Recently, Mark Sublett of the Mark Sublett/Medicine Man Gallery invited me to be interviewed by him about my life. He does this often and exceptionally well via ART DEALER DIARIES on UTube. While this is, of course a snapshot, after we concluded the interview Mark commented that “You had a life of great struggle”. I was taken aback by his comment and thought about it (actually for several days) as I listened to the video recording. I could see how he, and his listeners, might easily come away with that impression.
I posted the video here (in a separate blog), and am adding, what I feel is a really important footnote, which is that while I did indeed work hard for many, many years and faced many different challenges in my life, as do we all; I was also richly blessed with an overflowing fountain of JOY and LAUGHTER and LOVE in my life in both childhood and adulthood. While an hour long interview cannot ever capture the full picture of a life, this one does share many interesting facets of mine. As a child, living on that small farm, my siblings and I shared many daily joys and had experiences most kids are not fortunate to have. We felt lucky in many ways, and we were. In so many ways we had a childhood many would envy – and many did. We also never worked on Sundays (or Christmas), save feeding the animals and gathering eggs – instead we went to church, in the morning and again in the evening; joining with most of our friends there. The community we grew up in included attending church morning and night on Sundays with our friends, and that was a lovely part of our weekly rhythm without question. The church community, our family and extended family made up our life and punctuated it often with a wealth of joy and fun. We learned well how to play while we worked which, in retrospect, was an enormous blessing. And while we worked hard, we learned how to laugh, share and love hard too. Each of these childhood and adult experiences – both pleasant and challenging – ripe with both tears and laughter – were/are interconnected with all the beings and environments present . All these collective experiences, however, grew into one enormous, and I would say profound, well of gratitude. Each one was its own vital and beautiful seed for both my life and all our lives.
After the interview, I also realized that I did not mention that for several years I taught science, art, and life skills at an alternative high school in Tucson. I did this for several years, both full and part-time, while I was starting Alleman Studios, in order to support myself while building up the business (which was quite expensive). Within a couple of years, however, I realized I was straddling a fence and a critical one at that. I could no longer continue to do either well, if I tried to do both. I knew I had to choose one path or the other. I chose to take the risk, and fully commit to my artwork. I also knew that if it was not profitable within three years, I had to reconsider and thankfully I never had to reconsider.
My work is really all about my personal, spiritual journey – as expressed in my writing and visual art. I was, and still am, teaching, through my artwork rather than in a classroom. All along my journey, I realized there really is no new story – each one points the very same way through a highly diverse palette. My story is your story and yours is mine and how we remember the details really does not matter – it’s the journey alone that matters. Every story, with all its vibrant colors, is one tiny thread in the Great Tapestry. When I can remember this, it helps me not to take things too seriously (which I still often do); and I am always reminded that laughter lightens a load. It really does.
So, thank you again, to each of my valued collectors for your ongoing support of the work – each and every foundry and gallery associate and the many other hands, behind the scenes always offering immense support. Among these are my beloved family members, and friends. who have been extremely supportive, in so many ways, of the art work I do and how I do it, all through my journey. I am truly grateful to each of you – each one a lovely thread in our tapestry.