I came across this draft on my blog, reminded recently by a friend that I haven’t blogged lately. I know, I’ve been a bit busy. More than busy. When people ask what I like to do in my spare time, I’m tempted to tell them it’s the same thing I am doing when I am working. Fearing the answer will make me seem one-dimensional, I tell them I love to cook (true), sail (also true) and…. yep, paint, paint some more, look at paintings, think about paintings, talk about shows with paintings and occasionally gossip about paintings, and hang on, other painters. The last three years, however, have led me down a path I suppose I was always destined for but took a while to finally materialize. In the last three years I’ve earned my teaching credential, cleared it and am teaching k-5 art at High Tech Elementary in Chula Vista. And now when I’m not painting, I think about how to teach kids to paint, or what it might have been like to paint with cataracts like Monet, or a brace like Chuck Close.
It’s not all roses and martinis everyday, but overwhelmingly the things I do to make a living are all rewarding. I’ve hesitated making the announcement public to the art world, wondering if I needed to cross the two and how that would be perceived by galleries, curators and other artists. I guess I still have the impression that artists who have day jobs are taken less seriously. Just look around, there are a ton of blog posts out there by artists who have a variety of stances on this topic.
Of course there are a lot of artists that do have day jobs and paint full-time, and I thought about keeping my painting career and my teaching job separate when I blog, post on Facebook, Google +, and all that media out there that helps me promote my work. Just to make sure that no one thinks I am going to be a less serious painter. It’s disingenuous however. Doing so would be to pretend that I am not completely passionate about education, about bringing art to young minds, and addressing my fears that as a culture we are losing the next generation of American artists. Few things frustrate me more than to watch young, talented students who have a viable career ahead of them skip art school for med school or an engineering degree, because we all know you can’t make money at making art. Bullshit.
So my official position now is that I am both: an artist and an educator. I realize I’ve always been both, my time and energy divided between both, for really the last 20+ or so years. Some years I’ve spent more on one or the other, but now I am at a place if I may be so candid that I am resourceful and creative enough to do both, simultaneously, and well.