Friday, July 10, 2009

Influences on me as an artist: My husband, Jim

This is my dear husband, Jim, who announced this morning, "Gee, I had to scroll back all the way to our anniversary to find a significant mention of me in your blog." He exaggerated slightly, but I've determined that I can't win. Anna took me to task for putting a picture of her in a blog post that her co-workers found and took the mickey out. Because he has a blog of his own, Dan and I seem to have struck a balance on this. So, in an attempt to redress his grievance, this post is dedicated to Jim and his influence on me as an artist.

It was theatre art that first brought us together. We were cast in a production of Annie Get Your Gun here in Greensboro. Because we were both seeing other people at the time, we first became friends. About six months later, we were cast in a two-character romantic comedy and we've been playing it out ever since then. After we married, Jim began to direct me in shows more often than acting with me. He is, quite simply, the best director with whom I have ever worked.

Bus Stop was the first time he directed me and it was a memorable production. He made me a much better actress and gave me some incredible roles over the years.

The Man Who Came to Dinner at Wabash College was the last time we acted together--and with Anna as well.

In addition to being a wonderful director and actor, Jim is also a gifted writer. I've always encouraged him in his research and writing. He's written a few plays, as well, and I hope he does more because he has such a unique perspective on all the angles that must be considered to make a play succeed.

With a few exceptions, he's dedicated his books to me and the children. This is his first book on the commedia dell'arte. When it was reprinted, he had Mellon Press put a photo of the quilt I made for him, "Improvizo!" on the cover. Arlechino is his favorite commedia character.

Not only has Jim been incredibly encouraging to me about my art work, but he has also provide me with the time I needed to study and work. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. He encouraged me to go back to Purdue to pursue an art degre. He single-parented the children for two weeks when they were very small two different times so I could go to Arrowmont to study with Nancy Crow, and for the week I went to QSDS. He helped me set up a studio space at home so I had a place to work. He had my work photographed by a professional photographer and had postcards made of my quilts. In other words, he's my biggest cheerleader.

This is the most recent piece that I made for Jim. It's called "Te Amo Mucho." That really says it all. I'll leave the last word to the best of all writers, Shakespeare (Sonnet 23).

As an unperfect actor on the stage,
Who with his fear is put beside his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength's abundance weakens his own heart;
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love's rite,
And in mine own love's strength seem to decay,
O'ercharg'd with burthen of mine own love's might.
O! let my looks be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love, and look for recompense,
More than that tongue that more hath more express'd.
O! learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.


Jean Baardsen said...

Very nice! Jim should definitely take you out to a nice restaurant this weekend. Dan sure looks like his dad did way back when! Do you see a young Jim every time you look at Dan?

Dana W. Fisher said...

Oh, yes. When we first came back to Greensboro, our old friends couldn't get over how much Dan looked like his dad "back in the day." And Jim was very pleased by the blog post.
Thanks, Jean.
Hope you have a lovely weekend.
Kind regards,