Betty J. Slade
The first inkling I had of an artist being difficult to live with was when my Albuquerque Gallery sponsored the Albuquerque Artist Guild and I asked the husband of an artist to speak on how it was to live with an artist. I thought it would be fun. His opening statement was, “It’s horrible!”
It’s horrible? My mind was racing. What in the world was he talking about? His wife was fun, energetic, always up for an artist field day. Grant it, she was a little eccentric wearing a different color hat with every outfit, but that made her spontaneous and alive. After all, would he be standing here talking to us without her? Of course not, he needs her for his social life. He wouldn’t have a life without her.
He proceeded, “I do all my wife’s framing, I carry framed art in and out of galleries and art shows and I have to attend all her receptions and hobnob with artists, but I love her.” Hang around artists? That doesn’t sound too bad, I thought. But I love her, sounds like a life sentence.
Later, I asked a writer’s husband what he thought about being married to a woman who had written over 60 published books and while he vacationed in Hawaii she was there sitting at the computer with a deadline of writing one book a month. He laughed as he told me his tale of woe. “I carry boxes of books into bookstores and carry them out. I drive the bus from one book signing to another, I do all her research when she starts a new book and I edit her work. I can’t talk to her when she is writing because I might break her train of thought.” Hey! You got a trip to Hawaii, that’s not too shabby.
So I asked my Al what his take was on living with an artist. Well, he didn’t hesitate to tell me. “I can’t understand how you can put months into a project and then scrap it, or you will have a beautiful painting and you will take white paint and make marks across it. An artist is up and down, off and on. It’s always something new. You won’t answer me when I ask you something. You are in your own world, but I love you.”
Here we go again, “but I love you.”
I consoled myself. I can’t help that inspiration knows no night or day. When the mood hits, I’ve got to jump out of bed no matter what the hour is or I’ll lose a brilliant idea. I must get it on canvas or I must get to the computer. I am motivated by ideas and new projects. It’s just the way I am.
With all my projects and inventory and my artist friends, we have acquired a second house next door to our home for my studio and gallery and to entertain artists and writers.
And my artist friends all love Al. I think he has it pretty good. After all would he have such an exciting life without me? I think not!
So when you drive down the Lower Blanco in the middle of the night and you see a light on at my place, I am probably chasing that next great idea with a brush in my hand, paint on my night gown and a cup of decaf in my hand, or I’m at the computer writing an article for next weeks newspaper.
With circles and blood shot eyes, my Al has hung in there for 48 years and love has prevailed.
Quote for the Week: “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas
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