I want to tell you about my mom, Joanne Fischer.
Ya know, I’ve been dreaming about being an artist since I was 4 or younger. I have artists in the family. My dad was amazingly talented (never went for it though).
My grandfather, Sigurd Fischer, was an architectural photographer. Here’s the LoC page about him but the work is not digitized yet…I am SOOOO waiting for that. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010652514/ There are some architectural drawings too but all I can find is evidence of them, not any images. I’m waiting for that too! The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia just told me that I can email and get more information. Looks like I’m getting off on a tangent…
My great-grandfather, Paul Fischer, was a painter. He was nicknamed “Copenhagen’s Painter” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Gustav_Fischer.
The point of all that family history is that, I believe I was meant to be an artist. So, why, all these years, did I not go for it? Why did I spend so many years being a waitress, or a sales clerk or a pizza delivery guy? The only answer I can come up with is that I didn’t believe in myself enough. Oh yes, I had a few art related jobs, color matching paint, working with photographs for a photo-face doll manufacturer, but just art on the periphery, never putting my soul out there.
All those years gone *sigh*
Back in my youth, I also had the idea that, as an artist, no one looks at your degree, they look at your work. That was a huge error of thinking, even though it may be true in theory. I never pushed to go to art school. I went for my AS in commercial art. It was more practical. Now in 2016, I say this word “practical” with dripping contempt. My Father’s opinion was that art can not pay the bills. That’s why he didn’t go for it himself. I wonder if he ever saw the tragedy in that.
Back to my wonderful Mom…Mom always believed in me. Not only that, but, just as much as being an artist was my dream – it was her dream for me too. She has always been ready to jump on board to help me in any way she can.
In 2010, at the age of 51, I was living with my son and Mom. We were in San Diego. I was working at the aforementioned color-matching paint job. We decided to ditch everything and move across country to South Carolina. (I do believe my first blog entries are from that time when we drove across country. ) Mom used to live there and she missed her friends. My daughter and her new family had moved there, and San Diego was just too expensive. The other thing that happened is I had the realization that I was 51 and if I didn’t decide to BE an artist right now, I would never do it. It was now or never.
We talked and planned for about 6 months and finally decided that we would do it. We would move to Greenville and Mom would support me while I dedicated myself to being an artist. How amazing is that? What an act of love! What a statement of faith in my abilities! She really has more belief in me than I do. It took quite a long time to be able to say “I am an artist” and not feel like a liar or impostor. I still have a bit of discomfort saying that. I still have to give myself a mental scolding now and then and silently yell at myself “I AM an artist!”
Let me say that this is not easy for her. She is making a tangible sacrifice for me. She is enduring a bigger financial struggle than she needs to in her retirement. How can a person properly appreciate a thing like that? When another person gives you a huge chunk of dedication that impacts their life so much……
So basically, Mom, thank you. You have given me the gift of life and now you are giving me the gift of fulfilling my life. I could never thank you enough. I love you, Mom.