Disruption

Hi Everyone!

How is your February going so far? Let me start out by explaining that according to my personal seasonal algorithm, February has at least 90 days. It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s dark most of the month here which makes it drag on FOREVER. We are going to South Carolina this month to visit my daughter and her family. Hopefully they will have some warmth to enjoy while we are there.

So my well planned morning (see last week’s post on planning) went to poop. Today was going to be the first day I have had to myself in about a month and a half. I am on the extreme end of the introvert scale and while I love people, especially those I live with, I desperately need lots of alone time to function properly. That said, I had my quiet morning all planned out and was waiting impatiently to pack up my people and send them on their way.

And then…the bus didn’t stop for DN. Grrrrrrrrrrr. I have been taking children to school on cold winter mornings for the better part of 20 years. Since 1998 to be exact, with a few years off here and there, but not many. When DN came to live with us we were in a different county and she didn’t know anyone, so I took her to school and picked her up for the two years before we moved home. When we moved here I asked if she was ok to ride the bus and she was fine with it because she knew most of the people on the route. I did a secret happy dance!

Obviously there is a new bus driver. I know what new jobs are like and I tried very hard not to grumble too much and when I called the school to let them know, I tried not to let the irritation ooze through my voice too much. But can I just say that having to go out into 25 degree cold and drive to the school and into the school dropoff crazy (you parents who do this know EXACTLY what I mean) did not leave me in a zen mode this morning. It has taken most of the morning to work off the irritation of the disruption to my precious day of solitude. I know, I know, I should not let stuff like this get to me. Well, pooh. It does. I gave grace to the bus driver and I’m giving myself the grace to be human and irritated. By the time my people get home I should be calm again (hopefully).

Enough complaining. Onto other stuff. I got six paintings put up on Etsy this week. Four of them have sold. If anyone is interested in checking out what is left at the moment here is the link to my store. I have a few more to add and am working on more. The little sparrow painting in my blog picture is one that is left and he needs a new home.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BloomtownStudio

In my plans this week (ha, ha) are rearranging and painting (walls, not canvas) in my attic studio. About 1/3 is drywalled now. The anticipation of getting the room finished is more than I can stand. As soon as I can reasonably function up there the easel, sewing machine and supplies will be set up for me to get to work. I can’t even imagine the luxury of being able to find supplies without moving and opening numerous boxes. Hopefully next week I will have some updated photos to share.

Alright, now on to my day which includes cleaning out one side of the garage that has been storage since we moved and we need to put a vehicle in there. Hey, the fun around here never ends.

If you have had a disruption in you day, just know that you aren’t alone and we can take some deep breaths and shake that stuff off.

Faith, Hope, Love, Grace (lots of Grace today),

Christel

The art of frustration 

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are having a lovely week so far. Supposedly we are going to have Spring return here this week. I am very ready for my feet to thaw out!

Did you notice that I posted this on time this week? Want to know why? Nope, it’s not because I finally have my act together. I have misplaced my good drawing paper and cannot continue with the two commissioned drawings until I find it. I am hoping that the distraction of writing will let my brain work on remembering where I put it last. 

Finally I have a week that involves no crisis management of affairs of an estate, Spring Break is over and I have no huge impending deadlines. Yesterday was great! I worked on my Etsy shop, started these two drawings, did a little practice painting all before I had to pick up Miss L.  Today started out pretty much the same way until I realized my drawing paper is missing. Dang! I had two solid hours to work on them.

So here I am, coming into the last month and a half of my thirty year career, all geared up to get down to some serious creative doing and making and I am an organizational mess. Normally I know exactly where everything is unless someone I live with moves it and this happens all too frequently. This time I can’t blame them though. 

In June I will have lived here for two years. In those two years I have had to constantly keep moving my art supplies around.  Either a room is being painted/renovated, someone is visiting or moving in, or every spare inch of space is occupied by stuff that has to be sorted, stored or given away eventually. The frustration level with this situation is very high. Really and truly I am a minimalist at heart but I find I am always living primarily with people who are not. My son is the exception. Right now he lives out of a backpack, but take a wild guess who stores his bed and few boxed possessions. 

My dear husband promises me that one day there will be a separate little art studio that only I have the key to. Looking at our long list of “need to do” items I hope he is planning on adding wheelchair ramp and Geritol dispenser on it. Until then I retreat to my Pinterest board of studio ideas and dream. 

The current reality is that I set up my fold out table in my bonus daughter’s/guest room for the two weeks that she is away and frantically work on my sewing machine and other projects that have to be spread out (I’m a creative mess so most projects fall in this category) then pack it all back up before she returns. Heaven help me if I forget to take the vacuum cleaner out of her closet before setting up the table. In that case, or any other that requires something from that closet, I have to crawl over the bed to the other side, retrieve the item then push or pull it back across the bed.  There are many not so nice words said during this ordeal. 

If the table issue were not enough the fact that I have my most used supplies in…the china cabinet, under our bed, under the love seat, under and on my desk, in a file cabinet in Miss L’s room, beside the sofa, in an end table, on our bookshelf, AND in the master bathroom! The less needed supplies are in our storage unit 20 minutes away and I seem to need them several times a month. Honestly I do not own a store’s worth of supplies. We just have so little space that I have to stick them in every nook and cranny I can find. Trying to find what I need causes some high level frustration. HOPEFULLY as I wind down my design business and clean out files and supplies that I will no longer need, I can begin to consolidate the art supplies and cut down on the frustration. Did I mention that the nearest art supply store is over an hour away by car or two days away via Amazon. Wonder if I can figure out how to make horse hair paint brushes? 

Maybe I should remember to give myself a pat on the back any time I manage to finish ANYTHING.  Here are a couple of finished items from this week. My table quilt from my class got finished. Probably the worst sewing I have done in years but it doesn’t look too bad as long as you don’t look on the back, and a small painting of our cat, Sweetie Pie. I have her eyes too close together but I was focusing on some painting techniques more that worrying about getting everything “right”. 


I am going to make myself some lunch, take some water to the chickens, gather some eggs and make sure I didn’t put my drawing paper in their coop.

May your week have low levels of frustration!

Back again!

I have been woefully (I like the word “woefully”. Very expressive.) neglectful of my blog.  Once again I plan to be more disciplined in my writing.  I say that when I am three weeks from my vacation and will be completely out of the loop for a week and possibly off grid for most of it. The last few months I have actually been very busy with creative endeavors, but have been in an aggravated and frustrated state with it all.  Maybe others of you have been through the same thing or are going through the same thing and I probably should have written about it.  First, I just didn’t have the motivation and second, I’m not sure you would have wanted to hear about it while I was in that mind frame.  It was pretty negative.

So, what was going on with me? After the holidays I had the long winter months to work on projects and had a spurt of creative juices that had me pacing like a tiger in a cage.  I don’t work on just one project, I work on three or four projects when I’m in that state.  Actually, I work on three or four project most of the time in whatever state I am in. The aggravation point was a lack of creative space.  Up until the last two years I have had a reasonable amount of room (one being a converted walk-in closet) to spread out and leave my projects so I could come back to them.  Currently, I am living in a small two bedroom townhouse.  The second bedroom belonged to my son, and even though he was away at college it primarily contained all his stuff.  One wall was commandeered by me for my office desk (my room barely fits a bed much less a desk) and in one tiny corner I had set up my easel so I could paint while he was at    school.  Any other artsy projects had to be produced on my tiny kitchen table and then be moved or packed up when it was time to eat or fold clothes. Try to imagine working on jewelry one day, mosaics the next day, a painting the next day and having to find space to move the projects around, but still keep them accessible.  Add in the fact I have two dogs who think pretty much ANYTHING is potential food.  At one point, my little powder room was barely usable. I stacked my projects on the sink and in the floor and there was just enough room to still use the toilet.  Can you see where this was giving me a bad attitude? Anyway, during all this frustrating time away I did manage to do quite a bit of experimenting and playing.

Below are some of the pieces I made even through the frustration.  Not great art, but regaining and improving long neglected skills.  Practice does make perfect and if not perfect at least much better.  It has been decades instead of years that I have been unable to have a regular practice and it takes some work to get the rust off.  I am feeling much better now and will post more about that next time.

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Completed!

Anyone who uses their creative streak (we all have one, but some use it more than others) know the frustration of the process and how often it makes you want to bang your head against the wall to get something you need out of it.

Every single piece of artwork I do, whether it’s a drawing, painting or design, has a phase of frustration.  I’m stuck and don’t know what needs to be done next. I wrote about my sunflower painting here and this is where I got stuck…for months.

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I have learned a few things over the years.  One being that if something is in plain view it will eventually aggravate me until I clean it, pay it or fix it.  So I left this on the easel right where I had to look at it every single day.

A couple of weeks ago I had a rare free Saturday and the beginnings of a new list of projects that will require my easel back so I forced myself to put paint on canvas again.  It was still aggravating and to begin with I was hating it, but kept working on one small section at a time until I got it where I wanted it.

Ta-Dah!! Done!

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Of course, like any artist, writer, crafts person, etc. I can tell you every single flaw I see in it, but hopefully you don’t notice it or think it’s a flaw.  I just eventually have to call it “done” and “satisfactory” or I will wind up in a special jacket.

It is cheerful, bright and absolutely does not go in the room that I started it for. Oh, well, art takes on a life of its own.

 

Stopping point

I love my Wednesdays and Fridays. I have worked things where most of the time I can have much more flexibility with my schedule those two days. Even though I still have plenty of work it feels like a mini vacation because I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time. It also makes getting these posts done possible.

Here is my most recent drawing/painting. If you use watercolor colored pencils is it a drawing or a painting??
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I have now worked on this drawing in Photoshop, Illustrator and on paper. I’m not getting what is in my head out of any of those. It’s very frustrating. I wanted this to be a gift for someone, but I’m not happy with it yet and I have a deadline looming. I still have about a month so I think I will put it away for a few days and see if a solution comes to me. Sometimes that works. Actually I have put drawings and paintings away for years and when I dig them back out I can see where the problems are and fix them.

If I get this to work I will post it again.