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Work by Kylie Manning

"How's your new life going?" is the kind and deeply personal question I got from so many caring friends this week. The answer is: GOOD. The real answer is: GOOD, and...

I sat down this morning to do a little maintenance on the one-pony-show that my new life has become. I journaled out accomplishments of last week and took heart in the fact that I did manage to accomplish a lot. It was a week of painting like crazy, brainstorming for an exciting collaboration, gallery openings, David Bowie at the Brooklyn Museum and studio visits with talented and beautiful lady painter friends Erin Welsh and Kylie Manning (whose art is featured in this post).

In short, it was the kind of dream life work life that I was hoping it would be. Additionally, it was a lot of time spent alone sorting through colors, being kept up by new ideas, defining what my work will look like in the future, nervously applying to shows and residencies, and plenty of questioning whether or not this whole project is just a giant stab in the dark. Well, it kind of is. Though I have come around to believe that working for yourself is not a complete roulette wheel and that there are eventual payoffs to be had from push push pushing on, it doesn't save me from the exhaustive questioning that is bound to arise when paving your own path. I facing these questions with patience, with the knowledge that thoughts come and go and are not the only truth in there. I am reminding myself that the success of this experiment is measured in feelings of personal fulfillment rather than wallet or fame fulfillment. I am helped along by encouraging passages sent to me by wise friends who are going as courageously into their own wilderness as I am.

This week holds another kind of adventure altogether, as I make the pilgrimage to the iconic desert of Marfa, Texas for Marfa Myths, a music festival held there annually by the excellent Brooklyn Music label Mexican Summer. Hoping the the wide skies of Texas will breathe fresh, assured air into my lungs and expansive ideas into my brain. If it works, may I feel as exultant and confident coming back to more and more of these weeks as the cowboys and westerners that populate dear Kylie's paintings.

Work by Kylie Manning

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