Friday, July 29, 2011

About a Brain

Last week I said: “I am an idiot when it comes to numbers”. I need to enlarge on that to get to what I want to say today about how a brain works and sometimes doesn’t.

Back in grade school a teacher asked me to explain the perfect score I got on a test as she could not see any evidence of the path I took. I know now, because I still do it, that I visualize numbers and move them about in a way that does not follow the steps I was taught. I have used this kind of thinking all my life but when I was the age I was then (somewhere between six and eight years old) I wasn’t aware of how I operated. I got a shameful zero on that test and was accused of cheating. I don’t know if that experience was the deciding factor and caused my lifelong antipathy toward numbers. It certainly didn’t ease the way.

This morning I came across this: “I often hear artists say that they are too right-brained to do left-brained business tasks.” It goes on to explain how that is a mistake. I had been painting but returned to doing business in response to some requests for information about my work. I was struck again by the change in how I felt about my life, myself and the world around me when dealing with pricing, computer glitches and time spent on the phone. I enjoy meeting the people who appreciate my work and sales make me very happy. But self-promotion, pricing, databases and mailings are not my cuppatea.

In my studio, I am untroubled and competent. I don’t mean that the work is easy. It is a constant series of choices, decisions and problem solving. I screw up on a regular basis and have to back-track and make right what went wrong because I chose the wrong color or texture or paint viscosity. But mostly, at the end of the day, I feel a serene satisfaction and a well-earned right to rest. After a day spent doing business, even when everything is going smoothly, no glitches anywhere, I come away feeling as if I have been unproductive and what little I have accomplished is meaningless. I am baffled by stuff about right brain, left brain. My brain has been with me for a long time. It has served me well but there are some areas of extreme non-expertise that will never get any better. Who am I trying to fool?

Sculptor Louise Nevelson: “In my studio I'm as happy as a cow in her stall. That's the only place where everything is all right.” 

The image above is Change, ©2000, acrylic on paper mounted on canvas, 13” x 44”.

The 50% sale at Artful Home has ended but will continue in my studio. My moving sale of pre-2006 work continues until we find that elusive perfect space. Email for information and appointment.   

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