I have not been working in the studio. I have not been working at all. I have not had a creative thought or action for quite some time. I did not have the 'Grandma Art Camp' with my two grandchildren. I have been busy with Life, and with death. My precious Mother left this life for the next one just a month ago. She had a long and wonderful life; she was 93. I miss her very much.
I know I now need to 'get on with' my life and my work. But I find that I have very little desire. One of the things I realized as I sat with Mom over the past months, not working, is that there is nobody demanding my work. There is not a great hole in the art world, because I've not been at work. That realization, along with the depression of grief, has made my work seem quite unnecessary. But... I know that even if the world as a whole doesn't need my offering of work, I need to do it. Working will help to make my world as it should be once again.
I'm just not sure how to restart. I left the tapestry at a complex place: the face. I don't right now have the confidence to tackle it. Also, I have just been setting all the things I haven't had time to deal with right inside my studio door, as it is the one place all my frequent guests of the last months didn't have access to. So even going into the studio right now represents a challenge to me.
So.... I have decided to begin sketching again. My sketchbook has also been much ignored and neglected. Picking it up, I feel like I've never sketched before! Like I need to relearn everything! But I'm hoping that if I just 'do it anyway,' the skill will return, and the desire will come with it. And maybe, hopefully, my confidence will come back and lead me into the studio (which I hope to get organized, in the meantime.)
We went up to our cabin on Monday. It has also been a neglected part of our lives. When we walked in, it was evident that we'd had an uninvited visitor. Things were scattered in the kitchen: the toaster cover was off and a can of cinnamon was dumped onto the stovetop, and a few things were gathered near the door. Instead of relaxing, as we'd planned to do, I spent my time cleaning all surfaces with Lysol and bleach, and my husband discovered a huge nest in progress under the cabin in the boathouse. As we sat in the evening, watching a movie, a H.U.G.E. woodrat jumped upon the picture window sill and looked in at us! My first thought was of Scabbers (of the Harry Potter books) and I felt sure that the creature was really a 'death eater!' He was at least 9" long, not including his tail! I gathered my things and announced that I was sleeping in the truck, which I did. In the 30+ years that we have had the cabin, this is our first rat visit. But we usually go there more frequently, and I think the people and dog presence has discouraged such visits in the past. (Needless to say, the rest of our short stay there was spent in 'rat attack mode!')
Using a nature guidebook to find and identify him, I sketched him. Even though the sketch is very simple and basic, it got me back into the sketchbook. I cannot, sadly, say that sketching this gave me my 'creative groove' back. But maybe if I keep making myself sketch, that will happen over time.
With that hope, I have decided to sketch, if not everyday this month, at least 5 times a week through the month of September. Hopefully, this practice will improve my sketching, and my desire to work. Here is today's sketch; also a very simple one. Both of these were done with colored pencil and ink.
I decided to post this intent here on my blog, so that I will intensify my commitment to get back to work. I'll try to keep you posted.......