Me, sitting down with a cup of coffee, my brain and a computer:
Brain: You can do this.
Me: Right, focus. Okay, *reading* “please submit a short artists statement (around 150 words)” —haha, they left off the apostrophe.
Brain: Stop being mean. At least they wrote something.
Me: Yes, okay. Let’s see…This series of paintings is a series of paintings about… God, that’s awful. *grabs sticky notes, writes “Try and sound human” and sticks to monitor* That’s better. The painting is one of many in a series about whimsy…I wonder if politicians have similar post-its stuck all over their houses and offices? Ha.
Me: Right. Sebbie and Oma’s Teapot is the most recent painting of paintings of Sebbie… *stares off into space* Is devenir how you say “to become” in French? Or have I bastardized the Italian word, “devenire” by chopping off the e at the end and pretending it’s French?
Me: No, no, it’s okay, I’ll just look it up quick; it’ll bug me if I don’t check. *googles* Devenir. That’s right. I think I bastardized the French to make fake Italian actually. Just look that up quick too. *more googling* Diventare. Yep, I did. I’ve been living an English speaking country for too long. How can I pull off moving back to Europe?
Brain: ARTIST STATEMENT
Me: Right. But do I remember how to conjugate devenir?
Me: Alright. Tanya Harsch is a person with fabulous hair. Her paintings are images without polkadots.
Brain: Try again.
Me: Fine. Sebbie and Oma’s Teapot… Something. This painting is one of a series of paintings depiction my childhood toy puppet, Sebbie, encountering adventures. In this piece, he is asking for tea from a teapot styled as a cat. The teapot has particular sentimental associations for me, as it belonged to my grandmother and I spent many a childhood meal, seated at her table admiring the teapot on its shelf. I’m out of coffee. I wonder how many paintings a year I’d have to sell to be able to afford to pay someone to write these things for me?
Brain: You’re so close, just focus, just get it written, and then you can ignore it until tomorrow when I make you re-read it and proof it.
Me: A secretary would be nice.
Brain: This is why artists drink.
Me: Oh, shut it. How many words is that? *counts* Sixty three. Bollocks. What else do I say? Let’s see… I paint toys because they bring so much happiness to people. I started painting them nearly accidentally, bored in the studio one day, and found it to be so much fun. I thought, “I’ll paint another, maybe a series of three…” Little did I know, 50 paintings later, I’d still be happily playing with toys. Does that sound stupid?
Brain: Shhhh, just keep writing.
Me: I find people often connect to my work because they find a nostalgia in it, a connection to their own childhood. I don’t even know if that’s true. Most people just say, “wow, I love your paintings!”
Brain: Then leave it out.
Me: Yes, but word count. Who invented artist speak, and how do I find them?
Me: I’d like to send them a box of crickets.
Brain: What? Wait, never mind, I’m not getting dragged into this, let’s get back on task.
Me: I hear crickets are particularly hard to find and get rid of once they’re in your house, and they make that lovely noise to annoy you.
Brain: *through gritted teeth* ARTIST STATEMENT
Me: You do realize, in this hypothetical argument, I’ve just given my brain its own set of teeth? Where does it keep them?
Brain: Shhhh. Quiet time.
Me: Oh, do I have 150 words already?
Brain: No, of course not, you didn’t have them before, you don’t have them now. They don’t magically write themselves.
Me: Oh, magic self-writing artist statements, I’d be all over that.
Brain: I give up.
Me: Maybe I’ll just go paint for a little bit, come back to the writing when fresh… Don’t know why these things take me so long.
Brain: *hides under covers. plays dead*