Journal entry from February 9, 2011:
"I live in between - that is to say that in between the migraines and the foot pain and hand pain and all the chores and errands and parenting, I live. During those moments, I am happy, full of energy, brimming - no, overflowing - with inspiration and motivation. I make art and laugh. I dance to 80s music and sing aloud ('cause I know ALL the lyrics!) It isn't that I'm not creative or "alive" when I'm in the grip of health or everyday obstacles but rather that, in between those distractions, I know my hopes & dreams are more than just notions in the mist. My days ebb and flow and as I ride the tides, I reach out to my potential and try to hang on."
This past week was not a good one for art-making at my Lost Coast studio. A full week's worth of migraine aggravation and the news that I'm looking at another surgery around June (my 9th!)...such things always knock me back a bit.
You are looking at the sum total of my artistic output for the last week, a curiously charming and happy portrait given all that I was experiencing. The background was already complete so, in less painful and chaotic moments (and often in the dark), I sat down and transformed this wee child from sketch to fully realized painting. Remember those altered Golden Book children's encyclopedias that I mentioned in my previous post? Well, I have one devoted completely to portraits. The pages are already prepared with complex background work so all I have to do is open the book and begin capturing the characters floating around in my head.
If you have health challenges, limited time, creative block and/or a paralyzing fear of blank pages, I strongly recommend studio time dedicated to nothing more than creating serendipity backgrounds. Looking through my journals-in-progress, I realized that almost every single one is prepared in advance with at least a soft wash of color. Background work is really the zen portion of my artistic practice: no pressure, no limits, no judgment.
With backgrounds ready to go, I give myself a better chance of completing a project or page using scattered moments snatched from in between all the everyday life business (good & bad) that forms the foundation of my days.