Friday, November 18, 2005

Change of Scenery

I have two major methods of travel. One is the one I am doing now -- housesitting. The other is artist residencies. Both are economical and provide me what I most need -- a change of scenery. I don't know any other artists who have the kind of career that I do. I never imagined that being a professional artist could be so stressful!

I have one client I have worked with for more than seven years. Over that period of time they have encouraged me creatively and professionally. However, our relationship has become very casual, and neither of us thinks anything of picking up the phone at the odd hour to discuss a project. What has happened is that if I am home (Dallas), I am working. I can't take a day off because I don't have any boundaries with my client. I realize this, and mostly I am happy with the situation, but after months of being "on" 24/7 I need a break.

They are the worst about panicking when I leave town, but they are not the only ones. Yesterday I was on the road for 10 hours in my tiny little red car. In that time I had four phone calls from two clients wanting to discuss pricing on some commissions. I was at a major disadvantage since I usually do that with a calculator based on size and subject matter. When I arrived and hooked up my laptop (dialup!) I found an important message from a rep on the West coast who had overnighted me a package containing fabric samples and photos for paintings she thought I could paint while I am in New Mexico. The package arrived after I left, which is just as well because (1) I don't want to paint on vacation and (3) I already have a commission to do while I am here.

It's like I can't get away! Too bad, too, because Santa Fe has over 250 galleries. It's a major art center and I just want to sit out here in the country and breathe. I couldn't care less about what's in those galleries.

Don't I sound spoiled? I know many artists read this and think "oh I wish MY life were like that!" Well, be careful what you ask for. What used to be a wonderful expression of my creative self has turned into a job that consumes me.

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