Last year I was a bad blogger. I took part in several exhibitions but my biggest challenge was spending 5 days in The Project Space in NN Contemporary, filming and drawing dogs and owners. Then I got a puppy!
Now I’m not sure if this wasn’t a little bit of self sabotage. The excitement I felt during my time in The Project Space was exhilarating. Drawing dogs and owners, talking about their lives with dogs and having the work transmitted to Kentucky as part of a conference entitled ‘Seeing With Animals’ was my way back into the Contemporary Art world , a place full of challenge and possibilities. I had plans to work with the videos I had taken of the interactions , looking more closely at the coexistence of humans and animals. Why do we allow animals into our homes, what does pet ownership mean? These questions so far are unanswered , mostly due to the puppy I decided to get immediately after the project. There is a Facebook page of my work during The Sitter,The Dog,The Artist. It is very much unfinished work, an idea put on hold. It was still very much the highlight of what I did last year and filled me with fear and excitement.
So why did I self sabotage and not go further with the project? I was at a stage of my life where I had more freedom and lots of hours to create work. Then I know I’ll get a puppy! Having responsibilities is something comfortable for me, there’s always an excuse to not achieving dreams and household and family duties can be part of this , maybe it’s a middle aged thing or maybe it’s fear of change, either way, I would really like to face this issue at some point in my artistic career.
The puppy was a joy but a huge distraction, housetraining seemed to take over my life for months. Socialising him, taking him to training classes, juggling this with normal day to day life meant I had managed to restrict my studio time to about 4 hours a day, split into 2 hour sections. Silly me had allowed my desire for the perfectly trained dog to take over my life and become my new obsession. He even has his own instagram page @obithepapillon.
Now he is a year old, housetrained and happy in a routine, I can now get back to working in a better way. Occasionally both dogs come to work with me but this means not much gets done! So for now they stay at home.
This year has been a steep learning curve in choices. If I really want to make a good career as an artist I need to retain my focus. That’s what I’ll be working on this year. Putting my head down and doing the work. January is a great time to begin again.
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Minnie Teckman, I'm a fine artist that loves oil painting, drawing, portraiture, animals and urban sketching.