As the year begins to wind to an end I find myself in my usual contemplative state, and also in a state of total shock that 2019 is just around the corner. It was just a year ago that Seth and I were sitting at the dining room table discussing what we wanted out of the upcoming year. The decision was made that we would rent out our condo in Cap Hill, move back to the Vail Valley, and that fingers crossed, I would be able to find work.
I put in for my leave of absence from teaching, and quickly began scouring the Vail Daily classifieds looking for potential job leads. The search was eventually met with a question from Seth. “Why don’t you just make art instead or work some job you hate?”
This has not been an easy transition by any means, but there has not been one second where I have wished I was in the classroom instead of the studio. I feel wobbly at times, like I am learning how to ride a bicycle again and might fall off and skin my knees at any moment. But there have also been times, where I have been so overwhelmed with gratitude and so proud of myself for taking a risk, that I have literally rolled down the windows and screamed in glee.
In the last year I have been lifted by so many people that I have created this scene that I play in my head: I'm climbing a tall and scary ladder, and someone at the top of the ladder waiting for me, extending a hand to help me to the next rung. That person is sometimes a patron who purchased my work. Sometimes it’s the gallery owner who took a risk on me and ended up becoming a mentor and friend. Sometimes it's the owners of my studio space, who have a mission to provide artists with a community and an affordable space to work. I can see all of their hands extended to me, guiding me to that next rung on this very long ladder I’m climbing.
When you buy from an independent maker, you get to be the hand that is reaching out and helping someone to the next step. You are not just adding money to the pockets of some millionaire, you are allowing someone to continue on their path, to continue making things, and to do so comfortably.
This holiday season, I urge you to buy local and/or buy handmade. You don’t have to buy it from me, but if you do I’ll be offering 25% off all prints, metal prints and resin photos. Just enter the code LADDER at checkout! (Valid November 21-26, 2018).
I’ll also be exhibiting new work at Jackalope Arts at the McNichols Building in Denver on December 8th and 9th from 10-5. My shows at Robert Anderson and the Curtis Center will continue through the end of the year.