Jon, Jeff, Candy (wearing one of my Vintage Hankie Scarves) and Red at Battenkill Books on Saturday, where Jon and I signed copies of Jon’s book “The Second Chance Dog”.
When I first read the words Show Your-Art-Guru on the comments of my blog, it took me a couple of seconds to place the phrase. It sounded familiar, but…as I read on I wondered how I could have forgotten. If Jon hadn’t written about it in The Second Chance Dog, would it have been lost to me forever?
My second thought was that I could hardly remember the time when I was afraid to let other people see my art. And yet, it was only 4 or 5 years ago and for my whole life before that. Usually I read Jon’s books as he’s writing them, when he first gets the manuscript back and then, when the book comes out. But I didn’t read Second Chance Dog when we got the first copy in the mail from Random House a few weeks ago, and I won’t read it again, not in the near future. It’s just too hard for me, it takes me back to a place I would rather not revisit just yet.
But the Show Your-Art-Guru, that’s something I don’t mind remembering, that’s something that still makes me smile, even laugh out loud when I think about it. I’m not going to give it all away, but it was Jon’s way of encouraging me not to be afraid to show and try to sell my art on my website, something that terrified me at the time.
Go back about 5 years, it’s the middle of winter at the Old Bedlam Farm. Dark, cold, snowing, always snowing, all winter long. I’m up at 5Am to go to my job at a home for developmentally disabled adults and Jon’s up with me, every morning, making me breakfast in his bathrobe, slippers and Wizard Hat. (Yes, a Wizard hat from Disney World that lights up) And when Jon’s wearing this outfit, he’s no longer Jon, but the Show-Your-Art-Guru. He sings and dances and prances around so I stop taking myself so seriously and see that he believes in me and so, start believing in myself.
It was a sweet time, not one I want to go back to, but a pocket of sunshine in the dark morning of my coming out as an artist. And the further away I get from it, the crazier and more loving it seems to me. And it’s good to remember how far I’ve come. How now I can’t imagine not showing and selling my art. How I wouldn’t be the person I truly am if I wasn’t doing my work and putting it out into the world.
It’s a good thing to remember, but not a place to dwell. After all, I forgot about the Show Your-Art-Guru, because I don’t need him anymore. But I’m glad Jon wrote about him, you never know, he may be inspiring someone right at this moment.