Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Made of Days and Tomorrow

Made of Days and Tomorrow
journal diptych
pencil, water color

I don't know what I'm doing.

But I suppose the important thing is that I keep doing.

I've been wanting to get back into my journal for a while. I want to write. I want to draw and paint. But it has been a long time coming,

I've been collecting images of journals here. I've been scribbling and doodling bits in my journal but I haven't felt like I have been getting anywhere, creatively. Or have I?

I've been thinking about what I like in art. I've been wondering what is meaningful to me, and what appeals to me aesthetically. I've been thinking about the way I go about doing art. For so long I have painted quickly and immediately, with little to no planning. I have been telling a story with my art.

Sometimes I feel sad that I don't have the time, energy, space or money to dedicate to art and being an artist the way I'd like to.

But this is my life, and this is my path, so I can't really give my energy to what my life isn't, but rather want to think about what my life IS.

As I began drawing this journal piece, I started with the repeated circles. I like repetition. I like the meditative state of hatch marks or little circles. It reminds me of when I was working on Wreck This Journal. And I wanted to work on the shape of a person. A kind template for a person the way my Flying Girls were a template that allowed me freedom within the constraints to express myself. But I wanted something that I could take to a deeper, less literal place.

I'm not sure I can do that. I'm a pretty literal person. Well, that's not true. I'm a pretty narrative person. I can't help but make stories, whether I am painting a picture or writing. I can't help connecting things and giving them a meaning, a journey.

And somehow, after I drew this piece, I began thinking about what it meant. I compared it to my flying girls, and thought about my own journey, and thought maybe this is what I need now. Before it was all about dreaming and taking flight and going after the dream. I think now I may need to settle down, build something, ground myself. Perhaps these are grounded girls, the way my others are flying girls. Or perhaps not. We'll see how it turns out.

Oh, and yes. Once I started this drawing, I found that I had the urge to explore what was happening here. There have already been two more drawings/paintings in this vein. I guess we will have to stay tuned to see where these days and tomorrows lead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Begin Again

Begin Again
journal entry
pencil, pen, watercolor

I started a new journal. This is a big deal for me. It always feels like turning a new page, no pun intended. But more, since having kids, I just have not been as reflective. I don't get to sit for hours with my journal, writing and drawing. This might surprise some of you who have followed me here, on my blog, as I move along on my creative journal. I'm much more project oriented now than I used to be. Before it was all about the process, and the journal was a private thing where I sought understanding over my thoughts, emotions, experiences and my world.

Now I run around with kids and clean the house and go to work and watch tv and crash exhausted. When I write, it is with purpose, to illustrate something, to convey something, to reflect on something in my blog, for just one little minute, that might enlighten someone else on whatever struggle has crossed my path that day. If I do write in my journal nowadays, it's usually about planning my day, or getting my head straight so I can do something productive.

Not only am I not as reflective, and do I not keep up with my journal the way I used to, but I've been in a creative slump for the last three months.

So this new journal for me marks a re-dedication to my own creativity and reflection. I'm ready to get back to who I used to be.... not just the me before this winter, but also the me before kids.

When I think about it, the very existence of this blog is really about me trying to regain my creativity. And it has helped me along the way.... from truly not being creative, to painting everyday, to writing again, to developing new craft skills, to being creative as a mother.

So, I think what I'd like to see the rest of the year for myself and my blog is a return to my big goals as an artist and a writer and a creative. And a teacher too, in case I forgot that.

So you know what? In order to avoid my tendency to "forget" all my goals for myself, I am going to put them out there in writing. Maybe someday one or two of you will call me on avoiding my real goals, and maybe I'll grumble about it, but maybe it will spur me to keep going when I get scared.

So here they are, my creative goals:

1. Finish that novel and get it out there in the world, find an agent, find a publisher.

2. Take myself seriously as an artist. Play big. Go deep.

3. Take myself seriously as a business woman and invest some time and money into my shop, and giving the world what I have to give.

4. Start a creativity workshop IRL. Start one online. I know this stuff, I'm not just faking it here. And I know people who should be doing it with me. Ahem. If you think I am talking to you, I probably am.

So here I am, ready to start my creative goals over again. Begin again.

But on a funny note, I am not beginning from zero. Everything I have done in the past 6 years, even though it seems to have taken me off in a different direction from where I started, has gotten me farther and farther along in my goals. Sideways and roundabout maybe, but I am more prepared now for my goals than I ever have been in my life.

Those detours we take? They make us who we are.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Red Pocket Monster

Red Pocket Monster
felt, thread, buttons, polyfill stuffing.

I made this little guy as a gift for a friend of Gabriel's. Now that I see him here, he looks kind of like this flu bug that's been dragging on.

Oh, I'm not "sick" anymore, but I'm still in the grips of fatigue even as the cough is releasing its hold on my chest. Maybe posting this little monster will help exorcise the little monster bug that is driving me nuts.

I've been wanting to do stuff, to get back to journaling and painting and blogging and writing and businessing, but I haven't had the gumption. I guess I'm just posting to tell you guys that I haven't disappeared. I'm still out here, just lazy/tired.

On that note, maybe I'll go buy that new journal and half pans of paint for my winsor newton watercolor set, from Dick Blick if you were wondering where I get that kind of stuff. Or maybe I will do some jotting in the new business plan I am working on. The dream plan. The creating plan.

I do think that the best way to get started, especially when you have not much energy, is to start getting excited about what COULD be.
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