Generous Permission

Nothing redeems but beauty, its generous permission, its gorgeous celebration of all that has previously been uncelebrated.”  --Dave Hickey, The Invisible Dragon  

I’m so excited about the next two years.  I can’t contain myself!  Here is what is happening with me:  I have been a stay-at-home mom, devoted to raising my two wonderful children for nearly 9 years, and they started school this week:  both of them!  (kindergarten and 3rd grade)  It has been a long time since I didn’t have a little one at home all day.  Suddenly, I will have the hours between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm all to myself.  It couldn’t come at a better time. 

For the past year, I have been on fire, fiercely, in my soul.  I am an artist!  I want to paint!  I need to paint!  Of course, I have been painting all along, squeezing it in wherever I can, but now the doors are opening.  And I am so ready.

Several months ago, I was surfing the internet, cruising around looking at artist-residency opportunities, and fantasizing about packing my bags full of paint brushes and canvas and moving to Italy, to immerse myself in painting.  After a few days of this, Ian, my patient, loving, albeit somewhat startled husband, started to protest.  In his opinion, abandoning my own family in pursuit of Art was not my best course of action.  “Why not have an artist residency here?” he asked.  “It could be a mom-housewife-artist residency.  Let’s call it a two-year residency, and then we’ll have a meeting at the end of the two years, and plan our next steps.”

"Father and Son ," oil on canvas, 11x14''

"Father and Son," oil on canvas, 11x14''

And so, Ian gave me generous permission to go for it, to really work on what I am passionate about, without worrying about money.  And it will be work.  I intend to WORK.  In the most joyful, most enthusiastic, most exhausting sense of the word.  For the next two years, I have been given this generous permission to pursue my passion to the hilt.  As with all artist-residencies, I do have to uphold my side of the deal.  In this situation, I have to keep the house from completely decomposing into the ground, feed my family, and meet the kids when they get off the bus.  No problem!  I don’t plan to win any housekeeping awards, but certain mediocre standards will be upheld.  (However, I do have high standards for loving my family and being a good mother, so I will be vigilant to make sure that doesn’t slacken.)

In the meantime:  Art!  It’s not really Ian who has given me this generous permission.  I am giving it to myself, by speaking up about what I need, by listening to my heart, and by valuing my vocation as more than a selfish hobby.  Instead, it is the life-blood of my existence.  And I would like to give you, dear reader, the same generous permission.  Redeem your life, take up your paintbrush, your pencil, your camera, your monologue, your artistic weapon of choice, and follow me into this awesome battle, to slay our monsters and conquer lands that until now have only been in our dreams.

Stay tuned.  Every Wednesday I will write an art-related blog post to encourage, inspire, intrigue, amuse, or surprise you.  May my blog be “a glorious celebration of all that has previously been uncelebrated.”

"Roses for my Mom," oil on canvas, 9x12''

"Roses for my Mom," oil on canvas, 9x12''