Making Time

Grades are due on Tuesday, just progress reports. Really, in the old days, I would have started working on them Friday night and finished them Saturday, never leaving them until Monday night. Eh. Whatever. They’re mostly done. I did get some grading done yesterday, documented some stuff in the gradebook that I keep track of, more to force them to do it then because it’s super-important to understanding science…teaching kids good habits, those that will pay attention. But I’m not done. And sometime around 10 PM last night, I quit being a teacher and started being an artist.

OK, realistically, I never stop being an artist. My brain is always working on art stuff, even when I’m stuck in a 2-hour staff meeting on a Monday afternoon (ugh…today is Monday). It’s one of the things that keeps me going. Car drive, art in head. Waiting in line at the grocery store, art in head. Waiting for the X-ray technician, art in head. They did X-ray my foot on Friday to see if the pain I’ve been feeling is an unlucky broken or fractured tiny bone instead of just a sprain. I vote for a sprain.

So at this point in my life, I just have to make time for art…I don’t have to stand around, pushing fabric around my office, waiting for the muse to appear. She’s always there, waiting. I know I’m lucky for that. But it’s really not luck. It’s making sure that I’m doing something artistic almost every single day. Do that, and she will stay…at least most of the time. Significant depression or illness can drive her away, but if you’re lucky, she’ll stick around.

I went back and looked at the long skinny drawing to see if it needed more. I drew three different cats in pencil around the existing drawing, wanting to fit one in, but not sure if I should. One of them stayed…

May 4 15 001 small

Then I proclaimed it done, because honestly, I could keep adding stuff, but it would take longer to finish it, which will be an issue as it is, and I think it would actually detract from what I’m trying to say. So I stopped.

And then I started numbering it…

May 4 15 002 small

It actually had more pieces than I thought it would…partially because I drew it to size instead of enlarging it, so I kept drawing these stupid tiny pieces. And then while I was numbering it, I thought about adding some more cracks around, but I stopped myself…for now. Looking at that photo above makes me want to add more though. It currently has 543 pieces. Who knows what it will have at the end. I have some time to think about it, though, because it is not the next one on the list…it’s the one AFTER the next one.

So I started tracing Bathtub 2, which is the next one on the list…

May 4 15 005 small

I can’t remember how many pieces it has…hang on…this is partially why I have a blog: to document my own shit because I can’t remember it. (Kathy scrolls back through the blog)…595 pieces. Oh. Hey. Not bad.

Anyway. I traced for an hour, and now my right hand is sore…

May 4 15 006 small

Which is kind of pitiful really. Although I did use the same hand for numbering. I didn’t even get 75 pieces done. See the big long skinny tree pieces? Pain in the butt. And yet I keep drawing them. You’d think I’d learn. But no. This one is going to have some big bathtub pieces too.

I’m using the new Wonder Under. It’s very plasticky. It sticks to the paper when I trace, which helps in that the paper doesn’t move as much as it used to, but then it doesn’t let go of the paper either. Kind of different…but the paper’s not releasing from the fusible either, so that’s a good thing. I’ll probably be tracing all week. I’ve got a bunch of stuff on at night this week, so I won’t get a lot of art time, I think…although I do try every night. It doesn’t have to be more than 30 minutes though. Last night, while tracing, I got a thunderstorm running through town…thunder, lightning scared the animals, and then it rained heavily for a while. We need it. Plus it’s kinda cool to be awake really late and see the light flashing and hear and feel the boom…then waiting as the quiet pitter patter turns into waves of rain pounding down.

This morning, though, there are no such natural phenomena…today is just overcast and a bit humid, with sounds of hairdryers and water heaters in the near distance. And a job that calls me, kind of rudely, reminding me how I pay the bills.

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