Thursday, September 3, 2015

Trying to get my Groove back...


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.......

6 comments:

Cally said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Glad, though, that you were able to support your mother through those difficult months. I hope the small, deliberate steps you are taking will bring your creative self to a new place where grief is not so intense and draining.

lyn said...

Kathy, I can completely empathize with your feelings. When my father died suddenly six years ago, a week before Thanksgiving, I had to travel to where my parents were living. I stayed with my mother for an entire month to help her with everything she needed help dealing with after his death. I was right in the middle of weaving one of the tapestries I wove while studying with Silvia Heyden. When I returned home I looked at that tapestry & it felt like aliens must have left it while I was gone because I couldn't even remember anything I was thinking about it. With time, my creativity returned... I just allowed that to happen on its own, doing the things I felt I could do, which at first just felt like going through the motions, but with time became true desires to create again. It's in you, as you observed, & so it will return when you are ready. As John Cage said "Begin Anywhere". I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.

tommye said...

I wish you well as you begin to find your way back into a life without your Mother in it. I know from experience (2003 when she left us) that it will be hard.

Ama said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. But know that your work is important to others, and that your creativity and words are appreciated. You've inspired me to pick up my sketchbook! All the best to you and your family during this difficult time.

K Spoering said...

Thank you Cally, Lyn, and Tommye. One day at a time!

Elizabeth Buckley, Artist, Teacher, Writer said...

I lost my mother at the turn of the millennium, now over 15 years ago. It takes awhile--months--to absorb into all the layers of being the reality of the death of one's mother. The creative urge will return, and you will find your groove. It will be a different groove than before, simply because you are different now having gone through this life passage. Keep sketching, keep clearing the studio space to invite the return of what needs to emerge. It took me a year. Or maybe it was longer.