What you do defines you.

15 09 2019


In that way my art terrifies me. “You will never make a living as an artist. Learn to write. Writers make good money.” Our “father” tried to teach me. But the lessons I learned were not the one’s I think he intended. I Always wanted to be an Artist: I did learn to write fairly well but I have never earned a dime with either thing.

With a belt in his hand he taught me to sweep and make the bed, and I became good enough at that to make a living. I am a maid, a housekeeper, a caregiver. I am 60 and too old to be redefining who I am. Maybe.

We were raised by people not related to us by blood. Not “Adopted”; Handed off like puppies. Decades ago I went looking for our “REAL family” and found them. On our Grandfathers side of the family were the Truckers. Generations of them going as far back as there were Trucks.

Grandma had pictures of the first. He delivered water. He stood beside his truck with one foot up on the bumper and his hat in his hand. Iconic shot. Before we ever knew any of this My brother became a Trucker and works long hours driving to earn his living, to this day.

But on Grandmothers side were the Artists. John C Vasquez was an artist, who made a good living for his family painting portraits for notable people of their time. Mayors and Governors and such. Without ever knowing this, I always felt born to draw. How strange the genes that link us to our past: but I was a maid.

I cleaned for someone who made her living as an artist. As I watched her paint, I told her I wished I could do what she did. Have you tried? “I draw, I don’t paint.” “Ok, ears are the hardest thing I know to draw. Draw an ear.”

The next time I returned to clean I brought my drawing. Several ears on a scrap of sketch paper. She pulled out a partially finished canvas and gave it to me saying “Don’t tell me you can’t paint till you have painted a mile of canvas. You can make this one your first.”

From that moment on people that love me have fed that need. They have been buying me canvas’s and paint and excepting my paintings as gifts till no one had room for anymore…even still My Daughter will try to claim them.

For the most part I have painted over and over the canvas’s I already have. It’s been over a decade and I am beginning to get a feel for my own way of doing what I do. I have started doing paintings for people I don’t know by request as gifts through our Facebook pages and got a couple of requests from people who said they liked my work.

This week I had told someone I would have a gift ready for her to give her Mother, but I have been depressed and the harder I tried to get it the worse it became. I couldn’t do it. The time for pick up was coming fast and I had crap.

I apologized and told her I couldn’t do it, “that my head was just not in the right space.” Weird enough, when she was kind and gave me leave. I sat down and started on fresh canvas and pulled off something I would sign my name to. It was done in time for her to pick up and I wrapped it up with a new feeling about myself.

In my mind I had crossed a bar. This was not me painting from my heart. This was me painting what someone else wanted, with a deadline, and I did it. I wrapped up the gift, left it on the porch for pick up, and Thanked her for her gift to me. My new Identity.20190913_192332

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