Saturday, May 3, 2014
Save it for later
On the down side, my father had been diagnosed with cancer in October of 2013. But after time spent in rehab, he returned home at Christmastime full of new strength and vigor. Maybe, somehow, I thought as the new year opened, he will beat the odds.
Career-wise, the year started off well. I had a carefully considered marketing plan ready to put into action. I also began creating three new series on canvas and paper. And I had two new groups of college students to work with, all of whom seemed enthusiastic and conscientious.
Then things started to slip. My father began to weaken and required repeated trips to the hospital. I drove the long distance to visit him at least once a week, often twice, but I sensed he was slipping away. I also began to have physical problems myself that affected my ability to work with my usual effort and concentration. I found I had less and less time to spend in the studio and, when the usual art-related rejections rolled in, I took them harder than usual.
One day in early April, I injured myself and thereafter, an ongoing debilitation affected my everyday routine. I was sent to different specialists and had various tests performed, but the doctors couldn't seem to help.
Finally, after a rapid downhill slide over a period of a few weeks, my beloved father passed away on April 20, Easter Sunday.
All of these "life experiences" have put a damper on the art career resolutions I so hopefully made on New Year's Day. The large box of cradled boards I purchased is sitting unopened in my studio. A large painting, halfway done, sits on the studio floor. A new quartet of 12-inch-square canvases (pictured above) has remained untouched.
I realize now how fortunate I have been to have reached age 51 with no health problems to speak of besides a flu here and there, and to have had two healthy parents all these years (plus three healthy grandparents until I was in my 40s). Age and time have a way of catching up to us, I guess, and reminding us to slow down and take care of ourselves.
I am determined to heal, physically and emotionally, and come back stronger than ever, no matter how long it takes. Every day is a new challenge, but a new chance to take a step or two forward. My art career will have to wait, but eventually I plan to get back to it.