The summer of 2020 was supposed to have allowed us more time to create and work on things. But like so many, I felt like I was mostly walking around in a fugue. Our household activities contracted into a bubble of a few contacts, but remained fairly active and in need of our parental involvement. Things became more challenging to do, or if not more challenging, more emotionally taxing. Staying informed became fraught with conflicting judgements and the noise of high profile issues among friends and loved ones. The emotions of my teens and preteens became nearly all consuming in the household. I maintained some hobbies, like writing fiction with my rpg’s, and messing around in the garden (failing to water consistently undid my labors) and processing and knitting with wool. I played around with installing Linux on my laptop, to mild success. I learned to use adobe illustrator. I attended a few online conventions.
But in general, creatively, my art flagged. In part, practically, my art work demands access to my computer and tablet (if I’m not sketching on paper) and as we relied on the breadwinner now working from home, I needed to relinquish my personal office space to allow for that. I set up a new desk in the kitchen. People walk around talking and interrupting more than usual when your personal space is in a general access of the home. I’m also nearby the door, and the clutter of landing gear happens all around me. The little space must also serve for additional study space and often it’s where guests want to sit down on the shoe storage bench and have a visit. And so I have a kitchen/office/ entryway/ schoolroom/laundry/ storage/ living space.
I’m overwhelmed by existing right now. Honestly, recounting it is more exhausting than just ignoring the stress. I know there’s worse things to be dealing with, greater hardships many have. I always feel like I’m working through my own expectations— the visions I had for myself. I had this idea that by 40 I could be working as an artist, part or full time. The former vision was to have my own backyard pottery studio. I feel like I’m still trying to carve a place to exist while everything else eclipses me with importance. and then when I sit down to draw, I think, draw what? How am I an artist that doesn’t even make art? Who doesn’t even know what she wants to make?
So in the past week or so, I decided to just scroll through my phone for images to paint from. I need to get back on the horse, or pick a new horse or some other metaphorically fitting scenario. So just pick something. I’m always taking more photos of things than I am of people. Which is something I once made a resolution about: to take more photos of people. But I don’t think I’ve achieved it. So I have lots of resources of nature and settings anyway. Might as well work from some. The first one of a mint shoot was a little rough, but they got better.
I plan to do more and to put on my headphones and be thankful that I have a kitchen/office/ entryway/ schoolroom/laundry/ storage/ living space! I’ll edit what’s here, in my space (and in my web space which has gotten out of date too!) and spruce it and I’ll make it my own. Enjoy the art.