I used to always go back and read old blogposts, especially from a year ago or two years ago at the same time of year, to try to remind myself of the fact that I’ve been there before, buried by school or grades, getting lots done over Winter Break, never getting anything done over Spring Break. It helped me see the patterns of my life and not be so hard on myself when I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to get done. I just wanted to improve the bad stuff each year, and I was doing an OK job with that.
But I can’t go back and read the old posts any more. They’re just upsetting. It’s a world that doesn’t exist any more. I don’t even want to read who I was a year or two years ago.
It’s too bad, because it was part of what kept me focused, grounded, at least in terms of making art. It helped me see what goals I was successful with and what goals needed more support. I was able to see progress over time, in the big picture. Now I can only see progress in little pieces. Today, my little pieces were all about the skeleton and the water.
The skeleton actually ended up needing 5 fabrics…
I drew a more complicated skelly this time apparently. This drawing was in fact all about adding detail…to kind of a crazy level. That’s my life, though. All these tiny little details that I’m trying to keep track of, hold on to, and it’s by the skin of my teeth that I manage to get most of it done. It is crazy. But I do it. Not very well, I think, but it gets done.
I was pretty tired tonight, but wanted to get further along than just the bones, so I figured I would need about 10 water fabrics…I laid them out light to dark and started putting the appropriate Wonder Under pieces on top…
but then realized that I meant to do darkest at the bottom, not the top, so I had to flip all the sections. At least I caught that before I started ironing.
The next step is seaweed and fish. I’ve ironed about 250 pieces down at this point, and am about 3 1/2 hours in. I had the same problems with the blue fabrics that I did with the browns…I needed to make sure I had a big enough piece to iron the wider pieces down. Luckily, I seem to have more large blue pieces than brown, probably because I often use blue as a background, and that leaves these random skinny yet wide pieces that work well for water.
Here’s all the fabrics I’ve used so far (well, all the grays and blacks are hiding underneath)…
Doesn’t look like much right now. Fifteen hundred pieces to go! (god, that sounds awful)
Going-back-to-school tired is already catching up with me. I am already behind in everything. I can’t get caught up on anything. I make these silly goals to do 30 minutes a day of cleaning or yardwork, but can’t get motivated or I just forget by the time I get home. I did go to the gym. I went to the bookstore for the girlchild’s AP books. I meditated. I started ironing at a reasonable hour…I just kept going for longer than I should have. So now I am more awake than I was two hours ago, but if I were always going to bed two hours ago, I would make no art, my house still wouldn’t be clean, my yard would still be a disaster…so I would be well-rested, but a total crank.
Doesn’t seem like a good option. I dream of retiring (ha!) and just making art all day. Maybe volunteering somewhere. Maybe traveling. I’m so far away from being able to do any of that. Instead, I’m writing an essay explaining why I should get hired for a summer-school thing (I need the money). I’m paying bills. I’m running errands. I’m cleaning up the girlchild’s dishes yet again and trying to decide how to force the kids to take out the recycling (I put post-its on the TV and computer this morning before I left for school…STILL not taken out…am considering hiding the relevant cords until it’s done, like a crazy ransom thing…leave a note: Your cords will be returned when the recycling makes it out of the house!).
I am usually (in my former life) so much better at straightening up, staying organized. Right now, it feels like a giant flail. Arms windmilling around, trying to catch me as I fall. Hey, I think I dreamed that last night? Or it’s in the book I’m reading. Were there aliens? Too much TV, too many books, too many words.
Last summer, at the beginning, in like June, I ordered fabric and socks for dying. I ordered discharge paste to try a new process of surface design. They’ve been sitting on my office floor since then. It seems like that is my life at the moment, in stasis on the office floor, waiting for me to trip over it yet again, but never to have time to pick it up and DO something with it.
Too introspective for a peaceful night. I’m going to go to bed and read about some other people’s sketchbooks or art. It’s better sometimes not to look too closely at one’s own life. It can be too distracting, disturbing.
Let’s just assume all that bad stuff will just wander away if we don’t look it in the eye.