My Immaculate Wife

The past few weeks have been rough in the Gates household:  Launching, planning, and fund raising for *asterICT; Kate finishing the paintings for her show; me planning two events that are taking me out of town; water in the basement; car breaking down; and of course…Max cutting a molar and subsequently making life a living hell for us and robbing us of sleep, sanity, and personal space.  Other than that its been great!  Today, however, I caught a glimpse of the summit and it came by way of my wife’s upcoming gallery show.

One of the many reasons we moved to Wichita was lifestyle:  The opportunity to live the good life.  Here we have been able to have a child, buy a home, and experience life fuller than in previous times.  Kate is an accomplished artist and the move to Wichita came with the promise of a larger work studio, more time to paint, and no longer needing both of us to work a 9-5.  All have come true and from it have come a plethora of shows, publications, interviews, and events for Kate.  This week…the whirlwind begins.

Tomorrow Kate is speaking at a private event to kick off the whirlwind weekend of art.  The following morning our *asterICT performers Jennifer Beattie and Adam Marks arrive at the airport.  Friday my sister arrives from NY along with her son, the *asterICT performance is that night, and the evening is capped off with the opening reception to Kate’s new show “Immaculate Canvas.”  Saturday the *asterICT performers bid Wichita adieu and the activity-filled holiday weekend begins with lunches, Easter Egg Hunts, and museums filling most of the day.  Then, Sunday, we take a deep breath.  Kate and I spend a little time together and clink wine glasses while Max is asleep upstairs…then I pack, and Monday I leave on business for a week.

Somewhere in all of that I need to sell my broken car and buy a not so broken car.  Of course we’re both stressed about finances now…can we really afford to buy a new car or should we just keep mine running till it dies?  Every night this week has had us working on projects to fix the house or prepare for Kate’s show.  Sunday I did a full demo of the basement wall’s built-in cabinets that were causing problems, assembled/rivoted new shelving units, and reorganized all our storage.  Last night I was in the garage with Kate building floating shelves for her opening that needed to be hung today before an event later tonight.  So over my lunch hour I was at the gallery hanging these custom shelves I built…and they hung exactly to plan…which made me feel a little better.  As I loaded my tools into the car Kate said, “You look like a guy that feels accomplished.”  I said I was stressed.  She pointed out that I was “walking with a swagger.”  I explained this had nothing to do with perfectly building floating shelves but was in fact my “natural swagger.”  I hopped in my loaner car and drove off…feeling very accomplished…with a swagger.

Back at my office I went face-deep in a Dairy Queen burger I’m sure I’ll regret later.  As I shame-scarfed, I finally got a chance to read the latest edition of NakedCity Magazine which feature’s Kate’s paintings on the cover as well as an article by Lindsey Herkommer.  It brought a calm to everything around me.  Everything simplified.  I suddenly remembered why we lived in Wichita and how good everything is.  Everything was in its place.

“As she (Kate) feels out each canvas, they develop their own personality with charms and quirks that only an individual can exude.  No two of her paintings look alike.  She creates in a microcosm of reality where actions put out into the universe cannot be undone.  Therefore, there are no mistakes on her canvases, perhaps making them immaculate after all.” -Lindsey Herkommer

Lindsey Herkommer gets it.  Right here in Wichita, KS…she gets it and she laid it out gorgeously in her article which I strongly encourage you to read in its entirety HERE.  So often people look at work like Kate’s and say things like “I don’t get it…my 5 year old could do this.”  Yes he/she could but could they conceptualize it?  Most importantly…did they do it?  I could splatter paint all over a large canvas…does that make me Jackson Pollock?  No, because I didn’t conceptualize it nor did I create it.  Kate is doing things in painting outside of what has come before, she is creating something new, she is progressing the art of painting, she is…amazing.  She is painting commentaries on painting.

Having this zen moment…this sigh of relief.  I can see that after this weekend things start to slow down.  The activity that is balancing careers, passions and family ebb into the valleys of life.  This peak has almost passed.  While I invite the valley ahead I don’t want to rush through this amazing moment…which like a crappy husband I was doing up till right now.  Just gotta keep get through this weekend!  Just gotta stay afloat.  Just gotta…  Just gotta breathe.

Kate,

I’d like to apologize publicly for being a curmudgeon and almost stealing thunder from something amazing you have been doing.  There are a million things going on now but they will all pass.  I’ll get my work done, we’ll find a new car, things have been planned, things will happen, and eventually Max’s teeth will all be in and we’ll sleep again.  All those things will pass.  So will this weekend…it will never happen again.  Let’s not let it pass…lets experience it together.  I vow to pull my head out of my ass and stop being so stressed out.  You need me right now and I’ve been doing nothing more than adding pressure to you.  Let’s tag-team more on comforting Max when he’s fussy, tell me what I can do to help you this week, and let’s have an awesome time.  Art talks, visiting artists, performances, show openings, receptions, family and holidays!  Let’s do this.  You are as immaculate as your canvases.  You are my best friend.  I hope you know that when you are stressed you always have me to lean on…even if I’m being an ass.  Its time to stop stressing and start celebrating.  Its go time!  I love you.

-Ryan

For more information on Kate’s work and “Immaculate Canvas” please visit kvsnewplace.blogspot.com.

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