October was my first real day back on Jackson Square in about 6 months. The above photos are:
Top left- Oct 2020 top right- April 2020 and bottom two- January 2020.
You can see pretty clearly how we went from this bustling open air market into an utterly empty public square. In all honesty, I still am not sure if or when my job is coming back, but it is something I have worked so hard toward and been so grateful for I am not going to give it up easily. I feel like I have spent the past 17 years pushing a ball, sometimes it would keep rolling, but often it would roll a bit and still to a stop. (The ball is me trying to make a living off of my art.) I would go and get another job and paint in the spare moments in between.
Finally in 2018 I literally won a lottery to get the Jackson Square permit and since then the ball was just rolling and rolling and I felt I had finally 'made it'. (oddly this also coincided with my complete severence in belief in the 'american dream' -because for all my hard work and persistence, what ultimately got me where I was trying to get was luck.)
The past 6 months have been very strange, to have disconnected my painting practice from my income & sustinence. I talked to another painter yesterday, and we agreed we were able to work longer and more carefully on pieces.I am excited for the work that is growing slowly and will find a way to keep that process happening even if I do return to the pace of sales as before. There is something very special about intentional slowness in our society that has championed busyness as a sign of ones self worth.
Being out on the square was particularly odd, because it felt inherently changed and yet so very much the same. I am trying to hold onto some hope that this 'sameness' is more superficial and illusory. Because we *need* to change, in some very deep and fundamental ways, and I'm honestly terrified for us, that if we don't do it of our own accord it's going to happen some other way that could be very chaotic and frightening.
I've put street portraits on indefinet hold since they require a lot of energy of presence and really just going out there right now takes a lot of energy. I hope we can face ourselves and move into a future that is unpredictable.