Friday, May 01, 2009

Sculpting a Life:
Susan Gallacher-Turner’s turn in the Pacific Northwest.

(Thunderbird -copper mask)

Why do I get in my own way?

I want to say that I’ve had a peaceful, productive week in the studio. But I’d be lying.

My three screening sculptures are still sitting where they were last week. My two copper pieces are still waiting for patina solutions. My two clay pieces are covered with plastic, untouched.

Truth be told, it’s been a week of copy editing, emailing, classes to schedule and reschedule, a meeting and a funeral. Midweek, I got a sore throat, headache and that fuzzy feeling that comes with a cold.

I managed to squeeze in some nap time. Ok, I’ll admit it, I tried to nap, unsuccessfully. I drank many, many cups of tea. Sitting in bed with my laptop, I kept up my emailing. I read blogs. I watched one movie while glancing through a magazine and chatting with my husband. Looking at this list, it doesn’t feel like I was really resting, does it? Nope.

If I were looking at someone else’s life, I’d say, this person has a hard time relaxing. And that’s probably why they’ve got a cold. I’d suggest that the solution is to allow themselves to rest more and work less. Easy to say. Hard to do.

Which brings me to the question above: Why do I get in my own way? Why am I running from the very thing I crave? Peaceful, productive days in the studio with the music playing, my fingers moving happily from clay to paint to metal. Or sitting on the couch with my feet on a pillow writing away as I am now? Then after days of creative solitude, I come out of my cocoon to teach workshops and show my work. Sigh. The perfect life.

Maybe that’s the problem. No life is perfect. I’m not perfect. But maybe that’s the answer, too. I get in my own way so I won’t feel the pressure to be perfect. So I won’t have to face my own limitations. Or the guilt that I’m not good enough for such a good life.

If someone else said that, I’d say, “Of course, you’re good enough. Nobody’s perfect. You just have to be who you are and do what you love, everyday in your own way.”

Maybe the best way to get out of my own way, is to listen to what I’ve got to say.

To see some of my sculptures that I have gotten done, visit my website at or read my other blog, Susan's Art & Words at

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