A Day in the Life

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said at the start

I am an artist. I used to have a hard time saying that. It seemed presumptuous, premature, or like I was putting on airs. I’d say, “I want to be an artist,” or “I take art classes,” or “I like to make things.” Though it was as much a part of my individuality as almost anything else, it was a hard title to claim. Mother, daughter, sister, friend, of course. Student, walker, gardener, cook, teacher, sure. But “artist” seemed a designation for someone living a life far different than mine.

Even when I finally, after much practice and self-talk, learned to say, “I am an artist,” I half expected to be called out on it. Though I studied art for many years, and have a couple degrees to prove it, and though my work hangs in colleges, galleries, and many homes and businesses, I sometimes feel like an imposter. My life is pretty ordinary. My jobs have been simple menial labor positions. I don’t dress flamboyantly. Yet here I am. An artist.

What’s that like, a day in the life of an artist? Well, I can’t speak for others, but I can describe my day: today. I get up to an alarm, because I have trouble falling asleep, and staying asleep at night. If I’m really regimented about getting up at a set time each morning, I find insomnia is not such a big problem. I have a regular morning routine that includes meditation, gratitude, drawing, studying, yoga and quite a bit of coffee drinking.

This morning, I had an appointment at the medical center. My cholesterol runs high; my thyroid runs low. Periodically, I have to make sure the medicines I’m on are doing their jobs. So, today I went in for a blood draw. I mailed a few letters and picked up my mail, then picked up my pre-ordered groceries at the store.

Home, I checked the news, then took the dogs for their first walk of the day. I carry a bag of kibble, to keep them close to me and to reward them along the way. I also carry my little electronic tablet. I have the Audible app, and listen while I walk. Right now, I’m enjoying A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

Today, now that the lawn is mowed, was my day for getting the garden planted. I’m late. Not too late for Beaver Island, but late enough where I have to be serious about it. I am afraid Ruth Stout’s no-work garden plan is going to have to be set aside this year. It’s too late to get a load of straw delivered from the mainland. The straw I’ve used to hold in moisture and keep weeds at bay is on its third year in my garden, and losing its power. Proof is the prolific crop of weeds, covering the entire garden.

I pulled weeds: three heaping wheelbarrow loads of weeds. I cut back and pulled up blackberry brambles, worked up the soil, and planted six tomato plants and sixteen basil plants. And, on this day when I intended to get the garden done, that wasn’t nearly enough. I’ll have to get an early start tomorrow.

I emptied my compost into the big bin. Since the fire danger was low, I took the opportunity to burn papers and windfall. I put a load of towels on the clothesline, took the dogs for another walk, and came inside for the night. After getting cleaned up, I fed the dogs, made a big pasta salad and sat down to dinner. Then, remembered that Wednesday is the day I’m going to post a blog about art. Or, in this case, what a day in the life of this artist is like!

About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

6 responses »

    • Well, I’d like to think it was my humble attitude that was to blame. I think, rather, it was the fear of others pointing and laughing at my audacity! Thanks for reading, Bob, and for your comments!

  1. I’m smiling that part of you doesn’t (didn’t?) feel comfortable being called an artist. I am wondering about the fine line where one metamorphosizes from playing with art and doodling into an artist? Is it after you’ve studied it enough? After you’ve practiced enough? After you’ve shown your work? Can a six year old be an artist? So much to think about! (I do NOT call myself an artist, but I have been playing at the edges of scribbling, doodling and putting marks on paper lately.)

    • Well, for me it came from the IRS, mostly. Once I found the need to fill out a Schedule C for my art business, that included teaching as well as showing and selling art, and allowed me to balance profits against the cost of doing business, it was time to use that title. Contributing to the ease of adapting it were several self-help books that suggested daily affirmations; The Artist’s Way was one of them. If you say to yourself often, and daily write out, “I am an artist,” it becomes easier to believe it, and say it to others as well. I encountered similar difficulty in coming to the conclusion that “I am a writer” rather than simply someone who writes. In answer to your question, I daresay every single six-year-old is an artist. Unfortunately, most of us forget that once we are grown! Thanks for reading, Kathy, and for your comments!

      • The IRS! Well, I am smiling again–wasn’t expecting that answer. Am wondering if I’ve ever considered myself a writer. You know, if that hasn’t happened yet, I am going to announce it right now. I am a writer. There. 🙂

  2. Wow. I’ll just refer to my comment on your previous post. As for the IRS, do what you can to save yourself a few bucks, but don’t let those numbers define you.

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