This weekend marks the one year anniversary of my last erotica show in Savannah. Two months later 20 paintings were hung in Las Vegas. I came home after driving them there on a great summer road trip with my best friend only to arrive home to face and accept the end of my 13 yr marriage. After a few months of heavy stress I picked myself up and by December I was focused again (I began painting, "Showtime").
Things were moving along well until March 3rd when my stepfather of 20 years suddenly passed. This event has altered everything in my perceptual field about the meaning of life. I think it’s not too much to say this event has utterly changed me from the inside out. I haven't processed exactly all the ways yet but I feel completely dumbfounded and breathless from the effects of soaking in the realities of what his death has meant for my mother and me, his two biggest loves (my oldest daughter his third).
My mother's home of 30 years had to to be sold and she is now moving back to her native country which she escaped from 1977 with her first husband, my father. In three months she lost her home, the love of her life, her comforts, America and she just faced the one year mark of her stroke. I think that’s quite cruel for any person but it’s the cards she’s been dealt and I’ve been her caretaker for quite a bit of those 3 months. Now I am escorting her to her childhood home in the Czech Republic where she will probably stay until death do us part. How many visits I will have, I don't know but frequent visits are impossible. I gotta say, life is feeling like a Lifetime movie.
On a positive note, I consider this sudden life change and travel to Europe a rite of passage. My mother will pass in the place she was born and I’m taking her there to her family to help her live out the rest of her life, hopefully happily. She may have a few years and she may have a few decades. What I know for sure is that I can no longer visit her four or five times a year in sunny Florida by the pool with her company and my stepfather's kindness all while unleashing my stress with swimming strokes and a breath of good weed. All that’s gone now too, my little slice of paradise. My stepfather always made me feel loved, probably the most consistently and beautifully than anyone else in my family. He consistently cared for my mother as though she were his queen and that was beautiful to witness for 20 years. I hold off my grief to help my mom manage hers.
Going back to painting, since this is the one year anniversary weekend of the Back It Up show, I do regret to say I’ve been unable to manage more than two paintings this year. It’s a horrible failure on my part. I started several but only two finished. However, all this trauma and emotion and mental challenge and thinking about life's meaning has brought about a porn escapism that's seeded a terrific erotic art collection idea that is pushing itself towards a kinky side, and I can’t wait to get started. Unfortunately that’ll be in July because I won’t be back in America until July.
It’s been challenging to think sexually based paintings among all this family stuff, never mind fitting in painting time as my sibling and me took 40 years of life in America from my mom and packed it into a few boxes to ship "back to sender". Plans have changed every few days since March but I am confident by July I will be more balanced and painting with passion again because I must: I’m itching for that creative process to unleash itself. Itching. Going absolutely fucking crazy not painting erotica, and that point I've not reached yet as an artist to truly feel irritable because I can't get time blocks for researching or painting what I need to.
Assuming life moves forward more peacefully and intentionally directed, a December show would be possible. That's my personal goal. Thanks for sticking with me. I’ll update you next time with peeks into new art, or pics of my trip to the Czech Republic if they are any good. :)
Have a great summer!
Tatiana von Tauber