Friday, December 12, 2008

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

View from my studio window in Vermont

I have been struggling a bit lately with making a decision about whether or not to go to the Vermont Studio Center in February. I have been accepted, I received a partial grant for the cost, paid my deposit, but still have to pay a good chunk of money in the next week or so.

Like so many others these days, our finances are tight. My income has all but evaporated, and while Doug is still doing ok, he does sell a high priced luxury item to people with money, and it is looking like there might be fewer of them around anymore.

While technically I do have the money to pay the remaining fee, I am hesitant to do so, mostly because I am concerned about the next few months or the next few years even. I hope there will be some sort of optimistic financial burst after Obama takes office, however that sure isn't anything to count on. I think this country's economic troubles go much deeper than that.

On the other hand I would really like to go. For the social reasons of course, I rarely get to spend any time with fellow artists in my real life, but also because I really want to get focused on the figurative work. I have wasted much time in the last few months and much of it seems to revolve around the computer, that stupid yet awesome thing! Anyway, I really want to find my groove with the figurative stuff and I am pretty sure that I need a different environment to do it.

But of course there is no guarantee of that either. While I did get started on this series last year in Vermont, I was derailed a bit when I got home, plagued by insecurities and worries about what I doing. It took me awhile to get over it and this year I won't have the time for all that craziness. I have a solo show set for April and will have to do a good portion of the work for that in March after I get back from Vermont. Keeping my wits about me, as well as my self confidence in check would really help, but sheesh, it seems as risky to count on that as it is to think the economy will be all hunky dory soon, and my paintings will start to sell again, making all this affordable, in which case I can better justify going, even if I may be a raving lunatic for a bit afterward.

Like how I tied all that together?

Sigh. I suspect I will be going. I don't think I can resist all the good things about it, and since there are no other costs involved (room and board is part of the fee, really excellent food, I might add) I can maybe deal with the financial aspect. I think I will just have to work on the confidence thing and not let the art of the conceptual artists intimidate this ol' pretty much representational kind of girl.

Steely resolve, that's what I need to work on. heh.

12 comments:

indigomar said...

I hope you confirm your suspicions about the fact that you will go to vsc. I loved reading about your experiences while you were there last year. So much, that I've looked into going in the future. I had a great experience at Columbus College of Art and Design- a week for AP Studio art teachers in which it was mandatory to use their wonderful studios daily from 3 pm onward. I connected (like you did at vsc) with many interesting people and I produced lots of work/and generated new ideas--which I'm currently working with. Have Fun!!

Lisa said...

I've been working on making decisions based on where I want to be in my life, not where I am. Which is why I am building my studio right now. I can't as easily be where I want to be without the studio.

So where do you want to be? Does this put you closer to that position?

Katherine Tyrrell said...

What's the best and the worst thing that could happen if you go?

What's the best and the worst thing that could happen if you stay home?

I loved hearing about your stay last year - but I'd hate for you to be stressed out if it made you feel like you've made the wrong decision or you're doing the wrong thing/in the wrong place/have stuffed your timetable for 'getting things done'.

Tracy said...

Thanks Indigomar, I appreciate hearing that my experience has encouraged you to consider it for yourself. Despite the issues I had after, I am VERY glad I went. So, I'll probably go......

Lisa, thanks for putting that so clearly for me. Where I want to be is exactly why I haven't yet decided NOT to go, I mean financially it's a no brainer-I shouldn't spend the money. But I do know what I want and when, and the residency in Feb. is important for that to happen. I'll probably go....

Katherine, The best thing would be to make some real progress developing the figurative work, the worst would be putting our sensitive family finances at risk.

If I stay home, I won't feel completely responsible for our financial issues which would be the best thing. The worst would be not having recent work ready to approach new galleries with, sometime before the current decade ends anyway. I'll probably go.....

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

GO T, GO!!!!!!!

Chris Rywalt said...

I look at it this way: If you saved the money, what would you do with it? Probably waste it on something else. Might as well waste it on something you want.

Tracy said...

Thanks, Gary. I wonder if you were ever a cheerleader:)

Yeah, Chris, I'd probably waste the money on something totally frivolous, like the mortgage, or the oil bill, or car insurance.....

Chris Rywalt said...

Those bills won't go anywhere. It's just money. I mean, come on. You'll live.

Tracy said...

Yes, but I'd prefer we live IN our warm house.....

Janvangogh said...

I say go. Beans can be made so many different ways. They go really well with rice.

Carolina Artisians said...

GO GO GO and report report report! Bills will be around forever! Have fun and lots of pictures

Tracy said...

Thanks Janet and Carolina Artisans. We may eating beans exclusively, even if I don't go!