Thursday, June 17, 2021

Post Covid, Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

 Thank you David Bowie........... 

I continued to say;  "What Covid? I'm fine, you're fine, we are all just fine."  Especially once the governor said:  MASKS OFF, GO!!!!  The starter pistols fired around the country and we were off again.  I had my first ever studio sale.  

And that is when I knew something had shifted. 

On a very hot Friday night, a grand crowd showed up, some early, some lingered, some stayed until the fireflies blinked.  I crawled into bed a bit overwhelmed at the community support and felt like maybe we were back.  I had cleaned, priced, mopped, gardened and even gave Kirby a spa day.  The chickens got a clean coop and I was pretty pooped.  Best feature in the studio?  The $5 shelf.  All those pots not quite good enough to go to galleries but maybe too good to smash.  They had been stacked and stored in a dark corner and I was ready to release to them to the wild.  On Saturday afternoon there was one lonely red pot sitting there, promptly hammered and released to the landfill.  My studio is clean, crazy clean and I had money in my bank account for the first time since March 2020.  Sunday I talked to no one, stayed off social media, I was in full blown shut down.  It had been over year since I had done a show, dropped pots off to a gallery, taught at the Montessori school.  I had talked to the dog and had a drink with the chickens in the evenings........ a lot!  The rest of my family continued to work and were considered essential, I was not.  

I have paid my first booth fee in over a year and a half.  I made my first "art pots" since I closed my gallery at 78th St. Studios, 3 years ago.  I had put up a website where work could be purchased, I taught myself DOS and I gardened, baked and canned like a mad woman.  I also made mugs lots of mugs.  Thank God for mugs as they kept me floating.  I AM FINE, YOU'RE FINE, WE ARE ALL JUST FINE!"

and then today happened and something wonderful occurred.......... 

I had been invited to be one of 4 women artists to participate in a regional show; kind of a big deal.  Cool! 

We had our first meeting today.  It went well.  And then I came home and looked at everyone's website and started singing; One of these things doesn't belong here, lalala........  I am in a crowd of educated women who make genius work and continued to make genius work all through the pandemic.  I made survival work.  Academia has supported them (well), what had supported me?  At my studio sale, lanterns and wind chimes and mugs OH MY.  I did not sell one "art piece" but then it was studio sale.  I had actually reverted to very functional work that even shocked me!  Little cats staring at birds on wire.  OK they made me laugh, I needed to laugh! 

I am a potter, just a potter.  I listened to artist statements and got an email about a beautiful catalog.  I love making pots, end of story.  It is not complicated it was something I decided to do so I could stay home with my kids.  My Mom had worked and we got dumped at various relatives for all of my informative years and just decided that was a crazy way to raise to kids.  My kids were craft fair kids on the weekends but we did it together, my little indentured servants.   

I always start my studio day making mugs, it's a great way to ease into my work day, I don't need to think.  After 35 years your hands just know where to go, the elbows tuck in, you relax, rhythmically breathing and before you know it 30 mugs appear.  And while those mugs are appearing you are thinking about the next thing to make.  I just love it.  I don't write papers or present lectures, I write a smart ass blog. 
The cavern is deep from my studio to the academic world.  I am the great Karl Wallenda crossing the Grand Canyon on a shoestring for this show.  I think five years ago I would have jumped at this opportunity but not now.  
Covid has changed me.  Clay used to excite me on so many levels but today I have bluebirds nesting in the garden, my excitement is palpable.  

Sitting with the chickens in the evening I notice the male bluebird also sits on the eggs while the female runs out for a bite to eat.  As the sun sets she flies back and hunkers down for the night,  He stands watch, on top of the nesting box.  He flies back and forth, checking until almost dark, the devotion is surprising.  

And how about seeds..... and seeds I collected and grow stuff from those saved seeds…..WHOA!   
That just takes my breath away!  If there is such a thing as a miracle, it is seeds and the ability to grow food in a very small patch of dirt.  And the universe of life in that little patch of dirt takes my breath away.  

My vision is different after Covid.  My needs are different after Covid.  My time to be in the "art world" has past and if the best I can do is make a mug someone drinks their coffee from first thing in the morning it just floats my boat.  I am no longer seeking anything, I am here and it's a pretty good place to "BE". 

Three is better number for show anyway.  :)