Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Art Story: 1994

1994 was a better year, probably the best one I had as an artist to this point. Of course, I found out after my divorce in 1995, that it was only good on the surface.

I had a workshop for my art for most of this year. Starting out in a storage unit in the heat of the summer, we had a portable swamp cooler that we had to haul water to in order to keep cool. If you have never been to Las Cruces in the summer I have to tell you, this is a feat within itself. I believe the record high set that year was 117 degrees Fahrenheit! If I remember correctly, we stayed there only a couple of months.

We then moved the shop into an office building where we shared a space with my brother's heavy metal band! This was also the year we had to hire help to keep up with the demand for my prints. At this point, there were close to 300 shops across the southwest selling my art. My brother started out working for us, but he quickly left for a better paying job and referred his friend, Aaron Lewis, to work for us. I had known Aaron for many years, so we hired him. Later, we hired a couple of other people, all artists, to help with cutting mats and putting prints together.

The shared space in the office building only lasted around a month. I came in one day and found a beer can sitting on my side of the curtain next to some prints and came unglued! I should have known it wouldn't work to share a space with a band, and most importantly, my brother's band (New Mexican Erection). My brother and I ended up in a literal fight because of it and we moved out and into another office building. We stayed there until 1995.

It was about this time that I received a call from one of the store owners who sold my prints in Arizona. It seems that my husband had come on to their daughter and they thought I should know that he was possibly cheating on me while on the road. Of course I confronted him with this accusation and he gave me some lame story about the daughter coming on to him, not the other way around. Needless to say, this is when I seriously started thinking about how I was going to escape.

In November, we finally moved out of the small, isolated little mobile home, into a larger, nicer mobile home that was only 5 miles out of town. At the time, I felt like we had finally made it. I had spent the past 3 years living in a crappy trailer with the air conditioner falling in through the roof. This place even had a washer/dryer hook up! This was the ultimate luxury for me at the time. I was so tired of taking my 15 loads of wash to the Laundromat every week! I know, I sound like I was white trash! My ultimate dream was always to have a house that didn't have wheels underneath it! Even at the time, I knew that would never happen as long as I was married to this guy. His idea of the ultimate home was a double wide trailer on a piece of land. Isn't there a country song about that?

This was also the year that I started working with watercolors. It had been years since I had pulled out the paints and once I started, I was hooked again. I completed all my watercolor pottery paintings in this year. Acoma Jar and Bowl, San Ildefonso Jar and Bowl, Zia Bowl and Zuni Bowl. It was these prints that really made the business take off. These pottery prints are still my most popular to this day. I expect them to be completely sold out by March!

Next up is 1995, probably my toughest year ever; divorce, kicked out on the street, destitute and a sabotaged art career. However, it was also the year I found my soulmate and lived happily ever after!

Jump to previous years:

1991, 1992, 1993

Next up: 1995; The First Half

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