Sunday, January 23, 2011

Challenge Check-In: The Proverbial Two Birds

Oooooh!  Here I am, down to the wire with my Challenge Check-In and, as I feel inclined to kill the proverbial two birds, this entry will stand in as my Lost Coast Studio Sunday.  

Of the last 14 days, exactly 12 either began or ended with a migraine.  That is actually on par with my normal; for the last five years or so, I've averaged 12 to 15 migraines per month.  I know that sounds miserable (and it is indeed) but in the five years before that, I dealt with about 20 to 25 migraines per month so when I put things in perspective, life is looking up.

Needless to say, my tender head has prevented any "hardcore" art-making.  When I'm in the grip of a particularly stubborn headache cycle, I have to stay very quiet when the migraine subsides as any rise in my heart rate makes the blood push faster and harder against the constricted blood vessels.  The noise can be deafening.  If I overdo it, the migraine quickly resurfaces.  So I am learning to be very slow and deliberate in my living when the migraine gremlin has come to call.

"Slow art" is perfect for these deliberate days as I can visit my sketchbook world as much or as little as I am able and still feel a sense of accomplishment.  In one 5 or 10 minute block of clearheaded moments, I can doodle some critters in pencil.  At another time, I can ink the sketches; still later, I can begin coloring the characters.  My little doodles never complain about the pace of my art days. 

And speaking of doodles, I have managed to keep up with my calendar grid for January.  I can't wait to reveal the month's worth of teeny tiny drawings!  I'm quite pleased with the process.  I'm not sure how many months I'll manage an inchie-a-day but so far so good.  And I've kept up with the "Daily Diary" although some entries cover more than one day.

Today was migraine-free from start to finish so I am hoping that is the beginning of a trend, at least for a few days.  It is hard not to get overwhelmed when I wake in the morning and realize that the pounding pulse in my ears is gone.  I put so many things aside and I want to do them all the very minute I feel better.  And it is frustrating to start my day OK, only to develop yet another migraine later in the afternoon because I did too much.  It is a precarious balancing act so I steady my steps with my sketchbook in one hand and my pencils in the other. 

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