Friday, August 15, 2014

When Art Won't Sleep

What I look like after a few nights without much sleep! 
I cant sleep.  It happens sometimes.  I'm tired, but sleep evades me.  Laying in bed, my mind just thinks.  Its what minds do, I know.  But somehow, I always lay there feeling trapped in my mind and on my bed. Thoughts running along without releasing to sleep.

Its like something is left undone. Some tension. Years ago, I quit fighting it and started getting up and putting my thoughts, however random, to paper or typing them.  This seems to stop it and give me some kind of release.  Its like I empty my head onto paper or my computer.  Then, when my head is empty, I am ready to sleep. (no empty head jokes!)

It usually lasts for a few nights in a row until I break the pattern. I think, I have no proof mind you, its just a theory based on unreliable thoughts during sleepless nights, but I think I can't sleep because my creative side needs to be heard.  Does that sound strange?  Or does that sound perfectly logical to you?

So I empty the thoughts in words, of black and white.  Something almost solid. And here's what I usually hear/see: I need to stop and find a space in time to create something. What is so silly is I should be able to figure this out much quicker after all these years.  I guess I'm a slow learner.  More likely I continually underestimated the strength of my creative side and the need to express it. Even after all these years.  Its just not an option to NOT create any more.

It's harder these days to make time or indulge my creative self.  It's like an old friend I need to reconnect with.  But there was a time when that friend was silent and I was afraid I'd never hear from her again.  I'm glad she's back, even if it means I am awake at 2AM.

I will reread this in the morning to see if its just too wacko to put out there!  Whether the creative spirit abandons or calls and cannot be satisfied, I know enough artists to know we all have tension when the creativity is blocked for whatever reason.  You may experience it differently than a lack of sleep.  But take a look next time you feel frustrated and have no reason.  You may need to create to satisfy it.  There is art you need to make.

Tomorrow's going to be a long day.  And I know one thing that will be added to the "to do" list.  Make art.  And then I will sleep.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I've Got Time. Really.

How is your summer going?  Mine is going pretty well!  But it's going.  Really fast.  It's August already and my list of things "to do"and " to enjoy" has hardly a dent in it.  Life keeps getting in the way.  Unexpected things that demand attention. I try not to let them "steal my joy",  but they do steal my time.  No worries, I tell myself, you've got time.  But I never seem to have enough time.  Where does it go?  What do I do with it?

I think sometimes I worship my lists and am a slave to them and to time. Tic, tock, tic, tock.  I make these list and measure my day by how many things get checked off.  How productive I am.  I have many lists.  So much to do!  I mean, that's life, right?  Stuff to do.  People to see.  Places to go.  Accomplishment.  Something to show for my time. You can't waste time, right?  It's gone so fast and we must make the most of it.  Squeeze the most out of every second.

And it is gone fast.  And we do need to get things done.  I'm just wondering about all the striving.  And doing.  Sometimes I feel like a hamster on a wheel.  Lots of motion, but not really going anywhere!  And where should I go?  There are volumes on living a purposeful life and self help.  The seven habits and all that.  I wonder.  If I just work and garden and draw, have a good laugh, is that enough?  

I don't want to be remembered for my clean floors or sparkling windows or even my art.  I want to be remembered for some kindness I may have done. For a comforting word spoken at the right time.  Maybe for my laughter.  For taking the time for others.  And ok, maybe I want to leave behind some decent art :)

Today,  I stopped and, well, just stopped.   Today I put down the list and drew.  I drew my dad.  Brushed the dog.  Picked some veggies.  Sat in the sun.  The world has not stopped because I didn't scratch six things off a list.

Forget the list.  Today, I don't have TIME for a list!  

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Art of Illustrating and Writing a Children"s Picture Book.


It's been a very busy summer.  I apologize for the lack of posts here!  I have them in my head but no time to blog them.  I will get back on my schedule and be blogging again soon --

In the meantime, I've posted a link to a review I did for Empty Easel and Craftsy.  I think it was published two weeks ago, so the 50% offer on the class is over--sorry!  But I recommend these classes.  Good instruction for the price. 

Thanks for reading and enjoy this amazing summer!  Above all, make art!  

Empty Easel Craftsy Course Review