Why did I paint instruments? ( A kiss goodnight.)

It would have been a lot easier for me if I had never started this series. 

The music themes were something that I started in college 20 years ago and picked back up this past year with passion.  Like a conductor wildly swinging my arms, caught in a fury and a flow state with the music, I maniacally created dozens of brilliantly colored compositions.  I started with the instruments we had around the house and then started borrowing instruments and going to shows and shops just to photograph them. 

But, it was never really about the instruments for me.

It was about trying to find my place in a new community. It was me finally making the time to paint without a commission contract in hand.  It was me trying to proclaim with a vengeance that I was my own artist and I had the autonomy and the ambition to create sweeping works of harmony, skill, and passion.  I was declaring my independence from my commissioned work.  "Listen to me," the instruments sang.  "Listen to hear what I'll do next," I sang with all my voice.

I tried to keep up with my commissions that were funding my flights of fancy. I worked during the weekdays to please my clients and on the weekends to create my own works. I stayed home from vacations and forgot anniversaries. I forgot to cook and clean and I painted so many pieces that I couldn't even name them all. I said yes to any opportunity.

I spent almost everything I made from the commissions I was able to complete. I spent hundreds of dollars on marketing.  I bought cards, websites, ads, framing, and technology help where I needed it.  I bought books, videos, coaching, and courses. 

And I think I finally found my answer.  I have the answer to the question behind the series, and my fierce determination to create them.

It's not about the instruments or the paint or the colors of my pieces.  It's not about how big I can paint or what venue might give me my next show.   (I've stopped looking.  I can't afford another show. ) 

It's about the community that I've been helping. They are about my search for place and my struggle to define my role in my home and my community.  It's about the little artist's group about sustainability I'm helping to manage. Its about the contributions that I might make to the Arts Center through Bay3 Gallery, the Artisan's Guild, and my support of their events.  It's about the other artists that I've inspired through my determination.

Through these pieces I've found a place in the community where my skills and talents are needed, and that was the reason these works had to exist.  Individually the paintings are pretty, but together they create an orchestra of beautiful cooperation.  But, it was never about the instruments. And it would have been so much easier for me if I hadn't fallen so in love with them.

I still have a lot that I wanted to say, but I think I'm ready to move forward.  I've depleted the financial and emotional resources needed to sustain them. This is a lingering good night kiss before they rest. I am bidding them a fond farewell and hoping to return to them someday. I'm still learning where my voice fits. You'll want to listen to what I have to say next. 

October 18, 2019 — Jamie Hansen

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