If Life Imitates Art, I'm Slowly Emerging

Written by Harriet Monzon-Aguirre | August, 2021

"You are only as good as your last painting." That's the kind of mindset that has been weighing me down and inhibiting my creativity. Coupled with trying to establish a studio practice while raising three young children. I take solace in reading another artists' path, Tenea D. Johnson. She writes in her blog post "Life Imitates Art" about how her writing career has been a slow emergence, imitating the flowering habits of the Queen of the Andes bromeliads.

Everything I read about pursuing an artistic career said that I would need to have a daily studio routine, and financial success to be considered "professional". Yet in order to finance my artistic pursuits, I need to work part-time with a secure income, which meant less time to create. Aristotle's "Golden Mean" and Buddha's Middle Way show us that life is a balancing act. I have learned a lot in the journey I have taken and I, like Tenea, have not taken a direct route.

It's taken a decade but I have found my feet and established roots. I have stopped making works that speak to my clash of national identity having been born in England and raised in Barbados. I have paused pouring acrylics on tile and chuckle at the thought that I did this before it became a fad. I have picked up my paint brushes and started to paint oil paintings that capture the beauty of the Safety Harbor scenery. It wasn't because I felt compelled to be a landscape/seascape artist. Someone gave me a chance and validated my work and this in turn reignited my passion. I've literally claimed my studio space using blue tape on the floor. I reward myself for working in the wee hours of the morning or the peaceful hours of the evening. I am ecstatic to be working on two commissions for the up-and-coming Tides market as well as a new body of paintings that will be displayed on the walls of the store (pictures to follow).

One could say the pandemic, and the societal shift it caused has given me the time to reflect on what truly matters to me. Maybe it's the deep loss I suffered recently. Maybe it's a combination of many factors. I suppose I have more confidence and certainty, and am not as daunted by the challenges that lie ahead. I am in a germination stage.

Watch me bloom.

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