Mary Ann Laing

From The Studio

(posted on 2 Jan 2021)


Sitting here thinking about one year ago.  One year ago I was in a silent mental panic over knowing I had to come up with a "body" of work for a show that would feature my work at West End in September.  A "body" of work, a series, a showing of what I could paint in less than a year.  I was panicked knowing my studio time was ever changing due to the ever changing of my husband's abilities to do things without assistance.  Panicked, yes, I admit I was.  Now, looking back, it wasn't anything more than what I was doing to myself with my own thoughts that was causing my panic.  I know now we were both adjusting to how life was going to have to be due to our new boarder named Parkinson's.  In that panic one year ago, I cancelled all my social media accounts, thinking that once I got the paintings done, I'd reactivate them.  Funny, I don't miss them, so far no inclination to reactivate them what so ever.  I always did go on the Fb scroll with chin resting in hand thinking... why do I do this?  Why do humans need to do this?  Why can we not live our lives without the need to publicize it?  Not in a pointing finger at others thinking way, mostly asking myself why I do that.  I spent many years sharing every insignificant thought on social media.  Gathered reinforcing praise on painting shares that stopped me from slashing some half decent works.  I did and over did my share of sharing. I still ask, why, tho, and ponder this urge we humans have to want to play the share game.  Heaven knows I missed out on a lot of sharing when the pandemic hit and forced all physical sharing into the lines of cyber.  I could have been using my platform to write parody songs that according to the television news, were being flooded online by those who were bursting with musical insanity stuck at home.  In lighter and more spoiled days, I would have been all over that.  Yes, good thing I cancelled out, that body of work would have had a pretty slim physique.


Here we are one year later, much has changed, much has not.  Listening to a news caster yesterday who was asked what her New Year's resolution would be, she said to be more adaptable and patient.  That's a good one.  Looking back to one year ago, I needed to make that resolution.  Go with it, be resourceful, accept the current situation and find ways to make things work better.  We have done that in our house.  We are a team who has gone through the panics and fears, and doing a pretty good job at living for the most part.  I don't want to make my art website blog space about our journey with Parkinson's, but it's part of my life as an artist, the impact is real.  Yesterday, on the first day of 2021, I thought how in the past I always painted on the first day of the new year, or took my tree and decorations down, or both.  So yesterday I decided I would paint.  Oh, can't be upstairs in the studio in the daytime, okay, I'll go on location and...


.... do this!  No need to fuss and panic, go where I can to paint.  I can listen to music, keep updated on the hockey games and news from a voice in the tv room, stop for anything asked, and just go back and continue.  Why didn't I do this one year ago?  I was too busy panicking and trying to demand time.  Looking back, if I was in a more adaptable state of mind like I am in now, I might have had a bigger and better body of work.  Maybe not, I may have still been in that state of mind I was in a year ago no matter where I set up my easel. 

I am also taking time to update this artist run website.  If anyone happens to check here more than once and notices someone seems a bit obsessed with fiddling around with their website, well, that's somewhat true.  I am forever infatuated with the power of mood on how we choose and see things.  Last night I wanted a light colour similar to the one I just painted my bathroom with.  Today, I felt more subdued and gray.  I might feel dramatic black tomorrow.  I may need a smaller font, oh wait, I don't think I know how to change that, better leave that one alone.  All in all, not exactly sure why I need a website at all.  My work is on the gallery's website.  I don't have a little shopping cart icon to click, or paypal buttons, no interest in making sales through my site.  I guess it's like a business card.  If someone hears my name, or sees my work somewhere, and wants to look me up, well here I am, have a look.  Besides that, since I cancelled out on all my social media, this has become my play space to do whatever I want, yeah, that's it.

My easel waits, time to dab at my street scene from that recent autumn day in Fairfield.  Those very old trees that line the streets in Fairfield are MASSIVE, and in this painting, I want people to feel that sense of being a small character navigating through tunnels created by those giant trees.  Such a beautiful area that we are blessed to live in, it's right outside our door, how lucky is that? very.


Happy New Year!!

Mary Ann