Wednesday, October 1, 2014

CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Leaving the Artist's World, Entering the Writer's World

The phrase "impostor phenomenen" caught my eye the other day. A quick internet search told me that it's the tendency to feel like an impostor -- to be certain that one is going to be found out -- to suspect any successes one has attained have been attained only through good luck, knowing the right people, being in the right place at the right time, but never (or at least rarely) the result of personal competence.

The subject resonates with me because, despite the years (and yes, the dollars; painting is a pricey endeavor!), I've been feeling myself drift away from fine art to the point that I've not picked up a brush for at least 10 weeks. In fact, I'll be packing up my paintings and leaving my space in The Northrup King Building in a few weeks.

There are lots of reasons for leaving: vision problems and joint pain are among them. But the real reason is my continuing tendency to step back from my easel, look at the work, and say, "Wow! That's pretty good; I wonder who painted it."

Sounds weird, no? 

I've felt the same way about the quarter of a century I spent teaching. Intellectually I know I did it, but emotionally? Hard for me to believe. After all, people like me don't get to be teachers, or artists, for that matter. And while I know that of course I taught, and of course I created all that art, I also "know" that any success in those fields was because I was in the right place at the right time; I got the job because the principal was desperate; I sold the painting because ( get the idea).

Bottom line is that I'm losing interest in fighting this tendency. But all is not lost; I have no intention of sitting around watching dust accumulate on my tabletops and my brain. If you've been following my blog, you know I've been writing for a long time. The only difference is that now I’m writing more. I’ve started working on a memoir. It incorporates two main themes I've been playing with: growing up in a blue collar neighborhood in the 1950s, and growing up with a dad who had far more in common with Archie Bunker than he did the dad in "Father Knows Best."

I have a long way to go, but I can see a way to get there. Publishing? Maybe; we’ll see. But writing is the one thing in my life that has never left me feeling like an impostor. In the meantime, I have a lot of art to move. Look for a "studio relocation" notice closer to the end of October.

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