Ever find that something plops down in the middle of your life and everything moves aside to deal with it? At the beginning of this year I created a new working journal. Artists have sketchbooks. Mine is a cross between a sketchbook and a journal that includes personal writings, business notes and doodles. Basically, it is a visual/written mirror of my life and keeps me somewhat on track and helps in recalling details. All of that sounds like I am organized. In fact, it is a hodge-podge of a complete mess - but my mess! And, therefore, like many creative people I can find what I need when I need it.
I digress. On this journal I wrote "2012" and then added "year of change." Whoa.... how true that was! So, far I moved my entire studio and reworked my artist statement honing it into the truth (i.e., not what I want to do with my art but what I actually WAS doing with my art (see Artist Statement
). I started painting in my new studio and found my work had moved to another level. Clear and more focused - just like my artist statement. And as I was happily (and I mean HAPPILY) doing that life added one more change.
It came in the form of a lil guy that I didn't know anything about ahead of time. As many of you know my oldest daughter has had a life-long drug addiction (since the age of 12) that worsens every year. She has had three children - all girls! I raise the oldest one, Avy. We don't see her on a regular basis any longer and I had heard a rumor that she was pregnant again but was not able to confirm it. Then on Aug 14th we were called by a friend of a friend who told us that she had given birth to a boy. He was born on Aug 10th at 7 weeks premature. He was 4 lbs and addicted and by the fourth day suffering from withdrawal symptoms not just from the methadone she was taking for her heroin addiction but cocaine and crystal meth (both of which were found in his system at birth). He was in the Neonatual ICU attached to wires monitoring his heart and respiratory rate and had a nose tube for feeding so that he didn't use up too many precious calories drinking a bottle. On top of it, she had left within 24 hours of his birth and, by day four when we found out about him, he had been abandoned and alone in that withdrawal for the first four days of his life. It makes my heart break that any grandchild of mine would suffer in this way.
Today, he is 35 days old. And even though he still is not officially named (mom did not fill out a birth registration), he is doing well. He not only regained his birth weight he has surpassed it and made it over the 5 lb mark. My oldest daughter never returned. My youngest daughter is now exploring what needs to happen so that she can take care of him until my oldest is capable of doing so. This is a huge life change because she is a single woman without any children of her own so far. We put a request out via facebook for donations of baby clothing and equipment and were surprised by the overwhelming generousity of others. We have collected enough clothes and diapers to use until he is two years old, along with bottles, a crib, stroller, a car seat, high chairs, bouncing chairs, blankets and crib sheets among other items too numerous to mention. It was overwhelming and warmed our hearts. Events of the last few days have offered more answers and hope is settling into my heart around this lil tyke. It is only now that I feel I don't need to be completely focused on whether or not he is going to be ok.
So, in the" life of an artist" - this is a reality we deal with just as any other person does. And I might venture to say moreso than men, women artists set aside their entire life for the well being of their babies. For as much as I would like to assert that the difference between the sexes around who takes care of the children in the family has equalized (and it has moreso than any other time in the history I have lived), I suspect that it is true across the board that women still take on more of that responsibility and men are allowed room to continue to do their work and if their work is art - they continue to paint, draw, sculpt, film, sing, etc. etc. For me, the children in my family have always come first and always will.
So, in the midst of all of that, I have still managed to exhibit some work. These three paintins are currently on exhibit at the
Vancity at 1798 Robson Street, Vancouver BC
Their hours are 9:30 to about 5:00 everyday except Saturday.
If you find yourself in the neighborhood, walking by, or doing business - pop in to have a peek. Want to purchase these? You can via my website at Bernadine's Paintings Currently For Sale.
These are my most recent pears from the series that uses this delictable fruit to replicate and examine how human posturing conveys nonverbal language.
Opening - October 3rd
several of my paintings from the Home series and the Pears series, most of which are new, have been invited to be on exhibit at
1895 Venables Street Vancouver, BC
My co-exhibitor is Leef Evans who is an exquisite impressionist painter. So come on out and see the work and leave a comment or two for us.
I will be talking more about this exhibition in my next eBlast which will come out within the next two weeks. This show runs until October 21st.
And last but not least....
Artist Joke of the Month
There was an artist who worked from a studio in his home. He specialized in nudes, and had been working with the same model for a long period of time
His model showed up at the usual time and, after exchanging the usual small talk, began to disrobe for the day's work.
The artist told her not to bother, since he had a bad cold. He added that he would pay her for the day anyway, but that she could just go home; he just wanted some hot tea with lemon and honey.
The model said, "Oh, please, let me fix it for you. It's the least I can do."
He agreed, and told her to fix herself a cup as well. They were sitting in the living room chatting and enjoying their tea, when he heard the front door open and close, and then some familiar footsteps.
"Oh my!" he whispered loudly,
"It's my wife! Quick! Take all your clothes off!"