art-ing vicariously

so i just recently finished reading the book The Time Traveller’s Wife– which by the way was a fascinating read– and found that i really missed papermaking. the female protagonist is an artist, specifically a papermaker, and there were these really long detailed descriptions of the papermaking process that were so accurate, i remembered what it was like and could picture my own hands dipping a mold into a cold vat of paper slurry.

papermaking is such a whole-body, exhausting process, but i love the tangibility of it. and there’s something rewarding about getting an end product out of something that really required all of your strength, energy, and creativity to make. the artist in me sort of reveled in those descriptions like it was starving. at one point i realized i was kind of vicariously art-making through that character and that maybe that was a sign i need to feed my poor inner artist that’s pretty much been starved.  the artist in the book has this amazing studio, and man was i jealous reading about it. my friend michaela and i have joked about how we have these ideal visions of having our own studios one day. that’s the thing that’s hard for me– finding space. someone made a joke to me today about having not seen my paintings and how they would believe it when they saw it, and it made me kind of sad. the thing is i should be making work now, current stuff. when i was living in santa barbara and had a whole separate area for my easel and all my art stuff, i spent alot of time making art. i think part of the reason why it’s been so long since i’ve painted is because i just don’t have space. and i’m really not sure what to do about it.


So this is the new year…

“i wish the world was flat like the old days

and i could travel just by folding a map

no more airplanes or speedtrains or freeways

there’d be no distance that could hold us back…”

Said goodbye to my love who lives in Berkeley at 5:30 am this morning.

Standing in the rain, watching him drive away in the yellow cab, crying like the girl that I am, I realized again how much this man means to me. Went back to sleep for several hours, woke up, and resolved once more to get myself a darn job in the bay area. Not only is commission retail sales stressful and soul killing, it zaps all my energy so that in a good week I apply to only six job listings. That’s not enough. I know this. I fired off several applications and resumes for hours until I could no longer even comprehend the job postings and the words all ran together. Took a break, ate some food, watched the first episode of 24. Started thinking about him again, and had a burst of energy, enough to get me to break out my sketchbook (!) It’s been muuuuuuuuch too long since the last time I sketched anything. I’m really out of practice and my hand’s a little rusty, but hey that’s how it always is in the beginning when you’re trying to get your drawing hand back. You really can’t judge beginnings, just work through them. For me, sketching is where it all starts. That’s when serious business starts, and when the ideas start to come. Getting there, working up the motivation is the hard part. But all that happened was that I was thinking about my wonderful boyfriend, and suddenly I just felt like drawing. And I realized again how much this love has awakened me.