints searching for inspiring sea shells.
Photo by Susan Lyons

I called a business meeting at Brookside Pottery for everyone who works there today. Well, that means I talked to myself about the business. It was a quiet day and I listened carefully.
After attending the Luna Women's Short Film Festival, I began to think about the different way I want the pottery to be now.
I survived the move and the giant scale down. I have tried to slow down and enjoy life and make my one of a kind pieces again taking more time and care. I have tried not to bring to the new environment the problems of the old environment.
And now I think I see the ideas I need for the third section of my pottery book. It involves being conscious of where you are, why you are there, and who you are. Thanks to over caffeinating myself, I came to several conclusions as well as having much more to think about.

I have never had to write a mission statement or bylaws or try and figure out what I want from life. Art. It is always about art.
I have always been able to survive as an artist and go with the flow to some degree and make my own way at times as well.
As Field of Dreams movie said something like, "Just make it and they will come."

I have a very supportive family. My husband understands my need for a certain amount of independence and a lot of need for time to get my work done. And, after all, it works well because he is a writer and needs his time too. My children have benefited and found a way to continue in the arts as well. Art became their way of life as well.

What made me think after going to the film festival? First, I noticed a camaraderie with the women organizing the festival and that reminded me of the good old days, the days when I began my studio/galleries, in Tulsa and in Virginia. I like the youthful enthusiasm and energy. I am not that young woman any more. The energy is there in another form, slower and more thoughtful in a way.

I watched one of the short films that had two older sisters talking about their lives as seamstresses. One wanted to be a dancer and tried to live that life as she imagined wearing the dance costumes she sewed. They talked about what was important to them in life and one conclusion was art. Art was the most important thing above everything, including failed romances etc. They reminded me if I want to do something do it now.

I bought an interesting copper scrap drain box from a metal recycling center today. It has great potential as a base for sculpture or part of a fountain. I don't think I should wait 10 years to do this project. I looked over my tables and saw a couple of old light fixtures purchased from the same place about 10 years ago. I think it is time to get with some of these smoldering ideas. In ten years I will be 67 and that is 3 away from 70 and that is 10 away from 80 and....better get with it, now.

Also, at the movie, I saw one of my favorite customers from the past 18 years and realized she probably does not know where my new studio is. That was a good realization as I am hearing more and more that people don't know where I moved or where I am or what I am doing. Yikes.

So the plan is to do a giant mail out with announcements in publications and have a "rebirth kind of show." Here is where I am and here is what I am doing. I should not have assumed people would find me even though I am about 10 feet from the back door of my old shop.

Change always happens. Is life really a giant vibration? Quantum physics? It has taken awhile to hold still and create again in my new environment. I am reclaiming my space and work time. I have to appreciate the wisdom of the insecurity of the new studio. In other words, work while I can and worry about the next move some other time. The next time I move will once again offer new opportunities and I will make the best of it. Less is more.

Maybe I will drink less caffeine tomorrow or I will have to hold another business meeting with 100% attendance.

I will just enjoy making new art for myself and those special orders for others and hope the economy improves soon and my customers find me. More tomorrow about the "new plan."

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