Xoterica 3: The Gust

I awoke to the howl of winds this morning. Appropriate background noise for my life these days. The union of storms of life continues to attack, ENE at 33 MPH in a circular motion towards a dissipating horizon.

I deftly duck my head and another gust rushes at me, tempting to topple me and my life down. The cold is coming; I can feel the chill in my bones as the temperatures dip. Another long winter of hibernation, creation and reflection ahead.

Most in the U.S. look toward the end of the year with excitement for Thanksgiving and Christmas or other family-oriented holidays. I look forward to disconnecting from the ties that bind, and being at one with that dissipating horizon. I miss the ties that once kept me happy and healthy, but don't miss the mythical fanfare of the season. Beyond the pretty wrapping paper and seasonal propaganda, time-off and time away are the benefits I look forward to.

An appreciation of the silence and stillness of life. The storm has weathered me so much that I yearn for quiet spaces away from the buzz of the human world. Now in my 40s, I suppose you could chalk that up to getting old.

The reality is that I'm getting worn down by the responsibility, pressures and the politics of this path.

The #YearoftheSere has whizzed by, my ten-year celebration almost used up and tossed into dusty files of the history of my brand. Onto the next decade, I say to myself and charge ahead. (NOTE: I won't feel fully "moved on to" 2018 until I finish my #Xposed blog series, which I will complete and share by the end of 2017). This year was supposed to be a recognition of all that I've accomplished over the last decade, but it's turned into a busy year of creative projects and deep contemplation about my existence as an artist.

I should be proud of what I've achieved in 2017.

A first this year -- my art was part of two album releases for two different bands: one, a Twin Cities metal band that I've known since my Sound and Fury days; the other, a national act that found my art by chance on Instagram and became good friends of mine over the years.

Another first – two diverse gallery shows: one, supporting a Rap/Hip-Hop Label Relaunch in St. Paul; the other, a national show that featured an eclectic mix of arts and artists.

Other firsts that were in the mix for 2017 -- countless new paintings, creation of angular stretchers with self-stretched canvas and integration of art resin into my creative process.

Final tally – few painting sales, a brand following/audience in decline, and another year of missing my creative goal of "publishing a new book every year". I feel like this result report – the one that recalls how unsuccessful I've been at selling my art product over the course of the year -- is a recurring tempest that I can't seem to get to stop from spinning out of control.

With the state of the storms these days, I have started to wonder if my gusty goals are even achievable, or if I should simplify my efforts and strive for the best artistic effort possible. Set easier goals, and let my creative winds fill the sails to power my progress toward success. Sounds good in theory.

The howls remind me that time is always moving forward, with or without my observation and participation in the world around me. The SERE in me feels unsettled, even as the human requests acquiescence and respite.



Artemis Sere Coagulative Spill

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