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Painting as a life-long pursuit

This has been an unusual month.  I didn't intend to take a hiatus from the studio, but that is what happened.  I left at the end of February for the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts in Tampa, my first outdoor show of the year, and arrived home a week later, physically sick and slightly flummoxed.  Ok, not slightly.  I was defeated.  When I say "painting is my lifelong pursuit," it is nearly impossible to assign my time to other things without pangs of guilt and frustration.  But as I write this on the last day of March, I can say for certain that by not wetting my brushes and pushing myself to shake off the unexpected disappointment of the show, I feel accomplished.  The tumult that March is known for, the Madness, the Lion/Lamb thing, the Ides, the equinox, the not so sane celebration of poor St. Patrick...why not step away from the safety of the studio and get something done?

1.  This website!  www.lauranugent.com was first established in 2000.  It has gone through several versions but this one is nearly all my doing.  Well, not quite: Squarespace has made some lovely templates that even I can make something out of.  Nick Carswell at the Interurban Art House in Overland Park, KS got me started on it a year ago, and it turns out I only needed a few days this month to focus on its assembly.

2.  For the first time, I swapped studio visits with an artist in Kansas City I have long admired.  I lunched with Desiree and Robert and worked out with Cheryl.  I went to every art event to which I was remotely invited.  I participated in the planning of the 40th anniversary of the Kansas City Artists Coalition.  I barged in to at least one gallery with a portfolio to show.  Being a "traveling artist" means my hometown art scene often sees me the least and I've been happily inspired by what I found by just hanging around it for a few weeks.

3. Taxes. Telephone. Health Insurance.  Not the most romantic trilogy, but boy howdy, don't it feel good to get that shite done.

4. Road trip that didn't involve setting up at an art fair:  I treated myself to 24 hours in Bentonville, Arkansas, home of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.  It was enlightening to be a tourist, a traveler with only leisure and learning on the agenda.  I spoke to many people, strangers, at the museum, especially those who casually would state "I could do that" while taking in whatever abstract expressionist work they found themselves in front of.  I arrived home on a Saturday afternoon and felt normal again.  Actually, I felt like what I assume other people feel like on a weekend: relaxed.

See you in April.  Back to work!