Friday, November 21, 2008

I miss my eyesight!

Since I seem to be more prone to drawing in the evening (which also has not changed since I used to hole up in my bedroom as a teenager), I have been struggling with being able to see and trying to avoid the frustration of dealing with shadows, to no avail. My work is also very up-close and detailed which means I am usually hunched over without my glasses, for no pair seems to work for me. It's naked eye, close-up stuff. Plus, I'm just getting damn old.

Anyway, I recalled seeing this little doo-hickey (pictured below) months and months ago while perusing the web and looking at Japanese Embroidery.

It's sold in two pieces; the lamp itself and the cardboard house. You supply the 40 watt bulb. Anyway, all together it was $22 plus shipping and I will let you know if this is a help or a hindrance once it arrives. Certainly, one could make such a thing. But I did enjoy giving the Japanese Embroidery site some business in order to support what looks to be an arcane and rare art form. (One which exceeds my ability to see.)

By the way, the store site has a great quote in its banner: "The hands are the exit of the spirit."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where it all started

In the summer of 2007, I drew something for the first time in 20 years. It was on my desk surface. Well, it wasn't really a desk. And it wasn't even my desk at the time. It was a slab of particle board that my husband hauled up from the garage in order to give one of our subcontractors a place to sit and work. I can say little about what possessed me to start doodling all over it one night when my the husband was out of town. But it started with a simple expression of my feelings toward the current blithering idiot who lives in the White House. That phrase remained on its own for a few days, in stark black marker pen. And then the doodling...

In any case, Daniel's Desk turned into a silly mini obsession that took a few hours of my time. My style here is exactly as it was when I was 16. Seriously, the graffiti, the angst, the flower-power. All is as I knew it.

So why did I ever stop drawing? And why does it seem like it is happening again? This time it feels like a blockage. But when I was 17, it was crisis of confidence and endlessly playing mental tapes in my head by people who liked to caution me about artists who "starve", and questioning what I was "really" going to do with my life. And since you can't stifle creativity, it next bubbled up and took the form of building doll houses. After that, I made all the little doodads that go inside the doll houses, which took me to polymer clay. Polymer clay morphed into making little figures. Little figures took me to beading and jewelry making which in turn made me think of making money. When that didn't happen, it was the end of the road. The sad thing about it all is through yard sales, gifting, and losing stuff during many moves throughout my life, I have nothing to really show for it. No body of work. And I stopped drawing. Until one night when I decorated a desk and expressed how much I hated Bush. It was cathartic and is proving itself to be very hard to recapture.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I am truly like the proverbial cow's tail (always behind). I have been so busy with a very heavily scheduled routine, filled with appointments to my various practitioners (weekly chiropractor, acupuncture. Hell, I am even on a 3 month teeth cleaning recall these days). Then there is my toiling as the mediocre bookkeeper that I am for my husband's business. I am doing a little bit of scribbling in my sketchbook, but nothing I've latched on to emotionally (yet). I have no drawing of cows to display here.

I have this fish though. I drew it for a friend (whom I've known since childhood) when she was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. The caption for it is "Swim!". When I drew it, I remember feeling like illness must feel like a giant net ready to scoop you up and pull you out. And at the moment when you realize the net is there to grab you, someone screams at the top of their lungs: "Run! Get the hell out of there! "

I want just the opposite. I want to rest in the net and pretend that the house won't go to hell overnight if I don't clean it every day. Wanting time to do your art has to be one of the most torturous yearnings one can endure. Like having a crush on someone who doesn't return the feeling, you feel almost spoiled and selfish for wanting it at all costs with such little return. And sometimes I can't figure out if my responsibilities are the "net" or if my lack of exercising my talent is the "net".

To be clear: I am, in no way, saying that I wish major illness upon myself or that illness has any role energetically in the creative process, although it may for some people. It's more of a metaphor for priorities, and the sudden slap of awakening that one needs in order to get busy, whether it is toward the process of healing, or creating, or anything that is otherwise taken for granted in favor of the less urgent things in life like housecleaning, or unpacking a suitcase, or shopping for t-shirts and the myriad other things that absorb small chunks of my day until it is eaten away along with the sunlight I need to draw. And if creating actually did have some role in healing, wouldn't we do it first? It's about priorities, and if you are woman, it's often about stealing time to do something that is good for YOU, not the others in the household, which gets into a whoooole other set of nonsense tapes that play in our heads and kill the energy needed to get started. It's about suddenly getting the RIGHT to be selfish. Is illness the the only excuse we are allowed?

Also, full disclosure, I copied the fish in large part from a photo of a textile. Sometimes, when you are TRULY stuck and inert, copying something helps break up the logjam. As for my personal logjam, that was the first thing I drew OF ANY SORT in 20 years. And now here I am trying to keep it all going and discussing it on a blog. But that fishnet? That's aaaaall me, baby.

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