• Susan Klinger, Artist

Finding your Oasis


Too much discord. Too much conflict. That is what I was feeling last week. All of the political turmoil had left me feeling tense and drained. I needed a break. In the midst of preparing for a solo show, a vacation to a sunny beach was not an option. I needed an hour, not a week that involved reservations and planning. The weather outside was cold and gray, so off

to my framer I went. Wait. What?!

Yep! Not that I had ever thought of it like this before, but a trip to visit my framer was what I needed. My local framer is also a fellow artist and friend. In addition to framing, he has a small gallery with an ever changing collection of local art.

Whenever I stop in for a quick pick up of one of my pieces or to drop off invitations for a show, it’s at least an hour before I am heading home. I usually stop in when customers are light and Rich is working on frames in the shop. And we talk. It could be about an interesting frame job that he has taken in and wants to share with me. It could be a sharing of upcoming shows that we know the other may be interested in. We talk about art materials, what is working and what is not. If he has customers, I will peruse the art on the walls. There is always something new. He has even shared his framing knowledge with me. On one occasion, I learned how to build my own frame, start to finish. (There is a reason I pay him to do my framing! It was fun to accomplish, but I have no intention of adding that to the things I have to do when I complete a piece. His role as my framer is secure!)

It is a quiet spot where the rest of the world stays outside the door. And for the time that I am there, I am immersed in the world that I love. Art. I can even just enjoy sitting in the corner of the gallery in the wicker chair, just taking in the art. I feel content.

Everyone, not just artists, needs a place that is an oasis from the outside world. It could be a trail in the woods or a favorite bookstore. I also have a favorite spot along a stream where the water splashes over the rocks. I discovered it quite by accident and have returned to it on more than one occasion when I just needed a quiet place in nature to think. An oasis does not make the problems of the world go away. It is a temporary respite in a place that helps you to recenter.

#ArtistLife