Friday, December 30, 2011

IF: Highlight

Prompted by this weeks Illustration Friday theme of Highlight, I thought I would look back over the year and pick the illustration that was na extra special to me. What I found was that I really did not produce very much last year, kind of depressing. For whatever reason, I am in the famine side of freelancing and so was looking for other avenues- i.e. galleries - so put a lot of effort into larger pieces or should I say piece, yup, one piece.
It's something like 25" x 40 and it is impressive and of my daughter at the double arches at Moab and if I can figure out how to finish it, it is destined for juried art shows, etc, but right now it is more of a pile of fabric on my work table and a huge blockage to more work. Or was- until about the start of the winter, when I was working on it and my daughter walked by and said- "you have been working on that for what like a year?" I responded "No!", than realized she was right.
Now looking over my portfolio for 2011, I realize at what sacrifice a big piece like that demands. The illustration above was probably my last small work and it was a joy- recreating the famous Japans print was fun and the girl is based on one of Daughter #2's stances, and was a highlight.
I also looked at my post for this blog last year- half what I did in 2010 and my movie blog, which I really thoroughly enjoy- dusty.
Well I think the dry spell in the freelance work is key. I had a food allergy that left my feeling crappy and a little depressed till we figured that out, much better now. Change of life's season always makes me less productive ( see Christmas post) , pressure of $$$ for Daughter #1 college coming up made me debate getting a really job and then the teaching opportunity came up, which is probably the world's best compromise between having to work out of the studio and still having time in it, but it takes some balancing that is for sure!
But I think it comes to what I always struggle with as an artist and I don't know if this universal or it is just one more thing that makes me kind of "odd". I feel like I need to get permission to do this, that someone needs to tell me to "go ahead," or to make sure everyone else and anything else is taken care of first and then whatever time is left over is fine to do Art.
Daughter #1 did track in Middle School. She ran the 800, which they start "mob style", just a big clump of kids at the starting line and then the gun goes off and they run. Problem was she was too nice and lost about 5 seconds of her time because she would let everyone else around get going before she did. Believe me, her coach and we teased her for that, " Oh no, you go, really, you go first..."
Well for whatever reason the thing that did NOT go first in 2011 was my art and my writing. Which is so silly because it is something that gives me such joy. I have come to a conclusion in this end of the year reflection- that really apart from my kids and my husband ( who is pretty low maintenance- it is kind of an understanding we have- each wanting time to do "our thing") and my commitments to my kids at school and our Youth group which we are the leaders- it's my Art.
I don't know if more commissions will come in 2012, if a first draft of my novel will be completed, if I will see my work in print again, if they will hang in gallery or perish the thought someone buys something. But I do know that if I don't raise the priority of being in that studio and my hands on the keyboard writing, my sanity might be in questions at the end of 2012.  


  1. You make some lovely art pieces and this one is a particularly fine example, love the Japanese 'print' in the background. Keep up the good work!

  2. Anonymous7:35 AM

    This is an awesome piece. I can't imagine the time that must go into something like this. Your job sounds so interesting. (I'm an art teacher too.)

  3. Anonymous9:19 AM

    Hi Julia, that's funny. Believe it or not Patsy is my husband. It's a New York Italian thing... everyone has a nickname.
    I looked around your blog a bit. Your school projects look extremely familiar. I'm always covered in glue, paint, glitter or all three!
    The night time picture of your tree looks so much like mine. I live in a barn so wood beams are every where. You have to watch your head though! My holiday is filled with recipes too. I like the sound of some of yours, yum! We had a steaming hot frittata, baked in a caste iron skillet on Christmas morning. :)
    Pleased to make your acquaintance!