Time to fill up my sketchbook. It has been 75% complete for months now and neglected. Not sure why I stopped the habit of drawing everyday but now is a great time to start again and finish it by drawing every morning this vacation week when there is nowhere to be for hours. Nothing is more important to an artistic life than keeping an active sketchbook. And drawing in the sunlight with a cup of coffee and some refrigerator oatmeal is a pretty awesome way to start the day. Healthy, easy and productive. Awesome!
Big changes are in the work for next fall when my littlest goes off to preschool four full days a week. But this month she is starting preschool four mornings a week and that is the perfect amount of change for right now. So lucky to have the rest of this winter and spring to ease into everything. And four mornings is just enough for me to give myself the gift of work. Morning meetings with myself contained within my daily Morning Pages, followed by walking both kids to school together. Then I have about an hour to run any errands or get a coffee or do some laundry before I start my core hours in the studio with my printmaking apron on at ten and work until lunchtime at noon. Then it is time to pick the littlest one up at school. Two hours four days a week is sounding pretty fabulous after six years of cobbling time together and never having enough time to tackle the big projects.
We are buried in snow here in Boston a week before Christmas and I am trying to enjoy it while deep down I am pining for Autumn and feeling my annual winter Autumn regrets. Regretting that I let myself get so busy that I didn't enjoy glorious fall it it's full potential. The snow is really pretty right now and sledding is fun but winter in the city is a challenge. It gets ugly fast and the ice makes getting around just plain dangerous. At the very least getting around in the winter can be very tricky and require some extra planning and time. And of course it is very cold! But autumn is just lovely! The colors, the crisp air and the food. Just wonderful. Unfortunately that is also when school and activities start and the weekends fill up quickly. Right now I regret that we only went apple picking once, that we never made it to the Arboretum when the leaves were turning, that I didn't go on more bike rides and that we didn't carve a pumpkin for Halloween. The snow is on the ground and there is no going back now. Not until next fall when I will again be busy and partially crippled from anxiety about the impending winter.
Like just about everyone my days are very busy and it is often very hard to carve out art time during the day. Unfortunately I typically don't have much creative energy left in the evening after the kids go to bed. Which is a pity since that is sometimes the only time I have to make art. Thankfully carving is totally different and doesn't take much creativity or energy once I have a drawing already mapped out on the woodblock. Carving is a mentally minimalist and meditative process that gives me a chance to unwind at the end of a long day. Not too many things out there get me to slow down but carving a block of wood is one of those things that does force me to slow down and narrow my focus to the quiet and labor intensive careful task of carving a block of wood to print in the spring. As the days get shorter and colder there is something just right about spending the evenings in my little studio carving while drinking a cup of hot tea. As summer ended I found myself craving to have a large block of wood to slowly carve away so I got started on the planning and sketching. That is what I did during most of October. Now I am ready to carve.