Quiet Meditative Tiny Little Fucking Pieces

Some nights I think I’m going to get all this artmaking done, no constraints, and then that just falls apart. Sometimes it’s for a good reason, like your kid face-timing you from college or taking the dog for a walk, or both…like last night. Sometimes it’s your brain…it’s tired and can’t deal with even getting off the couch. It’s easier to stare at distractions on the TV or the phone. It’s too hard to stand up. You know you have to clean up first before you can start. Most people have already gone to bed. What is wrong with you? Don’t you know lack of sleep is unhealthy?

I guess that’s the part I’m pretty good at: getting up and starting, no matter what. I have grades due in a week, so I can’t really take a break and blow off grading, because I need to get caught up, best I can. So I’ve spent the last two weeks basically making myself try to grade a thing a night, although sometimes “a thing” is one class’ worth because it’s a time-consuming assignment, or more common, their answers are so off the mark that if I grade more than one period, I become so incredibly frustration and convinced I’m the worst teacher in the world, until I come to one where the kid did it right, and it’s not the smartest kid in the class, and I say to myself, “Well if JOEY got it (there is no Joey, just to be clear), then everyone could have understood me.”

Yeah. Those are not the best nights. Except it means it will only get better. If I do something else afterwards.

Last night’s grading session wasn’t hard, but there were head-banging-on-the-desk moments where I thought the cats might call 911, because I was a little frustrated. Talk about ignoring simple instructions. Anyway. It’s done. I’m getting down to a reasonable number of assignments left to grade, if I don’t think too hard about the last unit that’s piled up at school.

So after a 3-mile dog walk/hike hybrid, cooking dinner from scratch, face-timing the girlchild, and grading homework about hiccups, I almost just went to bed. It was late enough. I was tired enough. But it really feels like shit to go to bed, wake up the next morning, and realize I did no art stuff at all the day before. Especially when I’m working to a deadline.

So I spent about half an hour doing art stuff…because even a half hour a day counts. Some days that’s all I can do, but it’s better than nothing. And it got me started on the next task for this project, so that’s a good thing. I cleaned off the cover on the light table and then moved that off the top and got started with the tracing.

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I am a whopping 50 pieces in. Of 819. Yeah. It’s gonna take me a while. But I got my butt off the couch and did it, so yeah, I feel better this morning than if I hadn’t. I actually find the tracing process very meditative. I look forward to it. Some of the artmaking tasks are more heinous, like trimming Wonder Under, but this part is nice. It’s just following the line and deciding what overlaps and drawing that in. Finding the next piece. Doing the same thing over and over again. I know it sounds like it would be boring, but it’s not.

So that’s what’s in my future for probably the next 8 hours of artmaking…quiet, meditative, tiny little fucking pieces. Yup.

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