Make Art. Make a Lot of It.

The first week back after a break from school challenges your voice…lost mine yesterday during 7th period to a coughing fit (the kids are so funny about that…they get worried). It’s back now…sort of…but you go from barely talking to anyone for 16 days to nonstop talking and generally fairly loud for huge portions of time…of course your voice has issues. Tiredness is the next thing that hits you. Even if you try to get the right amount of sleep, if you don’t fall asleep right away or something wakes you up in the middle of the night, then you’re short for the next day and it snowballs by the end of the week. By Friday of the first week back, I’m usually close to collapse when I get home. Plop down in a chair or on the couch and I’m not moving for an hour, except to heat up my tea. That’s what I was like yesterday…taught all day, then did tutorial, then raced the cat to the vet. Got home around 5:30. Collapsed. Eventually I came back to life, but it took a while. And this morning? This morning I feel like a lump of tired. And I slept last night! Seriously, I did. So that’s good, but I think I need a whole ‘nother 8 hours. I won’t catch up again until the end of June.

I worked on this again last night…

Apr 15 15 002 small

This is the larger version…I did the electrical lines correctly this time because I did the basic outline in pencil first, so the lines would overlap correctly. So I’m happy about that. And there’s a uterus now, because I moved the hand lower.

I usually draw everything in pen without a pencil sketch at all. Sometimes I outline something in pencil because I want to make sure a hand ends up in the right place, or it’s something I’ve never drawn before, like those elephants…I think I used pencil on their general outlines and then went in with pen and did the final drawing. I use whiteout on my drawings when needed, because the drawing is not the final product, so it doesn’t matter if there are corrections on it.

So I think I’m going to go copy this (enlarge it) after school today, because I looked up the guidelines for this show, and the quilt needs to be smaller than I thought. So I don’t think I can draw the second figure on another sheet and try to combine them…it will be too big. I think I will have to enlarge this one and draw the other one directly on the enlargement. Which means I will draw tiny details that will not be enlarged (must remember NOT to do that). Plus I’m going to enlarge two of the bathtub drawings and do eeny meeny miny mo to decide which one gets to come into existence first. I might copy the third one (which is actually the first one) as well and give the poor woman a head. Just for fun.

I don’t want any down time between projects…I was talking to a couple of people who said their muse was absent, that they didn’t have things to work on, no inspiration, too tired, too stressed, and my brain is like WHAATTT??? What IS that? I have too much. Too many deadlines. Too many ideas. Too much stuff just dancing around in there that wants to be made.

I’m not complaining. It’s a good problem to have. But it reminds me of my professor in the UK in college who told me that my method of creating work was faulty, that I would Run Out of Ideas if I kept working like that. Oh yeah? Suck my…cause I haven’t (sounds like a personal problem dude). What’s funny is that he was maybe in his late 20s at the time, and I thought he was an old fuddy duddy. Interesting, because the guy in charge of the whole art program there was much older, and I didn’t have any issues with him.

So ideas? Not a problem. Time? Always a problem.

Before I drew, I did a little quilting…

Apr 15 15 001 small

It’s hard to quilt when you’re tired. It’s physical…although this one is so small, it’s not really a problem. I’m just doing outlining right now. I have ideas bouncing around my head about how to do the background, and they have not solidified into a plan, so there’s really no point in getting done with the quilting right now. I also have 18 miles of binding to sew down and a bunch of grading to do. I bribed myself last night…you will grade for one episode of this show, and then you can stop and do something artistic. It works. I get a little grading done, but I also get to do what I want. And that is the perennial discussion for teachers…how do I do less work (because you can work nonstop in this job and still never be done) and have a life balance that makes me feel OK about my job and occasionally recharged and even happy? I’m not sure teachers ever really figure it out. We have to keep reminding ourselves how to do it. Walk away sometimes. Say no sometimes, maybe even a lot. Pet a cat or a dog. Hug someone, not a student. I mean, you can hug students too (in an appropriate manner), but there should be other people in your life, people who aren’t teachers even. People who have nothing to do with schools…

In my case, make art. And make a lot of it. All the time.

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One Response to Make Art. Make a Lot of It.

  1. Make art, lots of art, the more the better. The more, the more power is generated. It’s hard to imagine slowing down. Sometimes I think I should, that my life isn’t “balanced,” or something. But what else would I do? And yeah, I’m not running out of ideas any day soon. Think there is a finite number of medallion quilts to be made? NOPE. And I (think I) keep finding ways to make them different and interesting. At least, I know mine look *different* than other people’s. So there’s that…

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