I found this in Dreamland, one of my favorite places to get updates about my John Waters obsession. True artists are identifiable by the way that they interact with the world. There are some people who seem to go through life not really interacting with the world at all, and some who do but seem lost and do not know who they are. This summer has felt like three years instead of three months. I have traveled and spent some time with family and also had some health problems and financial and other stress. I have so many projects that I want to finish and start right now that have been delayed longer than I would like.

I went to see my dad, who lives out in the country. After many years of working my dad retired in a small cabin in the woods in northern California. He grows his own food and gets all of his electricity through solar panels in his roof. He has been this way for a long time (before it was fashionable!) and I remember him playing music, reading and drawing, playing Frank Zappa songs for me and keeping me away from junk food and TV as a child (I’ve made up for it don’t worry) Here he is in his art studio:

It is a small cabin with a wood stove surrounded by the trees. We went hiking and swimming while I was there…
It was nice to get out of town for awhile, which sometimes seems overwhelmingly filled with people who are miserable and want to make everyone around them miserable too, to help themselves feel better. But, though I love to get away from it all I was glad to come back to my art studio, where I feel at home and safe. Everyone needs a place where they can go and be alone with their thoughts. My apartment is only one room but it is the first place that I have lived where I have felt that I was really in control of my small environment, where I felt that the whims, decisions, egos and opinions of others could not distract me from living my life in the way that I choose and being who I am. A sense of safety, consistency, choice, freedom, belonging, and stability have been absent from parts of my life, and I turned to drawing as a way to record my thoughts and feelings when I was overwhelmed, and to record my identity from one place and situation to the next. I have learned that the world is unreliable and constantly changing, and if I do not express myself, make my own decisions and live my own life someone else will, and it will cost me. Whatever you do, always have your artistic license in plain view because you never know when there will be an inspection, and if you don’t express yourself your chance might get taken away.

-EHT 8/25/2010

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