Monday, December 7, 2009

The Time Between Seasons

I have been traveling and working between the two very different worlds of Alaska and Arizona for almost four years now. It has been an exciting experience for me as a landscape painter as each environment offers very unique characteristics. Both areas are known for their extreme climates and with those extremes come some unique challenges both for a landscape artist and for an individual just living life. With this routine I have staved off complacency and worked myself out of a creativity rut. Being exposed to a different community of artists and scenery has inspired me to try things that I had not considered before. These actions have shaped and molded my ever evolving style to what it has become today. Of course the commute and maintenance of two living situations isn't cheap. The down economy and slowdown in art sales hasn't helped much either. Things have slowed down but they haven't stopped and neither have I.

My husband, lives and works in Arizona. He is a big part of the reason that I started my traveling routine. We met in Alaska,where I live, four years ago and began a long distance love affair. Eventually the discussions began about how we would combine our lives into one, we became engaged, and five months ago we married. There have been some of the inevitable compromises and changes along the way. Between the two of us he is a little more rooted and can provide more stability and security. I am a little more bohemian and footloose and after 13 years in Alaska I was drawn to the idea of reconnecting with the mainstream and seeing for myself what was going on in the rest of the world. I had also been experiencing feelings of geographical isolation from the rest of the art world and a little anxious to do something about it. Alaska has an amazing group of artisans and strong artistic presence but I had been wanting to check out what was going on in other regions too. It was conflicting for me though as I was not keen on the idea of separating from a community and a land that I love and had become so attached too. The thought of trading my simple life in a little log cabin in the woods for a house on the corner of a culdesac in a crowded residential area, two blocks from a freeway did not exactly make me jump for joy. But I love my husband and we wanted to have a life together. We were talking marriage, our lives were headed that direction and I made the move, sort of.

I know this is a time for me to be even more creative and innovative in finding solutions to maintaining this new lifetyle. This would be a challenge for any artist even in a good economy, but I believe it can be done and I believe that I can do it. My goals and my motivation are a strong desire to have a life with and grow together with my husband, to sustain and develop my art career, to keep up the AZ/AK commute and to have a comfortable life. I hope that my husband, who by the way is very supportive of anything that makes me happy, will be able to join me as much as possible on this endeavor. And most of all I want to prove that it can be done. Time will tell if my goals are realistic.

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