Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our Stories

There are some damn ironies in life.

I've been experiencing those immensely lately. And although it is not something to focus on too much, I still can't help but laugh a little at my fascination for trying to control the totally unpredictable.

I played a little game yesterday. I had gotten some bad news about a sale of a painting, one of those "it' s in the bag" situations, only to realize those situations DON'T HAPPEN IN ART. I was frustrated, confused, went into my whole "I suck as an artist" and the ever-wonderful "go f* yourself, people-who-buy-art" story line. Now I don't actually believe either of these things, mind you. It's just my programming from years of struggle to go there in my head. I'm not really struggling (I've been on line for food stamps, so having a little less in my account is pie comparatively). And I'm definitely not struggling compared to the HUGE percentage of the world that suffers from things such as, oh I don't know, HUNGER to start.
So I played a game with this little "story line" I have with myself. See, in my story, in the past, I am often the victim. I am the damsel, the dark artist who nobody understands, the painter's painter who will never be acknowledged. It's me against the world, in these moments, folks. You've had them too, surely. Your family just doesn't get you. Your boss oversees you. Your government doesn't hear you. Your husband/wife is judging you secretly. WHATEVER it is, when I'm in that place, I go to my ever-loyal story line of the tortured artist to help me wallow a bit. In the video store, you would find me, as a movie, under the tragedy section, or perhaps foreign drama on a particularly weird day.
But what if I change that? What if I become, oh say, a comedy:

Mia spends hours and hours painting, sometimes tripping over her own feet because she is so focused. She is not sure about what she is doing, but that's just part of the fun. She rides down the street on her bicycle, not knowing she has paint on her upper lip, making her resemble a cartoon version of Hitler for her local neighbors. She delivers painting, and pictures herself on Oprah with gobs of money falling from the sky, screaming " I want to thank my family and friends for being so supportive..." sniff sniff. She goes back to her studio, sure that she is on her way to buying her ever-wanted plane ticket to Cambodia for a mind-blowing life experience. She can just smell the check coming in the mail. She gets a call from the organization saying her painting did not sell. Damon Wayans dressed as Homey The Clown enters her studio with a big red foam bat and swings it at her head, telling her, "Homey, don't play that game..!". She rolls her eyes and laughs at herself. She will not be on Oprah today.

You would rent that one, right? It is so much better than the story of Mia sitting in her studio in total silence questioning her skills as an artist and if she should just drop it all to work as a Walmart greeter.

Weirdly, me telling myself this WORKED. I found myself laughing! Don't get me wrong... I was PISSED off that the painting I had so planned on for months did not sell. But that's not really a problem about me or my painting. Just like when you get dumped. Once the initial hurt and fear goes away, you can't help but just say "Their loss". What other people think about you is none of your damn business, really.

I just want to be on Oprah.

In closing, here are some images of inspiration. Enjoy. Wow that was a vulnerable post. Oh well... maybe Damon Wayans will commission me.

Mark Demsteader

Frank Duveneck

Tony Scherman

AND.......Drumroll please



  1. Hello Mia! Long time no communication! I loved this post. Inspired me to paint this, http://goo.gl/DPdxg It's yours if you want it. Let me know. -Brandon

  2. Oddly enough I too loved this post. Your talented writing skills made it so easy to see the girl riding her bike as Hitler. lol To me, that is focus, innocence, and a drive to dream big all perfectly mixed. Mia, I do not know if I would change a bit of that.

    As for my imagination, is it wrong for me to partially read the sentence "She delivers painting, and pictures herself on Oprah with gobs of money falling from the sky..." and actually picture yourself riding on Oprah as if she was a horse? haha Gosh, I watched way too many cartoons as a kid. Perhaps something like this:

  3. both your comments are AMAZING. HAHAHAH! Thanks guys for reading!