Thursday, March 10, 2011

Creatures of Creative Habits

Disclaimer: Before you begin reading (if you choose to do so), just know that this post was more of a cathartic exercise for me. So, I hope it doesn't come across as whiny, but, rather as me just being honest. I'm not whiny, I don't like, please don't read this with a whiny voice in mind!.....just my honest evaluation that will have a purpose and a conclusion at the end. That sounded "deep" didn't it? :)

Okay, this blog has suffered long enough. This year my focus has been more on getting my older son through his senior year of high school than on my art or spending time preparing a blog post....or even visiting other blogs, which I really love to do!

We home school, but that doesn't make the school work any easier, just the hours you do it a little more flexible. His senior year is not quite over....but we are 'coming in on the home stretch' (I know absolutely nothing about racing, but that phrase sounds like it fits here!).

The 'home stretch' aside, he has also started his journey into adulthood having turned eighteen recently and with that, comes all the things that eighteen means as an adult with a disability. He has autism, and the jump from juvenile to adult programs/therapies and support is a big one. And just because he is an adult now doesn't mean he is capable of handling all of these transitions on his own, of course not. So that is an added "plate in the air" to keep twirling......or hat to wear, now that I'm seen as a "caregiver" rather than his mother. (I know, I know, I'll always be his mother....but the state and national agencies don't see it that way.) It's a big learning curve for me...and let's face it, I'm not getting any younger so the brain cells are becoming more limited! :)

All of this takes a lot of time, and mostly it's been time away from creating..... I miss that, just thinking about painting, drawing, or doing something creative.....that has always been my "sanity" net.

As you can see in previous posts, I have made time to paint something fast for updates, etc. The "creative juices" have to flow fast, but thankfully, I've been able to think of something to paint or create when "update day" rolls around. But I don't like the "rushed" feeling, I'd like to take more time in preparing things, more than just a few days before update day to be creative.

I've decided (and here is the purpose and conclusion part) that I need to "Create Time"....not in the literal sense, but just by carving out a part of my day to sit, think, create.
I schedule my boys' routines on a daily basis, so why not do the same for myself?

So, with spring on the way, I'm beginning to prepare for a new season inside and out.

Spring hasn't actually been notified of its ETA here in Boise. The days are still cold, snowy, rainy, with dark clouds, and sometimes sleet and hail....the phrase is, 'If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes', is very true this year! (and that may be contributing to my "folk art funk".)

(click on the photo to see the book on Amazon, and if you have the Kindle app downloaded onto your computer....or ,if you actually have a Kindle, you can download the first chapter for free. I have the book just so I can write things in the margins, :)
To help with my self-imposed, self-discipline plan, I also discovered an interesting book for anyone artistically inclined, be it painting, dancing, writing, composing music, playing an instrument....or any creative endeavor. I've only read the first 70 pages or so, but I've enjoyed Ms. Tharp's insight so far. She is a well-known dancer/choreographer, so I was a little unsure about how it would apply to me personally at first, but...

It is a practical book (so says the subtitle) and she includes exercises (no, not dance exercises...thank goodness!), but creative exercises to s-t-r-e-t-c-h those limited brain cells of mine. This book offers straightforward practical, applicable, accounts of her own creative habits. I like that....I'm a practical thinker, I'm a concrete learner....I like detail in my art (although I'm trying to be a little more "free-flowing"....that's a later post).

Ahhhh, deep breath, well thanks, if you read this far. Like I mentioned, it has been a cathartic exercise for me, hope it wasn't too self- indulgent. Maybe you can relate to some of this as a Mom, artist, or otherwise creative creature. :)

Promise: next post will be much more uplifting...and maybe the sun will be out too. If not, my artistic attitude will at least be stretched, and hopefully in better shape! :)


Caitlin said...

I understand where you're at right
now. Lots of plates twirling.
Looking forward to checking in
again with you soon.

Patti said...

Thanks so much for sharing all that is going on with you... Blog posts with pretty pictures and sweet thoughts are lovely, but blogging is also for sharing and stretching ourselves.
My oldest is in his junior year with ACT prep and more challenging classes and it takes its toll on the entire family. I can't even imagine how emotionally and physically challenging it is to homeschool and deal with the issues of bueracracy (sp?) that you are dealing with.

So glad that you are scheduling time for yourself ~ it is the only way to recharge the batteries (and you know how much I love your art!)

Sending a prayer your way...

Blessings, Patti

Lana said...

I understand Suzanne ~ even though I miss our long chats. At least we work in shorter ones here and there. :)

Although I don't have the same issues going on at home, there are still things that have been keeping me from sinking down into my creative space for hours at a time... and I miss that. I'd love to do more this year, perhaps change my artistic direction a little bit.

Sounds like a year for change and growth for many! :D

Dame Judi said...

This is a great post as always. It is so good to know what is going on with you and yours.

Best wishes on your time carving efforts. It will become easier as the boys mature. Truly.

In the meantime, don't give up and certainly do not quit your creative expressions - your art, which we all enjoy.

Now I shall check if the library has the book in question!

Julia said...

I so much relate. Though we have been dealing with different circumstances, I have realized how I need to make time to create. I haven't felt like it the past 2 years, but now my soul is craving it. Deliberate acts of beauty, has been my theme of late. So for you my dear sister, Create on!!!!

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Suzanne,

I can well imagine home schooling is not picnic. I think that sometimes doing things at home, that might in some situations take place out of the home, can be a lot harder. I know for me, it can be hard to organize my time properly. I'm glad you are making creative time for yourself each day, I think that is so important.

I'm like you too, I plan out what I want to paint, for me, it might take days to finalize the concept before I even start to work on a new piece. Just seems to be the way I roll.

SOunds like you are also a quality over quantity type person but you are right, you deserve some time carved out each day for yourself as well. I think it is important for creative juices and for sanity. You also really need something for yourself, so important.