Monday, January 08, 2007

At The Bleeding Edge

Like a junkie who can't give up the self-destructive rush of ice or crystal meth', I haven't been able to give up painting with enamel even though its impact on me has been almost as ruinous as any street drug. Yesterday, I was given a grim warning that there really was no choice: either I stay away from the medium for good or risk serious illness and an early death. Its fumes are so toxic to me that my skin is covered in blisters and the small, bloody sore in my nose has become a suppurating ulcer. I might be regaining my mental stability but my physical health is a mess.
There was a time, not so long ago, when I wouldn't have cared but it's different now. I care very much. After a long, hard apprenticeship, I am beginning to find my way with my art. I am excited about the several projects I have planned for the coming year. I am not only making a good living but I am making a good life. Better yet, I have found someone – someone very smart, sexy, enigmatic and inspiring – with whom I can share it.
So it comes to this: after more than a decade, I am spurning enamel's luminous, glossy but ultimately fatal allure. I won't paint with it again. I will get better. I suspect that my art will, too.

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