My Small World
Here's a picture of what my world looks like right now, plus the little corner at the end of the "eat-in area" where my studio desk sits. I work in a very small kitchen, on a very small studio desk, and right now, this is my world. Sometimes I think, if I had more counter space, or, if I had my own studio room I could....but mostly, my space doesn't limit me. I don't think, well, I shouldn't try to make croissants because I don't have room. I just do it, and somehow make the 30-inch long dough fit onto the countertop. Right now, my artwork is on the smaller side, maybe as a reflection of my space, but I've been thinking that I want to try papier mache---and then I'll work outside on a nice day as an extension of my studio.
Maybe it's the same with ideas. If you grow up hearing that you should hate a certain group of people, or that you're better than others because of who your family is, it makes your world small. You can choose to either accept the limitations or explode beyond them. You can choose to exist within the parameters that are set for you, or make your own. When I was younger, I adored Virginia Woolf's book, A Room of One's Own, and thought that wherever I wound up, I would have that room of my own. But right now, that's just not possible. Instead of making excuses for myself and my work, I'm going to make art anyway. I'm going to bake in my tiny kitchen. And, I'm going to try to reach beyond the confines of my tiny town and community and open myself to perspectives and ideas that are different from my own. I encourage you to do the same.
(I created the map, above, for a challenge on They Draw and Travel. Right now, the original pen and watercolor piece is hanging in the What Is This World? show, inspired by North Bennington author Shirley Jackson. It's on view at the Left Bank Gallery in North Bennington until later this summer.)