I've been at my folks place in Florida for a week now and have begun editing my photos and putting together new works to send home to Argyle Fine Art. I am feeling very fortunate to be at a place in my 'career' where I have a gallery willing to take my art. It really is a dream come true.
When I first arrived I tried to dive head first into making new work. I tend to put unnecessary pressure on myself, especially when people have already paid for pieces I haven't actually made yet. Well, as you can probably imagine, I had a bit of a panic attack. I can't expect myself to go from being on the move every day for three months to immediately churning out new work. So after taking a couple of days to run some errands, eat oranges from the trees out back and easing into staying put I am now back on track. I am getting some commissions done and there will be new stuff at Argyle for the Pre-Shrunk show in January.
Spending time organizing the hundreds and hundreds of photos I've taken isn't all business though. The past three months have all blended together and sorting through my pictures brings back memories I've already forgotten. I have lots of time for reflection and in a month will be back on the road. Before I left I assumed many things. I pictured myself foraging through the woods for greens to eat, camping by rivers or lakes for weeks on end and making extra money washing dishes or doing odd jobs. I have done none of these things. The romanticizing I did about this journey is just that, romantic and unrealistic. The realities of traveling are completely different, for me at least. Yes, I'm sure I could have done all of these things but it's not who I am. I think part of anyone's success in life is knowing who you really are and not who you want to be. I'm not the kind of person who feels comfortable walking into a place and asking for work. Larry the hitchhiker is. He has taken many little jobs along his way to keep going and is perfectly comfortable doing so. He would approach people for rides or ask for help and was almost always met with kindness. I admire what he's doing but, as I said, it's not me.
I've had to discover who I truly am, accept it and work within it. I am not someone who is going to walk across the continent. I don't want to sleep in a tent in the woods for weeks on end or rely on knowing what's edible in the forest. I want my perked coffee in the morning and a hot meal at night. I like my small creature comforts. It's hard for me to admit I'm not as worldly as I like to think I am. I know it's all relative and some would disagree with me. I guess what I'm trying to say is I now know what my limits are and what I'm comfortable with, even if it's not what I thought before I set out. No matter how well you think you know yourself there's always more to know and spending three months on the road by yourself will surely bring some new things to light.