Passing Over, Across, or Through

Transit is an active verb…

???????????????????????????????An art gallery closes

I always underestimate the time and effort that change requires. I always think transition will happen by itself.

Take now, for example. Recently I closed down Grasslands Gallery, a home of my heart for the last five years. I began teaching my last online course ever for University of Maryland University College, where have I laboriously worked my way up to Adjunct Assistant Professor (the only time in my life this will happen), where for 10 years I’ve helped new non-traditional graduate students learn some of the research skills they’re about to need, and where for most of those 10 years I’ve also been Assistant Course Manager. I moved back into my home studio to figure out what happens next in the life of an artist who opened a major solo exhibition in April after two and a half years’ production and who hadn’t painted a stroke since June.

Just walk away from the gallery, breeze through this last whack of students, remember how to create. Easy.

Blog-computerA class and a career end

Apparently not.

It’s been just over two weeks. In the mornings in the studio, I’m setting the timer for 20 minute slots. 20 minutes is almost possible. Three 20 minute slots makes one hour. Six makes a not-bad shift. If I keep this up, in two or three weeks I might know what flow feels like. In the later afternoons, it’s the gallery. I pack, contact artists, think about where all that display furniture might go. Taking it down in a month is way less fun than building it over five years, but it’s getting there. In scattered bits of the day, there are the last of my students and the end of my course. First thing, lunchtime, after supper. Two more weeks and they’re done forever.

I chose all this change. I want it. And physically, emotionally, mentally, fatigue is my constant companion. Turns out that during transitions, one must transit. It’s an active verb. Who knew?

Blog-new-painting-1aA painting begins

There are many packed boxes on the gallery floor. I imagine wishing the students, and my academic career, well and good-bye. There’s a small painting beginning on my easel.

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10 Responses to Passing Over, Across, or Through

  1. Leona September 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    An active verb. Yes, that’s helpful. Whatever the transition, thinking about it this way reminds a person she can have a say in how it happens. Thank you.

    • Laureen September 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      It seems as though actively working at the transition makes transit go better 🙂 And thanks for reading!

  2. Penelope Marshall September 18, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    I like the beginning of the painting.

    • Laureen September 18, 2014 at 2:36 am #

      It’s hard to see what it will look like! My process is so not what they taught – or tried to teach – me at art school 🙂

      Thank you.

  3. Marilyn A. Kuhlmann September 18, 2014 at 2:07 am #

    Beautiful start on the painting.
    Thank You for sharing your thought.

    • Laureen September 18, 2014 at 2:37 am #

      Thank you!

  4. Melissa Dinwiddie September 18, 2014 at 4:18 am #

    Ah, yes, you’ve nailed it, Laureen: to transition, one must transit! THAT explains the fatigue!

    Thank you for clarifying that. It always comes as a shock to me, too…

    Congratulations for tackling this big transition, and for all the hard work that led you here. I’m excited to see where your path will take you next!

    • Laureen September 19, 2014 at 12:41 am #

      Your support has meant considerable to me, Melissa. Thank you!

  5. Joan Wilson September 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    I came too late to know your gallery for very long! I have loved your gallery art and gallery notes with snippets of the Val Marie and people mentioned that I know. I look forward to continue reading your blog and enjoying you vicariously. Thanks for that! Best regards….J

    • Laureen September 19, 2014 at 12:43 am #

      It’s so great to know that the gallery had fans like you 🙂 I’m looking forward to what the future brings too!