I went to Art School about 25 years ago. Tyler School of Art to be exact. I lived off campus as a border in an elderly woman’s home. She was diabetic and did not like the smell of anything sweet being made in her home at all, as it reminded her of all the food she wasn’t allowed to have anymore, or at least that was her reason for yelling at me and cursing me.
She had a son who was a line cook at a seafood restaurant by day. By night, he was a crackhead. And when I say crackhead, I mean he smoked crack cocaine until the wee hours of the morning. How do I know this? Because on several occasions after he smoked away his money, he would break into my room while I was sleeping, sweating and eyes shaking demanding money or he’d beat the crap out of me. Before I was able to open a checking account, I would keep my tips earned working in a different restaurant from the crackhead in my sock drawer. I gave my rent money to the son on a few occasions and apparently it never reached his mom. Then there was the time my room was broken into and the money was gone. I asked to have locks installed on the doors if I was to stay and the woman refused.
Around this time, I met my first boyfriend. He worked as a dishwasher and a bit older than me. I was young and in a bad situation and probably in love. Maybe. So we packed up my crap and I moved in with him late one night when the son was still at work.
I had to quit school and take a job to feed myself. I never told the school about the bad situation because I didn’t think they’d take my word over the word of a sick old lady and her truly fucked-up son.
That was the beginning of my hiatus from art.
Here are some paintings from the period soon after leaving school and before I became a CSR, then Credit/Collections Agent, then Credit Analyst for about 15 years.