Life of Leisure?
Full-time artist. It's been my occupational descriptor of choice ever since resigning from a staff position at the Colorado College two years and eight months ago.
To set the visual stage for such a devil-may-care character, one might picture the paint bespattered, silk pj bottom-wearing Julian Schnabel, while perhaps from the waist up, the bare chested and bronzed Picasso of waning years, brush in one hand, cigar in the other.
More to the point, it's a footloose and fancy free sort of life, where one can really focus on their art, yet without stress or strain, in a leisurely, almost gentlemanly sort of way. If one chooses to. Either way, do or do not, there is no try.
Possibly one origin was the time I made a five hour drive through the mountains to attend a sold-out lecture at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center featuring the late, celebrated American artist Wendell Castle, then in his early 80's, who once told an interviewer, "I'm not really interested in taking vacations - I'm on vacation all the time." See what I mean? Peaches and cream, folks! Bon bons, beach chairs, and ocean breezes.
From my recollection, he described his typical day thusly:
It may not feel like it, but the bulk of what follows is a very abbreviated recounting of my "full-time artist's life" for the past couple of months. In no particular order:
(Speaking of whom, my wife continues to balance homeschooling Nate while maintaining a private practice out of the home to tutor students with dyslexia and sit on the board of the local chapter of the Academic Language Therapy Association. Despite all my activity I'll continue to recount herein, she works just as hard, if not harder, than me.)
At long last, I pulled the six storm windows I'd started for our home years ago and completed and installed them. As nearly all such projects are wont, that one, which at the outset seemed like it might take a week, turned into at least two, after repairing and repainting sashes... which has in turn made me consider completely repainting the windows' interior frames, then the interior walls... the floor...
Up in our attic room, having cut a hole through the drywall where the electrician accessed and installed the fan above the bathroom, I discovered that the insulation I'd blown in years ago had piled like some dirty snow drift due to Colorado's high winds battering the eaves, and spent some time installing cardboard dams to block the wind and re-level the insulation.
Then there are the 2x daily drives to swimming lessons for our son Nate.
Let's see... what else... I installed a new trailer hitch on my Ford Ranger, during one of the brief windows of time when Peter wasn't needing it to get to school and work and the girlfriend's, with Beans in the shop, to attach to the flatbed trailer I was recently gifted. All the trailer needed was new wiring, which I did, and a title, which, after a half dozen trips to the DMV and State Patrol, I now have in hand.
Speaking of which, I've said yes to a couple of group studio visits. Any time such visits are planned, you can kiss at least three work days goodbye, between studio organization/art setup, the visit itself (the second of which occurred on a day when the on-again, off-again weather made for some spontaneous excitement, having to ask the participants to help me hurriedly cover other 2D work propped against the fence in the back yard with plastic), and then wrapping the art back up, returning it to storage, and reorganizing the space for art creation.
I know how fascinating all this and don't tempt me, I could go on - there have been a number of equally absorbing home and rental home projects (sewer line backups and the like) that have done just that - dominated my time of late having nothing to do with a studio build (or "building" a studio build-centric blog. As if I needed something else to do.)
Oh, and I'll run over to the mechanics to take a look at the BMW. Also, talk to my other mechanic about the Toyota Pickup, to see if they figured out why it continues to overheat.
(Post-script: an hour after posting this, the mechanic with my Toyota Pickup called. Blown head gasket. $1,500 fix. End of the road for Beans! Nooooo!)
(Post-post-script: the BMW, however, looks to be a fairly inexpensive fix! I'll buy it!)