I am an artist who left Brooklyn in 1999 to live in the Virginia suburbs.
I am a wife and mother, hold a day job, and juggle many commitments here in the land of mini vans and cul-de-sacs. Over the years I have held a nagging belief that maybe this lifestyle is incompatible with art-making, that my situation is something to fight against in order to protect my studio time and my identity as an artist.
I have created a project for 2012 that seeks to dispel this belief. Being an artist is a habit and a state of mind, whoever you are and wherever you may be. I am tired of waiting for the day when all obstacles will fall and I can finally make the art I want to make. This project accepts everything the way it is NOW. Because ultimately, this is the life I have chosen, and it is a happy one. Both the joys and the frustrations make me who I am. And by simply adding a gentle layer of discipline and small doable steps, anything seems possible again.
Art happens for me in between life’s moments, as well as during those precious hours of studio time. I draw a lot throughout my days, in sketchbooks and on scraps of paper, at the breakfast table, at work, and in the car. Every week, for the 52 weeks of 2012, I will collect these little drawings. At the end of each week I will collage them together onto a 12″ x 12″ panel. I may use text as well as other found items. I may go back to re-work a previous panel, but cannot jump ahead to the future.
The panels will be arranged in a large grid, 4 panels high and 13 panels across. I will employ a restricted palette that may change with the seasons and the colors experienced in and around my home and neighborhood. The final piece will be complete at the end of 2012, a record of the many small creative moments of My Suburban Life.
-Laura Edwards Wooten, December 2011