Sunday, February 08, 2009

Down Time Blues

I’ve been floundering a bit, well-disguised by my many lists of catching up on things to do. And there were (still are) a surprising number of things that I let go of while finishing up the final month of the Wind Dancer books. So catching up is valid and the “finishing up an intense feverish sugar-filled deadline push and then suddenly cut loose” blues are understandable. I have figured out over the years that it is just something I have to swim through at the end of a project with the time duration of these blues seemingly directly proportionate to the intensity of the final push. Do most artists experience this crash after the initial euphoria of ...FINISHING?

Ah, but it seems to be a little more than that this time. I have a list of “should” projects but I find myself cleaning my studio to avoid them, feeling too tired to tackle projects once begun that need an update or a boost. Normally I set about these lists with renewed determination and excitement. And (now notice my guilty need to justify here) I‘ve submitted some work to a couple of publishers, checked in with my agent about a manuscript of mine they are shopping, attended weekly drawing classes, filed away tons of reference photos that have been collecting in a huge pile, worked on drawing horse eyes to get that elusive shape just right, worked on a design of a large piece for our bedroom and actually finished one half of it etc. etc.

So anyway, now that I have definitively assured you that I am NOT a sloth (and boy was that something I just needed to do!) two days ago I pulled out a beautiful magazine photo of waves crashing against a cliff, and set about creating a piece more focused on design than realistic rendering, although I hope it will be recognizable in the end. And the first transfer of the piece is, believe it or not, on Yupo—one of my usual arch enemies! So that shows you how seriously I am trying to just have FUN and maybe even be a little abstract with a piece. (I think there may be a bunch of contradictions in that last sentence—just shows you where I am, sigh.)

Wish me luck as I embark on a little Art for Art’s sake. Not totally though, because this might be helpful in some piece with water, you just never know…..arrrrrrrgh!


tlc illustration said...

I actually sketched *for fun* and not from life in church today. Can't tell you when the last time that happened.

I was reading Tom Kidd's blog (famous, fabulous fantasy illustrator) who talks about having to go sit in a dark room for hours (or possibly days), by himself, after he finishes a project.

I don't think the let-down is an isolated experience. Especially when one works as long and hard as we have been doing...

Kathleen said...

I kind of enjoy the studio purge after a big project, it helps me to reset my life. The hard part can be getting back to doing creative stuff in there. It usually takes me awhile (and a head smack!) to remember to go out into the world, take a few field trips with camera and sketchbook in hand to recharge my creative batteries.
I LOVE this sketch of the wave, it is beautiful and mysterious. Fits in with a book I am reading right now- "Swimming to Antarctica' by Lynne Cox, the long distance swimmer. Her descriptions of swimming all night are both peaceful and terrifying.