Drawing Cancer…

Oh holy vacation we call Winter Break, as you slither from my fingers and wither away into workload from hell, I miss you already. I spent time yesterday writing homework for next week. I had to go to school to find the journals I thought I had brought home with me. I have tried to pin my brain down to decisionmaking on the lesson-planning front at least five times, and it wanders off halfway through, complaining that it would like to finish the book it’s reading, or go see a movie, or even clean the kitchen, because that is way more engaging than slogging through a lesson plan revamp. Or is there any point in the revamp? All the science standards change next year…why am I working so hard on adjustments this year, when I won’t even be teaching this content next year?

Who knows. I don’t. It was easier last year to let things like that drop. I should keep remembering that. Let It Go. Oh god, now that fucking song is in my head; make it stop.

All right. So yesterday was a giant clusterfuck of you have to be here or there or everywhere and then sit for an hour in a parking lot, and girlchild’s formal dress disaster (aka the genetics of the female body and how none of us look good in those skimpy dresses), and finally at some point, I found myself realizing that I need to get this cancer quilt done. Or at least started. It’s not going to take long, but I know what the next three weeks look like and I’m flailing.

So instead of taking the endless Christmas stocking that will never be finished (hence the endless part) to my monthly stitching meeting, I took my sketchbook and a couple of pens. I figured I would force myself to draw and even if it was crap (boundless crap), I would have a start and maybe I could come home and draw something that wasn’t crap. The night before, I started with the hand in the middle…

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Totally fucked it up. Decided to keep going and drew the mouth, and then the pizza just jumped in there. Crap drawing. But drawing. And I haven’t been doing much of that, so I’m out of practice again. Remember my plan to draw every Friday night? Yeah. So do I. OK. The drawing isn’t crap. The cat is crap. The rest…I could do something with that. The hand sucks. Whatever.

So then I was staring at the paper in this Starbucks in a Barnes & Noble, and although I often draw in public, I don’t really draw with people watching me much. So I drew the hands…

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Which I think are good…remember this had to be simple. But then the bird. And I hated the bird. This morning? Staring at the picture of it? I don’t hate the bird. But he’s got too many damn pieces for this one. I could do the hands again and put something else there (like an anatomically correct heart…not a uterus…I mean, I COULD put a uterus there, but…that would kind of mess with my decision that this piece should not scare the crap out of some poor donor in some state that can’t handle the existence of a uterus). So reject. For now.

Meanwhile, I’ve got Julie and Kathy talking to me about cells and cancer and infusion and ports (I purposely took the sketchbook to this group because Julie’s a survivor and Kathy’s a science person…I knew they could throw some stuff at me that would poke at the sleeping drawing brain cells and wake them the fuck up). So we were talking about more abstract representations of when the chemo goes into the body and attacks the cells, which Julie has obviously visualized (and experienced), and I’m trying to get my head around it, to make an image out of it that is still a Kathy quilt but goes where I want it to go…and I started with the side view…

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Except now I have a breast in there, which breaks my rules for this quilt, and then it deteriorated into a tattoo from a photo I saw online and then there were antennae. If you are in charge of filming my retrospective, you should totally record Julie and Kathy, in a Starbucks in a Barnes & Noble, describing my drawing process. Because Kathy knew it was endoplasmic reticulum. And Julie wasn’t sure about the antennae.

Hell, I’m not sure about the antennae. But I’m getting closer. Really. I know it seems like I’m flailing all over the place, but I’m getting closer.

When I got home, I was tired…but wanted to get a start on the quilting of that other small quilt, which now has a name…

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I woke up to it this morning…the name, not the quilt…

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I do not take my quilts to bed with me.

I finished the outlining. It’s not really dark on that side…I just couldn’t get the camera to behave last night and I was too tired to fuss about it. Now I just need to do the background and bind it and it’s done. Except what I REALLY should be doing is lesson-planning and grading. UGH. I hate responsibilities.

Speaking of, I finished the two commissioned birds and sent them off to their owner yesterday…this is Owl 3

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And this is HeyBird 3

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The first two quilts of 2015.

I’m still watching a lot of this…

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And honestly not getting a whole lot done while I watch. A tiny bit of grading, maybe some stitching, but mostly just watching and brain dead. I know it’s OK to have some down time after finishing major work, and I’m trying to let my brain have that, but there’s definitely a push in my head for getting the next thing done…today being the last real day of vacation before going back, I’m definitely kind of buried in that rushed feeling of checking stuff off the to-do list. Which sucks. And I still need to draw the cancer quilt. Damn.

One Response to Drawing Cancer…

  1. Victoria says:

    Endoplasmic reticulum and antennae, sure, but what I really want to know is why NYMPH? Is that like a New York minute, only speeding?


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