Dear Christine, you have so many challenges in your life right now.
What a time to have taken on a new job of any kind, much less
teaching! In the past when I have had need of sages I have checked in
with a good Gestalt therapist, trained to deal with where you are now.
Practical action oriented.
It is hard to think clearly when there are so many factors to weigh
As for teaching, I, too am in the middle of my second year. Don't have
the classroom management skills down, loads of endless administrative
tasks, trying to be a good colleague and active with our after school
program, join the contests requested by the District Office, take the
additional training in special ed. required by the City of New York,
keep up with doctoral studies, etc. And then there is my art work... I
have not been in the photo lab for a year and a month. Can't afford
it, and can't find time, just like you.
However, I do like and need the stablity of a full-time job, and I
love teaching. It is in my heart and soul to do this work. If it were
not that way, I would leave it, because it is so very hard.
Is there a way to give yourself just three hours a week for your art?
If you could give yourself three hours in a row, what time would that
be, and what day? Where would you go to create the work (away from all
your responsibilities, I think). For me, this is a fallow time,
production wise, but I am still able to build up a file of negatives
for the images I will later print (probably this summer during our
two-months' break -- do you get that vacation?) So I assign myself
subjects, lately the Fulton Fish Market at 2:00 a.m. and then during
the last snow storm, a day with just one roll of film, roaming the
city just to see what I could find. Of course now I plan to document
the big storm coming to us today — and hoping for a snow day tomorrow!
Since you are a sculptor, perhaps you could make some models of your
next series? Very small models, take them outside and photograph them
in interesting places that fool the scale? Then turn it into a book
with photocopies of the photographs and text that relates to your
challenges right now?
For 20 years I was in a difficult situation and could not work on my
art at all, but I stored ideas in my head and, by golly, when the time
came they all just poured out! I painted and photographed, but I still
had to parcel out the time as I was working hard, many days until 10
at night. I had to carve out the time for one or two weekends a month,
painting straight through, alone on a farm. No phone etc. By the end
of the year I had "a body of work" and an exhibit. Another thing I did
during that time was to start an "art club" at my house. People came
every Wednesday night, everyone brought something to eat. Not all were
artists, but we made things. In fact, I hope that some ArtsEdNetters
will be making the tampon angels (you may have read about the angels
in the kittylitter cake and tampon angel strand) at my house durning
NAEA. We didn't make that kind of thing, but we did create laminated
place mats, easter eggs, hand painted furniture, artists books, all
kinds of things. We often didn't stop until midnight, even though we
all had to work the next day. We often commented that Thursday was a
great day at work; that we seemed to have even more energy than usual!
Right now you are in an enforced fallow period, and it will end, as
all things end, so prepare for the day when it is over and there is
"world enough and time" just for you. You are in my thoughts and in
the care of this listserv, so give us updates. Good luck and