When I was a young woman, I took a certain amount of attention for granted. Great service from waiters, comments from construction sites, the honking of pick up trucks ( in Calgary anyway), and the appraising glances of other women. Now that I am a middle-aged woman, I take a certain amount of anonymity for granted. I once read in an Amanda Cross mystery that being an older woman was the perfect disguise for a detective as no one would notice you. And that mindset is why I find my few days of celebrity so surprising.
I first noticed something odd during the Culture Crawl a few years ago when I first unveiled my large-scale, layered resin paintings. These paintings were original and attracted a lot of attention. People were hanging around the studio just to look at the work and chat with me. Some actually came back during the weekend, bringing their friends and significant others, wanting to show them the work and meet me. I just assumed these people were nice and attentive to everyone, and it actually took me several months of reflection to realize that people were interested in me and my opinions, just because I am an artist. In the studio, you stand surrounded by your artwork, everyone can see your vision, your creativity laid out. Seeing your art is like seeing inside your brain.
This year was no exception, and in my own studio I was able to display more paintings and create a whole crazy energy around the work. I was interviewed by student newspapers and ESL students on assignment: photographed by bloggers and twitterers; courted by art websites, and actually had crowds of people (well, small crowds anyway) listening to me explain my painting process. And I had amazing conversations with different individuals about my art and their ideas about the art.
Now that I’m fading back into obscurity, I have the pleasure of knowing that even during times of financial cutbacks to the arts, many people still have a lot of respect for and interest in for artists.