The night before an opening can consist of many things and I would do well not to speak for other artists,
my case history boils down to five simple ingredients:
Train travel (one of our last remaining icons of simple visitation).
Nerves (every last one of them is gasping for attention).
Wine (it's so pretty, it tastes so good, and, well, all those nerves....).
Pedicures (what's the point of new shoes if your feet look like tarantulas).
Gratitude (I would buy train tickets and heavy bottles of Barbera and pedicures for all my loving supporters if I could).
Painting is a solitary sport. The majority of my life is spent in this solitude. It gets loud when one of my dogs barks. It gets really loud when I curse my frustrations. The silence of concentration can be deafening at times.
Deadlines overlap and intermingle, and as a working artist I often lose track of the day of the week. This can be extremely disorienting in the same vein that it is liberating.
Opening night is tomorrow.
I was standing on a street corner with a bag full of sesame snaps debating iced coffee ratios with an old friend I ran into while my clock ticked off that I would NOT make my train on time if I didn't walk away and get my shit together in the next six minutes.
His direct quote was:
"You are going to miss your train if you don't leave in the next six minutes."
I think I may have been stalling. By accident? Subconscious?
I have been painting professionally for 14 years. The nerves do not subside. I think they grow, like fingernails, like fucking mold.
It's embarrassing to be a human.
It's awkward to be open and for sale.
It's awesome to recognize that and DO IT ANYWAY.
It's important to wear great shoes and say Thank You.
It's an honor to know that y'all will be there, in body or in spirit, and I curtsy to that.