Doing what you Love

Doing What You Love  15x22 Watercolor on Paper

Doing What You Love 15x22 Watercolor on Paper

You probably know that I own my own business, GeeBerry Art Studio. As a business owner I end up having a lot of the same conversations with various people at networking events and during classes. One of the things I really hate when people say is something along the lines of "Its so cool you get to do what you love every day" It annoys the crap out of me because thats what I thought I would get to do, but the things I like doing (making art, lesson planning, and teaching) make up a tiny percentage of what needs to be done. These people who say the "do what you love" thing don't give me any credit for what I really do with the bulk of my time. So yeah my "dream job" consists of taking phone calls, and if you've ever worked in customer service you will know how frustrating that can be, answering emails, paying bills, keeping my financial spreadsheets (ok I like doing this one a little), keeping the studio clean, researching competitors and other businessy stuff. Seriously give me credit for having a real job with sucky parts just like everyone else's. 

So thats where the title originates, but the piece more broadly represents my huge frustration with having a start up business. There is one question that dominates my life right now: How can I get people to pay for my service? I have never owned a business before and I don't really know what I'm doing or what to expect. I have no idea if I'm on the right track or not. Its extremely frustrating and stressful.

So I'll just add this to the list of paintings that qualify as visual complaining.  

An Imbalance

I end up painting portraits of myself frequently, mostly out of convenience (I'm the only model available whenever I want). All of my painting reflect some part of me that I might be feeling at the time, as I'm sure is true with most artist's work. Weirdly though I don't consider much of my work to be self portraiture. I see it as I needed a model and I happened to be handy for it.

An Imbalance, 15x22 Watercolor on Paper, 2014

An Imbalance, 15x22 Watercolor on Paper, 2014

This newest painting though, I do consider to be a self portrait. This painting represents my relationship with my menstrual cycle. From late high school until about halfway through college I was plagued by horrible cramps every month. Then I had a large cyst removed and the cramps went down to average. I started having really intense moodiness leading up to my period. Like so much so that I felt completely out of control of my emotions and unbalanced. It felt awful to feel so controlled by my body and its cycles. Since then I got on the pill and its really helped me balance out my hormones. 

The painting reflects on having a small portion of my life spent completely unbalanced and disrupted. I chose to flip the portion of my face in the red stripe because when I would think back on my moody-ass behavior it was unrecognizable as me, it just didn't match up. I know many other women struggle with these same sorts of issues and it sucks that we are saddled with such a crappy biological function

Still Unsighted

In January I decided that I would kick off a new year of art by repainting a favorite from undergrad just to see how much better I could do it 3 years later. I should have posted this sooner, but I procrastinated on getting a quality photo of the newer piece. 

Unsighted,  Watercolor and ink on paper, 21x30, 2011

Unsighted, Watercolor and ink on paper, 21x30, 2011

I did a whole series of blindfolded portraits for my undergraduate senior exhibition. That body of work reflected on an intense anxiety I had about what direction I would go in life after graduation. I was afraid of what life would be like without the structure of being in school. The portrait shown above might have been my 3rd or 4th watercolor painting ever. 

Still Unsighted,  Watercolor on paper, 21x15, 2014

Still Unsighted, Watercolor on paper, 21x15, 2014

There is definitely a technical improvement over the 2011 painting! I'm using more colors in my flesh tone. When you see the new painting next to the old one you see a painfully obvious lack of darker tones in the flesh in 2011. I also ditched the ink outline. 

Its kind of funny that the sentiment of first painting still rings true 3 years later. I still have anxiety about the future. What kind of life do I want, what is important to me, what kind of person do I want to be and how do I get there? My next big life step that I'm absolutely dreading is deciding about having children. Its the new deadline for me and its something that weighs on my just like graduation day did for me during college.