Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Goodbye

Self Portrait as Painter, 2019, Oil on Panel, 48 x 36 inches
It has been 10 years since I started this project here.  Hard to believe that much time has passed, but thinking how much has changed since the start of 2010 in my life, and the world, it seems like a decade would be required to fit all those things.

And I think its a good stopping point.  A deliberate time to make this into an archive and not let it dwindle and feel unfinished.

When I started writing, I felt like the loneliest grad school student in the world, screaming into an empty internet abyss.  Now there are so many platforms that fulfill the need to connect artists and gather images in one place.  They all cropped up as answers to the way many of us felt 10 years ago, and now I feel a mirrored response to that I think -- I want to close up shop, reserve my most private thinking.

In one of my favorite contemporary novels, A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, the main character, Nao,  is writing in a journal which she plans to throw in the sea to eventually be found by one reader.  She says she used to write a blog but when she thought of all the other people writing blogs, having no time to read each other's blogs it made her sad to picture all those people typing away in their lonely bedrooms.  So her journal was the anti-blog, made for only one special, random recipient.

I'd like if this blog became again as it was initially conceived, like Nao's book in the sea, a weird floating document, found only years later adrift and lost in the internet somewhere, found only by other desperate searchers.  I think that could happen, recently blogs have started to feel like something personal and necessary again.  A longer form.  It's like how my mom saved her ugly lace up boots through my childhood and they came back in style about 15 years later and I asked her if I could have them.  She had given them away due to my earlier comments.  So mom, if you are the only one still reading this in 2030, I learned something.  I'm leaving this archive here in case it makes sense in the future.

Painting is hard.  It's solitary.  I'm solitary.  I make paintings about the life I live, but then I don't want anyone to know much about that life.  It feels like an intrusion.  I just want to collide with people who nod and say yes I feel that way too, in my own life.  And this project has given me so many of those collisions.  I am so thankful.