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December 18, 2012

life and gratitude

I have no solid reason to be feeling light and happy and yet, I've been optimistic going on 3 days in a row. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened, and in fact I listened to the news in shock trying to grasp what happened. My heart goes out to everyone experiencing grief this holiday season. 

But like I said, nothing extraordinary has prompted my lightness. I worked until 1 a.m. in the studio last night. That's like a millennium after my bedtime. I don't know how it happened. I just kept working.  Tonight might be the same. I left thinking the evening was a bust, so I'll be spending tonight as The Fixer. A few paintings recently sold. I turned in my grades and declared the semester over. I spent 3 solid days creating a new portfolio in the name of professional development and took action after creating said portfolio without  the usual self-scrutiny and second guessing. Not entirely true, but I was on a mission and I put on my big ass ego hat, the one adorned with all the chutzpah and bravado and carried on.  I paid all my bills without having a financial meltdown and tidied up my office. I went to the cemetery to pay my respects. I was sad, but did not stay sad. I've been nervous about some things- and yet, I've been optimistic since Friday. Seemingly this coincides with the semester being over, but it also coincides with taking action with recent work in the studio. I was growing accustomed to the isolation, thinking everything would be fine just staying in my studio and painting. Keeping a low-profile as it were. And so it was, but taking action and honestly reviewing the current work  felt good. The recent work has been a risk. It's smaller in scale. It no longer looks "edgy," a term which has lost all meaning to me. I no longer feel the need to write statements showing how well-read I am, nor quote a critical theorist to make sure the work is framed contextually. I've accidentally referred to my paintings as pictures twice. I laughed both times though I also did a brief refresher on Wittgenstein and thumbed through JWT Mitchell because although I no longer am inclined to look well read, I intend on staying well-read. 

I used to resent the 90's because I thought that was my lost decade. Now that I'm coming up on 13 years post-90's, I'm cool. I'd like to acknowledge some highlights from this past year and openly express appreciation for everything and everyone it takes to make this stuff happen.

Two solo shows:
Customs House Museum, Clarksville, TN
John Davis Gallery, Carriage House, Hudson, NY

Six group shows:
"About Face," curated by Daniel Weinberg at ACME., Los Angeles, CA
"Hot Paint," Weekend, Los Angeles, CA, curated by John Mills, Jay Erker
“Lineup Round 4, From The Gut, With Heart,” Sugar, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, curated by Gwendolyn Skaggs
“10 Years L.A. @Foundation Kaus Australis,” The Prospectus, West Hollywood, CA, curated by Carl Berg
“To Live And Paint in LA,” Torrance Art Museum Torrance, CA, curated by Max Presneill, Jason Ramos
"Modmen," Alfred Williams & Company, Nashville, TN, curated by Sera Davis Cremona

Three reviews and an interview:
Studio Critical, Interview, 10 Dec. 2012
Parr-Moody, Karen, "Thick, colorful brushstrokes evoke nature," Review. The Leaf Chronicle, 22. June 2012
Ramirez, Lawrence. "Mary Addison Hackett: The Walk." Madrona Musings. The Torrance Art Museum Blog. 28 Feb. 2012
Hoff, Chris. “Small Is Big At The Torrance Art Museum.” Review. OC Art Blog. 7 Feb. 2012

One invitational benefit show, two actually, but I can't remember the other one.
"Incognito," Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA

Two group shows scheduled for next year. 

I love my job. 

Collectors and collections.
Some of which happened due to the above shows and people. And yes, I used the money to pay my expenses and keep going. 

My artist friends and family who've been there for me. 
You are the best. 

Painters. dead and alive.
goldmine. I discover something new every day. 

The dog. 
I donated to his former shelter today in gratitude. 

I'm grateful for feeling grounded again. It feels like a healthy I-don't-give-a-flying-fuck-I-got-this kind of grounded. I've finally accepted that there's always going to be a small dark place after loss, and that's okay. And if you need more proof that life is awesome, I'm writing this in my pajamas at 1:50 pm sitting at my desk in my cozy office before I change into my bulwark coveralls and head into the studio. 

Peace. 

3 comments :

Carla said...

Hurray for the big picture. That is a very good year you have there.

Mary Addison Hackett said...

Thanks. I need to check my horoscope.

Elaine Mari, Painter and Drawer said...

It's great to read about the "lightness" I am feeling some of that too. And, the 'don't give a flying fuck' groundedness too. Congratulations on a great year!