Friday, March 25, 2011


Soon I will be living on the 22nd floor of this groovy building in downtown Portland Oregon. I am finally extricating myself from Austin in summertime! I went directly to Portland from New Zealand and it was in the 40's and raining the whole week-perfect! I also was curious about hi-rise living and a brand new building was super appealing and it all felt just right. The people were nice, the mass transit was easy and the whole place felt laid back. I've also gotten call backs on a few jobs I applied for so I think my 50's are starting out right, with one more major life goal underway (moving someplace not hot).

I am not planning on going back to the Ice next fall as my little dog is very old and it's time for me to spend more time with him. I would love to see an actual winter again, but I would be fibbing if I said I won't miss going back to the Ice. My seven trips to Antarctica have been the greatest time in my life. And I will go back - just not sure when.

When I cleaned out my storage unit I couldn't believe how many paintings I had. I knew I had painted for almost 20 years, but I had no idea I had one hundred paintings. I planned on selling them all for super cheap at a garage sale and hoping I'd be okay with that - but no one came to the garage sale (it started at noon) and by 1:00pm I was totally bored and wanted to leave and do SXSW stuff. I looked around me at all those piles of canvases and remembered all the trips from the unit to my car to my friends house and I saw them just as piles of stuff I'd have to move I had the bright idea that I would give all the art away! I called a few friends and they went over and filled their trunks with art, and one week later there were about 6 canvases left so I went and got them to take to Goodwill. I chucked a few treasured ones at a friends house so I have a few left. And of course there is the series I painted in '95 that I love and all those are hanging in a friend's home, lovingly appreciated. I feel like whether I sold them or gave them away is really no different. They just belong to someone else now. And I didn't need the money from them anyway. I felt this immense sense of freedom and lightness from getting rid of all those paintings. I just didn't need them anymore. Now instead of living in a dark closet for years, they are spread out at friends and strangers houses all over town. That makes me happy. My ego was never that invested in being an artist. Painting the paintings was the best part of the deal - having art shows and fans and selling them was just added blessings but I never hung out with other artists or really felt like one one myslef. But I think the another reason it was easy to give it all away was because I was much prouder of myself for making a career in Antarctica than in painting all those paintings. Doing the art was fun and easy and something to do, but getting to the Ice and getting to go for seven seasons has been my greatest joy - far outshadowing the painting. And getting to operate equipment has shown me that work can be really fun. So I ended up with one small sack of goodies from a packed storage unit. It is euphoric getting rid of stuff. Now I get to go buy brand new modern stuff for my deluxe apartment in the (dark and cloudy) sky. I start driving to Portland on April 6th. But first, a ski trip in Taos. Life is good!