Forgetting to Turn off Your Car Lights Is Not the Only Way to Drain Your Battery

28 Apr

by Carolyn Henderson

This article is by Carolyn Henderson, the managing half of Steve Henderson Fine Art. She is a Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews and her  freelance writing appears in regional newspapers, online magazines, and her humor blog, Middle-Aged Plague.

 If you are old enough, or drive an old enough car, it is  likely that you have at one time left the lights blazing away while you devoted an entire winter afternoon to browsing happily through a yarn shop.

Okay, so maybe not a yarn shop. But I’m focusing on the “leaving your lights on for a long time in the middle of arctic winter” part.  By the time you return — animated, energized, laden with packages — your battery’s dead.

So much for animated and energized.

 Under the right — or rather, wrong — conditions, batteries drain quickly, and what can happen in your car can happen to you as well, if you permit people with the wrong way of looking at things to wield too much influence in your life.

 I call them battery drainers — friends, relatives, colleagues, enemies, acquaintances, strangers on the street — in whom you confide your plans and aspirations about being an artist, and who in return deplete the life force from your soul, leaving you feeling listless, without hope, defeated, and scared.

 They’re not always obvious about this —  “Are you kidding? What a stupid idea!” — and actually, most of the time they are, wittingly but generally unwittingly, more subtle, oftentimes expressing a sense of concern and caring that makes your knees hurt and you’re not sure just why.

 There’s such a recession going on now,” one will sigh. “Many established artists are finding that they need to get second or third jobs — I heard of one who was pumping gas.”

 “So sad.”

 Others feel a need to point out to you the painfully obvious, as if, for some reason, you had never thought of it before:

 “So few artists make it to the top you know,” this with a sage nod. “You’re not planning to quit your day job or anything?”


 “How wonderful that you won first place in that national show! Of course, you have to realize that this won’t necessarily make you. Lots of people have won prestigious awards and they haven’t fulfilled their desire to be full time artists.”

 I’m sorry — I’m missing something here. Does one of the sub-definitions of “artist” include terms like “naive,” “irresponsible,” “childish,” and “delusional”?

 Years ago, we sold our house in town and moved our family flock to a renovated barn in the middle of untamed land. Our plans were to build a modified timber frame home, which we would pay for as we went along, and pay off the land as well — this, all on one modest income and one whacking quantity of sweat equity.

 We told very few people of our long term plans, and, indeed, many secretly thought that we had totally lost it — but after all, what can you expect of a Norwegian Artist and a Polish Writer? Those poor children of theirs . . . and why did they have so many?

 There was one acquaintance in particular with whom we avoided sharing the . . .  particulars, namely because he made Eeyore look like an optimist. Only when the house was fait accompli and we were all settled in did we mention what we had done:

 That was really risky,” he said, shaking his head and pursing his lips. “You know, if your house isn’t up to code, you’ll never be able to resell it.”

 What is it with these people?

 Through the years, some of the things we have NOT shared with certain people include bicycling to South America, homeschooling the kids, birthing the aforementioned kids at home (with a midwife, okay?), and, most recently, making our livings as an artist (Norwegian) and a writer (Polish).

 As far as the particulars of our business plan, only the Norwegian Artist and I know what we’re up to, and the only other people privy to the details are our progeny, who, having been born and raised with us, share some genetic DNA thing and internalize the concepts of working hard, plugging away, keeping your hopes up, trying new venues and avenues, picking yourself up when you fall down, and celebrating every single little step forward — the girls prefer cake, the boys go for exotic fruit.

 For those out there who think we haven’t thought of this, we do tap into other people’s expertise and experience; we read; we ask questions; we research — we just don’t spill our souls onto the sidewalk where they can be pierced by stiletto heels and ground into the pavement by boots.

 By all means, find your confidantes and confide in them. It is good to have companions close by, walking alongside of you.

 But choose them carefully.
This article appears courtesy of FineArtViews by FASO Artist Websites,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

This article originally appeared at:

For a complimentary subscription, visit:



One Response to “Forgetting to Turn off Your Car Lights Is Not the Only Way to Drain Your Battery”

  1. Kristin Brænne April 28, 2011 at 8:15 pm #


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: