An Artist’s Life

I’ve joined a local artist’s group on Zoom to pass the pandemic confinement. I enjoy sharing my amateur photography and learning about the artist scene here in Northeast SD. I’ve been writing a lot more too, getting closer to signing up for a writing course to learn how to write officially. After all these years. Might take a photography course too.

Best of all, I’ve begun weekly sessions with a therapist. So helpful.

Life is good.

Best, bestest news: first vaccine on Monday!

Make ART!

 

I returned to South Dakota in May. Found a dreamy apartment nestled above a used book store in a corner of the city. For a few months now, until my lease runs out, I can still hop in the car and visit with my siblings out in the country.

I’ve already been on a photography binge, taking in the beauty of the summer landscape. I secured a small writing gig, and today I got word that I am going to receive a small grant I applied for a few weeks ago.

The grant is the big news in this post. I was uneasy about applying for it because of course there is that monster within telling me I’m not good enough, clever enough, talented enough to consider myself an artist.

Fuck that monster.

I applied and I got the grant.

A government agency has recognized me as an artist.

Therefore I am.

Squeeeee!

Yes Virginia, There is a Universe

paintingIt was the strangest thing.

I was walking downtown in Orlando to present to a local Meetup of Data Scientists about Big Mountain Data. I had just arrived in Florida two months before from Texas.

It was early evening, and I was running late. As I briskly walked past an art gallery, I glanced to my left and there she was: “The Girl.”

I literally felt the image pull me toward her.

I “saw” her.

It stopped me in my tracks. I thought to myself, “This is the woman I’m working for.”

That night I even mentioned it on Facebook. The experienced stayed with me.

I was thinking about this piece of art this week, as Big Mountain Data is turning a corner in 2017.  The past two years have been rewarding, and I’m more hopeful than ever that we are on the brink of creating something truly meaningful.  My mind drifted to this piece of art.  When I saw it in the gallery, she had a hefty price tag, but I was thinking I might be able to afford this in 2017 somehow.

So, yesterday, I started doing some image searches from the photo I had posted  on Facebook.  I found the artist, and discovered she was a local.  She had a Facebook page, so I inquired if the piece was still available.  An assistant replied within minutes, and said she’d check.  The artist, Pamela Loudon, responded to me herself with an affirmative and asked me to contact her about it.

I thought about it and decided to tell her the odd story about how the piece “spoke” to me that night in downtown Orlando.  I told her what I do, and that I felt a strong connection to this work:

“I saw your piece walking past an Orlando gallery downtown. It was the evening of April 23, 2015. I was on my way to present to the Orlando Data Science Meet-up (a group of nerdy developers and data scientists). The artwork stuck with me.  It is something about the way the woman is fractured, kind of has a black eye, yet is surrounded with vivid color.  I felt a connection to the piece in a way I had never had a connection to a piece of art.”

Pam called me within moments of reading my email.  She had just returned from being out of the country for many months.

She said, “This is very strange.” She told me the history about this particular piece. That she was walking up a hill in Marseille, France and “The Girl” was pasted in burlap to a wall and a group of men were tearing her down.  She was moved by the work and told the men to STOP.  She pieced her together in her studio and started applying color.  She told me she felt this woman represented all women who are “torn off the wall by men.”

Long story short, as a traveling photographer and digital artist, Pam has visited places and witnessed events (including Nicole Simpson’s house in Brentwood) where women were abused horribly.  She told me that this piece was her first experience of how “spirited stuff” can find its way into art.

I always tell people that bizarre events happen all the time for me since I’ve been working on Big Mountain Data.  Coincidences and things that cannot be rationally explained.  Pam said, “You have to be open to the universe.”

I told her, I am.  I am.

The good news is she agreed to sell me the artwork at a price and payment plan I can afford.  She is happy “The Girl” is going to someone who truly appreciates her and will use her eery power in a way that will empower women everywhere.

Thank you Pam, and you out there in the cosmos working for us.