January 13th, 2020
What I love about painting weddings...
Honestly? What don't I love about painting weddings! Okay, so maybe taking until Tuesday to recover from intense weekends can sometimes be daunting but that doesn't mean it isn't worth it. It just means I have to adapt my schedule.
1. It's literally the *perfect* thing for me. It fits my quirks. It fits around my husbands' schedule. It accommodates my ADHD (ugh, I dislike calling it a "disorder". We need a better term.) The late hours fit my natural night-owl sleep cycle. And what a coincidence, I've been trying to perfect people and roses as far back as I can remember! Also what a coincidence, I spent a significant amount of my formative years bouncing around between divorced parents who unwittingly put me in a lot of unique situations that my stable-familied peers were not privy to. Let's just say spending my time in a party atmosphere is a comfort zone, not a distraction zone.
2. I get to throw out the "art rules". I really was pushed by people to pursue art, but was a surprisngly poor and annoying art student. I was rebellious. I disliked using straight edges and grids and rules of lighting and composure. I love diving in with little planning and not paying attention to just one single light source. (Weddings have a crazy amount of light sources! Its a dream come true!) I love imagining leading perspective lines like swirling music staffs and the floral arrangments like the drum bass and the candle lights like a crescendo and the couple the climax of a visual song. All things that using a ruler tends to prohibit.
3. I love the permission to be extra. Not only the permission, but the *encouragement* to be extra. Once I was invited to a NYE party and wore a full length satin skirt, a velvet off the shoulder top, and super sparkly jewelry. It was a house party that was not accomodating to that attire. The moment I walked in, one of the girls laughed at me. Obviously I learned that was not my crowd, but that was the only crowd I had ever known so I assumed I was just too much. Turns out I am a perfect fit for weddings in West Bloomfield, lol. Needless to say, I am off the charts grateful that I am now hanging out with people who are unphased by my chrome nails and heavy eyeshadow oe over the top costume jewelry. (Thank you.)
4. It's fine that my baroque/impressionist/experimental painting style grows and shifts and that no one complains about my corner-squeezing obsession for a foreground detail. On the contrary, my tendency to bring something into the foreground, albiet sometimes in a disproportionate fashion has been requested. I've always done it even though in one of my school art shows I was docked points for it. I won audience choice, though.
5. I really REALLY enjoy experiencing other cultures and groups of people and weddings are a great place to do since I am not in the position to travel for fun. I had no clue just how diverse my own backyard is and through weddings I get to have a taste of all the different backgrounds of people who have ended up here from all different parts of the world! Its truly wonderful to experience on the intimate level that celebrations such as weddings offer.
6. I get to use my art for something truly special. I was hired for my first "art gig" at 10 when I designed posters for an event at my dads' work. I was never one to create works to show; I created works for personal therapy, for gifts, and for income. Painting weddings is an ideal trifecta that encompasses all 3.
As long as my shoulder holds up I don't see myself stopping any time soon. According to my physical therapist I may need to slow down eventually, lol but he didn't advise against learning to paint with my other hand so I will figure out a way ;)
Thanks for reading!
September 09th, 2019
"Artist's aren't worth anything until after they're dead..."
The the title is what I like to refer to as a "drunken uncle stinger". Now, just to clarify the drunken uncles check box on my contract (right before where the zombie apocalyspe clause used to be), it's related to guys that remind me of my drunken uncles. They crack slightly off-beat jokes and are fairly harmless. I am well-versed in drunken uncle retorts.
That comment, however, triggered me this time and that's unusual. I was likely tired, but it still stuck longer.
"The problem with becoming an artist, " he told me, "Is that you aren't worth anything until after you're dead."
"I do alright." I winked (although in terms of finances I could probably be doing better if I got my offering ducks in a row, but I'm sure doing alright considering the circumstances) and then pondered that comment for a bit because first of all, it's simply not true. It is not true, yet it was comments like that that kept me from pursuing art formally and the jury is still out on whether I should have or not. I guess I'm doing alright in that arena, too. Having to self educate gives one a different type of fire, after all. Even had the comments been more encouraging, the reality of my families' financial status would have still proved to be the biggest hurdle at that time.
Money can come and go. The piece I create will likely be around beyond the financial legacy one leaves. I value my art in terms of 2-3 generations from now. I think of others' potential great-grandchildren while they're still picking their first dance song.
I live my entire life in an existential crisis on borrowed time.
But thank you, sir, for the reminder of when I will finally be worth something. It's one of my favorite jokes.
The painting above is of Daniella and Vito who were wed on September 7, 2019.
The title is how I feel about blogging.
I enjoy writing, I really do! They (you know, "They") say you should keep a blog. They also say you should keep up with your blog. I say I will write this post and maybe another next month or next year. Who knows? I currently have other fires to stoke. Today, however, I decided to take this pan off the burner because it's something that has been cooking for a while and it's time to serve it up to you fine folks.
I will be old enough next year to use the word "folks" constantly and be struggling to start a blog in 2019. That means I ALSO have been schlepping paintings around for years and years and thought I would take a moment to share what it means to art-dopt a painting for your wedding. A marriage is ideally life long and through grace I hope your painting gets to bless many lifetimes! I've only been married barely over a decade but I know a little about both. True to internet form, here is a list of (to be determined number) of things you could experience from your wedding art with a little advice sprinkled in for funzies.
1. You will get so many "ooohs" and "aaaahs" over both your marriage AND your painting! (This will also apply to newborns if those come into the picture) The novelty will wear off for those who see it often and sometimes the novelty will even get tired for you. You will see this painting every day and some days, you will look at it and it will take you back to the sound of your spouses laughter during your fathers speech, or the scent of the perfect spring floral you know you tortured your florist over and it will be great. Then there will be other days when you'll be walking by it with a load of laundry hunting down socks like easter eggs and look at that painting and roll your eyes about how they never mentioned picking up your own socks in the vows.
2. In both your marriage and this painting some knuckle head is going to sneakily hate. We all know this person. They are going to stick their nose right in it and point out the flaws. Watch out for the person who waits til you're standing there vulnerable with a basket of dirty socks and tells you "It could be better." While sure, the painting could always be better that person didn't sit in a crowded, noisey room holding up one arm for 6 hours trying to paint faces the size of a fingernail, in the dark under blue uplights, right? Same with your relationship. I would also like to add an honorable mention to "I'm not in there!" person. Yes, they are joking but on a real note, no. They are not in your marriage. It's a valid reminder.
3. In Sickness and in Health is real. In the case of severe heartbreak or tragedy, pack that painting away in the back of a closet and simply cope. No one is guaranteed perfection, or a long full life. However, that painting will remain. What brought you such an incredible amount of joy for so many years could easily turn on you and break you down every time you see it. If it haunts, hurts or otherwise tortures you don't feel obligated to keep it hung up simply because its art. Pack it away for a while. Take another look in a year. If it still hurts, put it away and take another look in another year. As an artist I have done this with my own work MANY times.
***In the case of heartbreak due to one spouse leaving you under circumstances aforementioned in point #2, you have my permission to stab it. Or bring it to me and I will paint that fool right out of the picture and we will share some sort of soul cleansing food and call them a scumbag. OR paint right over it yourself. Just know there's options.
4. You will find both your marriage and painting can be surpringsly durable, but still treat it like its pretty fragile. Its all in how you handle it. For minor dust, wipe it gently with a dry wipe. For major dust, maybe a barely damp lint-free wipe. For major stains, rips or tears you may need to call in a pro for help. Calling in a pro is a good idea before throwing it in the garbage. (Yes, your marriage or your painting) If you call me for help, don't hold back on the story. I love a good story! Or a bad one to laugh over!
5. What you loved originally may change over time. Your painting will not change, but what you see in it might. Your spouse may change, but your love for them shouldn't. But what you originally loved might change, so you will need to focus on another part of them. Or you may become annoyed at what you originally loved. That t-shirt or shoe collection may be a super cute quirk until you have to wash it. #truestory
6. At some point you may take a look at your painting and not even recognize "those kids" in it. Who were those kids, anyway? Those kids who thought they were getting old and worried about their waists and could travel whenever they wanted and went on fun dates? Let this painting be your reminder to always be those kids in each others' eyes. Have fun. Eat some cake. Spoil each other.
Six seems like a good number so I will stop there for now. I know there's more to add so maybe I'll come up with a part 2 eventually.
*please forgive any typos or grammatical errors. True to form, I started this in 2018 and didn't post it until 2019.
Artist, Wife, Mother of five very cool tiny people.