Today I got back to a project I have neglected for many weeks: my book. I have not worried too much about taking a break from it. Somehow I instinctively knew I needed more time to let certain ideas stew and evolve. I managed to get the first part written fairly quickly - thoughts and ideas pouring out of me - so I haven't felt bad letting the keyboard stay silent for a while. I wrapped up a few more unfinished chapters today and then realized my next step was to start re-reading my journal entries from this site, since much of what I am exploring in the book has been touched upon right here. That is why I re-designed my website as I was starting my book - I knew each would feed off the other and ideas would grow in ways I might not ever know if I was only writing in Microsoft Word. I am looking forward to pulling tidbits and passages from what I have written here so far this year.
Instead of feeling like I had to get back into a certain "writing mindset" or work hard to motivate myself to start again, I was instantly back in the flow of writing (and of writing this book in particular). It was as if I had never left the river but that time simply stopped, allowing me to do whatever I needed to prepare myself for the next set of rapids. I have plunged back in, and the water feels great.
I also practiced cello this afternoon and I sounded awful. I started lessons a few weeks ago - after a lifetime of never learning music - and this was my first practice where I got so frustrated I stopped. I love it, though, because I know this is normal and part of the creative process. I am going to sound bad for a looooooooooooooong time before I start actually making music, and I'm probably going to feel frustrated more than I'm going to feel bouyant as I try to master new skills and techniques. So today I got to experience the wide range of all that is possible whenever you are engaging in something creative. With my writing, I felt "in the zone" and full of light. With my cello, I pretty much sucked. That's why I closed my windows - no need to torture myself and my neighbors.
Got my taxes done on Friday morning and in the mail just in the nick of time, which is my routine just about every year. Why do I always leave it until the last minute? Because it's ICKY, that's why.
I have started to become more and more fascinated with learning as much as I can about art supplies and materials. I feel like kind of a wacko saying this because I have been an artist for most of my life and have experimented with oodles of media & techniques, but I am eager to dive deeper and know all there is to know about all the different possibilities that exist for me. I spent some time perusing various art supply manuals & encyclopedias at Chaucer's Bookstore in Santa Barbara and finally decided on "Artist's Manual: A Complete Guide to Painting and Drawing Materials and Techniques." Yes, I am reading a book about art supplies. I'm sure my introductory membership card to Art Nerds of America is in the mail.
I have a couple more weeks of slightly hectic-ness with travel plans, but after that I plan on diving deep into a creative nest, getting messy and experimenting with abandon. Since I won't have a lot of time to get too far into any art projects while I'm in the air & on the road, I will at least be able to keep my new book at my side and enjoy doing some great research.
I meandered around my favorite websites this morning and discovered a few new jewels. From Danny Gregory I found my way to Trevor Romain, whose journal was like salty peanuts on top of a hot fudge sundae - something unusual, unexpected and delectable. From there I hopped onto Keri Smith's site, and in her entry for the 15th she has a funny exercise. This was the result of mine:
"A mildly amusing updating of The Smallest Show on Earth." (Excerpt from a review of the "Coming Up Roses" DVD in my TLA Video & DVD Guide for 2004)
You'll have to read her entry to see what this is all about. I think I'll do it everyday and see what I come up with.
I also found a few sites that will help fill my current insatiable desire for all things art supply-related, most notably the site for Arch Supplies in San Francisco and the site for Da Vinci Brushes. Ooh-la-la.
It really is true: being an artist is fun.