Musings of an Artist
February 24, 2016 at 4:13 PM
Harpy's Song © 2015 Monica Gunderson - All Rights Reserved; Unauthorized Reproduction Prohibited
Wow, I cannot believe that February 2016 is almost over with! What an interesting month with so many challenges. I am still experiencing issues with my lower back, but that is about normal for me, still waiting for the cold foggy weather to move onto spring and summer. I am in hopes that by the time the weather warms that I will be more active with my artwork and less hurty. It has been about four years dealing with chronic pain, and I just take one day at a time. It has been quiet interesting because my husband and I are both trying to run our own business; me with my artwork, and him with his computer guru knowhow. So, literally, I am a starving artist, but things are looking up and soon will change. Not only that, I have a roof over my head, I have food to eat, my crafty art supplies to keep me busy, and supportive family and friends who have stepped in when we have needed it most. Thank You! (You know who you are). February has been definitely a challenging month, trying to be sure bills are paid, food on the table, and whatever other hurdle comes our way, but despite the challenges, we keep moving forward, and are both supportive of each other, and that is what is important.
I have been spending a lot of time on self-care, which is a really hard thing to do, but also the best thing that anyone can do for themselves. Having chronic pain has taught me that some days it is ok to take it easy and to recognize what I do get done is the best I can do, and that is fine. Needless to say, I have not written any blog posts this February until now, but it is fully understandable and I accept that. With all the cold weather and high humidity, it makes it quite challenging with anyone with arthritis. Even though, I still manage to get my housework done, focus on exercises, create artwork when I am able, and get out of the house and mingle with friends, family, and others as much as I can. If you have arthritis, or know someone with arthritis, you understand how difficult days like this may be. (see pain art post)
Meanwhile, I am still meeting up with the Modesto Artist Salon (art group) that my friends and I had created. We meet up every second Saturday that the Queen Bean Coffee House in downtown Modesto California. The first few meetings we have had a great turn out of almost twenty attendees! This is so exciting to me because I have attended other artist meetings in the past, and this group is the largest gathering of creatives so far! If you're interested in networking with other artists, and gaining some motivation and creative criticism, please feel free to join us at the Queen Bean Coffee House at 1126 14th St, Modesto (on the back patio), every second Saturday at 1:00 pm. Our next meeting will be on March 12, 2016. We are in hopes when the weather warms up that we will eventually do some picnics in the park, create artwork outside, and possibly even field trips to local and out of town creative events, museums, and also art galleries. Who knows, maybe we will go to San Francisco one day and visit one of the art museums such as the de Young or the Legion of Honor.
As for other upcoming events, next month on March 19th I will be selling my artwork, art prints, and other artsy items at the Spring Handcrafter's Boutique at the First Christian Church in Manteca California. There will be sixty five vendors selling their crafty ware and there will also be food vendors as well. All of the vendors participating in the event creates all of their wares by hand, there is no Tupperware or Scentsy sales, everything is handmade and the event showcases artisans only. Support local and small business, drop by March 19th and come shop with us!
As mentioned, this month has been difficult. Not only because of my back pain, not being able to draw and paint as much as I would like, and slowly scraping by and trying to get financials back to "normal", but I had also lost a friend this month. Linda Black from Peer Recovery Art Project has passed, and her spark of creativity and to help the community will always be present. Everyone at Peer Recovery Art Project has been so helpful and supportive to everyone that was close to Linda and I think it is just wonderful how the community can gather together and provide their support during such a difficult time. If you know John and Linda Black, feel free to go to Peer Recovery Art Project to send your condolences. Peer Recovery Art Gallery will be open all this week to provide support for those who need someone to talk to or if you just need a long hug. Peer Recovery is filled with such loving people and their doors are open to provide a listening ear, support, creativity, and above all a friendship towards the community.
Peer Recovery Art Project has helped me a lot for the past four five years since my chronic back pain had begun. They have always provided assistance for me when I needed it, and are also totally understanding about my condition (chronic back pain). With them, my back pain is not an invisible illness, but something that they are willing to console me about and provide me with motivation to move forward and to continue with my love of art. Despite the loss of lovely Linda Black, Peer Recovery has many things in mind to help the community and end the stigma of mental illness and other health challenges. They are truly a great loving bunch of people and I am so glad to know them and am so grateful that I had met Linda Black. She was such an inspiration, and will be a motivation for those who are associated with Peer Recovery Art Project. Her spark will live on.
Monica Gunderson Fine Artist