There is a lot to say about the unfolding of my life as an artist since the grant period began last October. Consequently, I am connecting the dots from this expansive experience. For example, I was speaking with my mentor, Candace Knapp www.candaceknapp.com earlier this week. She mentioned the upcoming grantee conversation that will be on Facebook Live, on Thursday. I shared with her that I had watched a conversation with the grantees from last year. “Of course, it was fascinating to hear from the artists about their experiences”, I said. Candy said, “What sort of questions were they asked?” The question I remembered most was, “What has opened up during the grant period, for you?” And I answered the question to Candy. “For me, the grant has given me permission to become the artist I have always wanted to be.”
In the first place, the grant period has been a profound adventure. Secondly, it has opened my creative spirit. Lastly, as I reflect on all of it, the timing of everything and the synchronicities that have occurred are profound.
As I mentioned in my last blog, this was my second time applying for the grant. On 9/19/20, I had just turned 50 and celebrated my first birthday and huge milestone in my life, without Dad and Kellie. I went on a joint celebration weekend to Anna Maria Island with my dear friend Heather, who’s birthday is two weeks after mine. After our double 50 birthday weekend, I returned to my little apartment and spent ten hours completing my grant application. Consequently, it was good work. However, the timing wasn’t right, and while my overall score was good, it wasn’t high enough to make the top ten. Of course, I was disappointed. Yet, I felt good about the work I did and knew I would try again the following year.
Fast forward to September of 2021. My landlord notified me of a rent increase so high on August 13th, that I could not afford to stay in that little apartment. On the 14th, I was out with my realtor looking at properties. You see, I had started looking at places several months after Dad died. But then, Kellie died, and it became too much. I halted my search. The Universe was showing me that now was the time. I saw my condo on August 18th, put in an offer, and closed on it a little over a month later on 9/22/21, just a few days after my 51st birthday.
During all of this, I rewrote my grant application, using the previous year’s as a foundation. I was crystal clear, when I wrote the application, and I knew in my heart that I would get it. As expected, I was in the top ten this time when the grant panel reviewed all the applications on 10/4/21. My overall score was 88.
Like that famous quote by Steve Jobs, about connecting the dots. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Thats how this has been. All the timing is perfect. I had just moved into my beautiful condo, and could do so because I had sold my Dad’s beloved MG TD8888, to the perfect person. The down payment for my condo was the same number I sold his car for. His car number was TD8888, and my score was 88.
As a matter of fact, I was moved into my new home with a whole room dedicated for my art only weeks before getting the grant. Everything was ready for me. And having an art studio to grow into, while I have been expanding and exploring in the ether of my own imagination, has been such a gift. And here the work I am doing is all about, me, my Dad and Kellie.
I’m just blown away by it all. Finding my rhythm, newly, in this lovely space that’s all mine. Crying tears of joy and sadness too, as I have been painting up a storm, creating these six new pieces from my heart.
Join us on Thursday at 7pm for our Emerging Artist Conversation. Details to follow.