Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Color of Cooking

Recently I saw the movie called Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep was fantastic in her portrayal of Julia Childes. After watching the movie I went out and bought a new cookbook. No not Julia Childes cookbook on french cooking but another one that caught my interest. I meticulously followed the recipes and created the most delicious dinner. If walls could talk, or even the cats, they would tell you that mmmms were endless and ongoing. I haven't cooked like that in years.

About 3 weeks ago, I went to a public meeting called ArtSpaces. Our community was gathering to support the arts in forming an alliance with the non profit organization that supports the arts in affordable housing and work places. It turns out that it is a common practice for artists to move into an area and through their creativity, actually revive otherwise undesirable areas of cities. Investors then come in and buy up the property (recently revived by the artists and their art) and raise the rent so high they are forced to move out and move on and not always up. ArtSpaces comes in and creates, builds, renovates, and or converts spaces for artists to live and work afford ably.

When I started this blog, it was at the urging of my daughter Sheena, an artist in her own right. She told me I needed to do this and like a good mother, I do what my daughters tell me is good for me, sort of like eating my vegetables. I have spent little time reading blogs, my hands are usually in paint or dirt or something. She has a blog, and it is quite good and with her creative talents has made it wonderful and interesting. So I started typing my questions.

So, the day before yesterday, I went over to my studio, downtown Loveland and for those who are still not aware, Loveland is the art capital of Colorado and hosts the 2nd largest sculpture fair in the world every August, slipped under my door was a notice that my space rent had gone up 30%. WOW!!!!!!!!, that was a shock and immediately followed a river of tears, fears and frustration. The expression starving artist, I am well acquainted with. so after the tear momentarily subsided I started thinking about my options which, at the time, seemed few. That night I cried myself to sleep only to awaken the next day with a firm resolution that everything would work out, I will just move my business and my studio home. But there were so many obstacles. Anger ebbed and flowed over me and anyone within a 10 block radius. Under it all was the fear of not being able to keep painting, something my mother says I have been doing since 18 months old.

The economy, now that is a can of worms, I imagine cans of worms, top opened, laying on there sides, with worms crawling slowly out on every street corner and everyone standing around pointing their fingers at everyone else.

Last night I cried myself to sleep again, my vivid imagination full steam ahead, I couldn't stop imagining my 2 cats forced to go to the humane society due to my living space, turning into my business space in full consideration of other peoples allergies to cats.

I was raised on the poor side of poverty, and am well versed in frugal, so economic challenges are my forte. This morning I woke with a mission, either find a new space or create an action plan to turn my home into my business-studio-living space. I resolved that what ever will be will be. And with prayers dripping out of my mouth like alphabet soup, I went out looking for a new beginning. If unsuccessful, I would start the reinvention plan. After a number of disappointing space tours, my hopes were starting to wain. When a friend called for help with uploading her digital art images in to jpeg from her iphone, I went over and helped and we made great progress.

One of the things that impressed me in the story of Julie & Julia, was this young woman was cooking her way through Julia Childes french cooking book and had a blog about it with the hope that it would inspire others to cook, which is exactly how it effected me. And throughout her story she was confronted with many challenges, it was not a cake walk.

Right now I am in the middle of a challenge, that seems at times, insurmountable. but as the old saying goes, "Change is the only thing that we can count on and when we except that fact, it can be quite comforting".

So... my new hope is that if you do choose to follow this blog, you will be inspired to create, to be devoted to the creative and to walk in the image of the creator, through the challenges and the seemingly bad into the perfect timing that we sometime find ourselves actually noticing.

Happy Trails,

Robin Dodge

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