You Don’t Have to Sing, You Don’t Have to Dance…


Alley art in my new town…
Lots of art and artists in this place!

Time flies when you’re making a major move, and it’s now been a month since I last posted here.  But the move from Mexico up the Pacific coast to Oregon has gone well, all things considered, and I’ll be unpacking my art supplies and tools soon in my first dedicated studio space!

Moving the work from home into a studio is a major step itself.  But I’m delighted and ready for it.  Working from home, clearing a corner where one can lay out the paints and tools is one thing, and it has worked pretty well for me over the past five years.  But a dedicated workspace is another.  I learned this lesson several years ago when I had a different kind of work.

I had a room in the house for my computer and my files, and I did pretty well, but eventually I knew that a home office was not right for me.  I needed a “real” office. Somewhere else.

It’s mostly a matter of personal choice, of course, and there are pros and cons both ways.  When I worked out of my tiny apartment in San Diego, it was great to sometimes be inspired at midnight, hop out of bed and work on a painting.  I won’t be hopping out of bed to dash to the studio at midnight.  But it was too easy to shift from painting to doing the dishes or vacuuming the floor or just fiddling around.  I won’t be doing that at the studio.

Also, it will be a place to show my art without strangers coming into my home.  And while it won’t be an official gallery, it will offer opportunities to have the work seen by others as they pass the space.

Signing up for the studio and adding a new financial responsibility for me was not an easy step to take.  But I continue to read Bayles & Orland (who are Oregonians by the way) and they offer this for every artist taking any kind of risk:

In the end it all comes down to this: you have a choice (or more accurately a rolling tangle of choices) between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot — and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy. It becomes a choice between certainty and uncertainty. And curiously, uncertainty is the comforting choice.

This is a great piece of advice for any choice you might be considering.  Are you going for certainty or uncertainty?  What choices are you considering? If they look more like “a rolling tangle of choices,” you’re probably on the right track. I’m reminded of the lyrics of a great song from the musical revue Starting Here, Starting Now…

You don’t have to sing/you don’t have to dance/but nothing will happen ’til you take a chance.

I’ll either make it in the new space, or perhaps not.  But my art spirit and I are taking a chance, and we’ll give it our best damn shot!  Stay tuned…




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