What I miss most about the city is the ability, even the necessity, of walking to everything. The movies! The drugstore! The bank! Now when I take a walk I don’t get anywhere. I miss my studio, and my studio apartment, both emblematic of my freedom to make art, day or night. I miss my art-school classmates and teachers, although I don’t miss critiques or criticism. One of the really great things about finishing my degree is knowing I can make my own art. Not that I am, exactly.
What I don’t miss about the city are the dogs and the dirt, the subways, and feeling nervous walking at night. In Connecticut I have a house which is enormous compared to my place in New York. There are rooms with nothing in them. I have a basement and my own washing machine and dryer. There is grass. There are trees. Life is good.
It is my choice to be here, yet I am occasionally nostalgic for the crowds and the street noises and the lights that shone in my windows all night long. Living in exurbia (beyond the suburbs, but not quite the country), I have learned to be wary of sounds again. Two nights ago, I could have sworn there was a bear in my house about midnight, given the scuffling that I heard. Sadly I could not blame it on neighbors or elevators. It was just me and a random grizzly that had broken in somehow. I slept with the lights on because otherwise it is DARK. In the morning I tried to convince myself that it might have been the plumbing (no signs of bear). But I’m still not sure….
For the past three months I’ve been decompressing about school, and spending a lot of time at work, but now I’m starting to get the itch to paint. Bright colors and thick globs of oil paint – yes. Or thin gouaches on pen and ink drawings. Maybe I’ll make Barbie pictures again. Some people in art school hated those! I’m setting up my new studio, and I’ve started to dream about art. I’ve been looking at some favorites: Rubens’ portrait of Isabella Brandt, van Gogh landscapes, and Wayne Thiebaud, always.
Here are the first two drawings I’ve done since I graduated. I should have been working, but instead I grabbed a brown sketch book. I drew the plastic pig that sits on my desk (it poops jelly beans – never not funny), and my Diet Coke can. Wite-Out, although not covered in my methods and materials classes, proved to be a delightful medium.
There is a lot of very good art here, some of it being made by friends. And rather than being torn between two very different places, I’ve decided to “bloom where I’m planted”. The next time I go to New York, I’ll be a visitor, not a New Yorker. That’s a little bit sad, but I am quite happy in the evenings in my quiet house on my quiet street, climbing the stairs to bed.