Janis Mars Wunderlich, ceramic artist, and mother of five.
I'm sitting here this morning with a head full of to do's: stack wood, gather kindling, wash and hang out the laundry, pick up the house, scrub bathrooms, process tomatoes, make and freeze batches of basil, sort mail, plan and make supper, tend to my Etsy business...
It's a gorgeous day, and I have the luxury of being home to do these things. Tomorrow will be a studio day when I drive to Portland and get to focus, for a few hours, entirely on my art. Our children are grown and flown, and my husband, who works full time as a hospital pharmacist, helps a bit with the housework and alot with the cooking responsibilities. I now have the opportunity to balance home and art. (It hasn't always been this way - I've struggled mightily to make it so. These are internal and external struggles...) Yet I still experience inertia and conflict, and often feel guilty packing up and heading to the studio, when there is "more productive" work to be done at home. And there are still days when I wonder what it would be like to have no domestic responsibilities - to awake like Picasso, and know that my wife has already peddled her bike to the studio to get the fire going in the woodstove, and that she will make all my meals and clean my house, and to grab paints and clay first thing in the morning (not frying pans and wash rags) and to start creating, and to create all day, everyday. (And to know that just my signature will fetch thousands of dollars would be pretty damn sweet, too!!!)
(Would I even want this, though? Do I need the domestic to anchor me? Or is that me rationalizing my conditioned life and what is expected of me??)
I need a wife too is one of the discussion topics in the Who Does She Think She Is? home party pack that I recently ordered on-line. I plan to show the DVD at MECA soon, and host a discussion. There are many more provocative questions posed on a set of enclosed cards, such as this one:
What would be lost if you lived your dream?