blogging

When am I going to learn?

Daily blogging is really hard for an introverted perfectionist like myself. I always start out strong then fumble and frustrated toss the whole thing out. Not this time. This time I will fumble and keep going. Just not everyday.  

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Curveballs

There seems to be some rule that as soon as I give myself a big challenge and start on it within a short period of time life throws a curveball at me to make the challenge all the more challenging. It happened within the first few weeks of my 365 daily creativity project and now just a few days into a month of daily blogging I am sick. It started out as a sore throat last night, now today I am full blown sick. I get one "I'm sick" blog post out of it. Then I need to keep generating content while feeling like crud. I can do it! No big deal.  

Sick day watercolor abstracts in my sketchbook while I sip tea with honey.  

Sick day watercolor abstracts in my sketchbook while I sip tea with honey.  

The Blogging Habit

The blogging habit is not an easy one for me. I need to commit to doing a short blog post Monday-Friday. In fact, maybe blogging should be a seven day thing for a month or so while I establish the habit. Blogging is a hard habit for me to keep up and I think that that weekend break is a good idea in the long run but derails me in the short term while establishing the habit. My sketching and painting habit is solid. My ice cream habit is sadly quite established as well. Time to get the blogging habit set. I have the work to share, time to share it beyond the word of Instagram. How do other bloggers do it? Especially visual artists that don't consider writing to be their thing?

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Morning Pages

After months off this Morning Pages writing is extremely effective at opening up my mind and generating blog topics and content. Getting through a month of daily blog posting for #nanoblopomore would probably be a failure already if I didn't start up Morning Pages in late October. I came up with three rough drafts just this morning for me to expand on later. I love it! This leads me to believe that I should find a way to make Morning Pages work for me year round and not just during the dark and cold winter months. If I want to keep blogging and I do then I need to write more or my mind will just be visual. The visual is obviously super important but adding text to my visual thoughts and journey and being able to express myself with words is pretty important for eventual success. 

Processing Haystack

Monday morning. Back to reality after an inspiring trip to Haystack. Yet I am still happy to be home around my favorite people. Now that I am home I have a lot to do to process the artwork that I made there and the ideas that I generated. Plus laundry. So much laundry. Laundry is the worst. But for now there is coffee to drink and kids that need to get to school.

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Goodbye Haystack deck. 

Draw more. Write more. Run more. Blog less?

Wait what? No, that is not what I want but it is a struggle. But keeping my blog fresh and interesting Monday through Friday is important to me, so bear with me as I work out the kinks and figure out how to make all this activity work. How do others fit everything in? 

I draw everyday and have since sometime back in April when I started keeping an active sketchbook. I draw about twice as much on average now than I did two weeks ago. But really, I could still stand to draw more and I know it. The more I draw the better I become at it and it is the most enjoyable and relaxing yet exciting activity I know. Nothing can top it for me and believe me I have tried!  I'm jogging twice a week and trying to make it three times a week, drawing whenever I have a spare minute or even a not so spare minute, reading, taking online classes and spending time with my family this summer. That leaves little time for the computer. This is why I have taken to drinking tea mid day to give me a bit of a lift without keeping me up all night. What a wonderful weekend! I can only hope to have many more weekends this productive yet special and fun.

photo courtesy of Sarah Hay

photo courtesy of Sarah Hay


Four months feels like an age ago. Throwback Thursday.

My sketchbook four months ago. When I start to feel discouraged I just look at a sketchbook from just a few months ago and look at what I am producing now and I feel better instantly. I can change and I can still learn. Practice and hard work are incredibly important. Also, the warm weather and busy days this summer is the perfect time for some refrigerator oatmeal.

Take off running! Scheduling that works.

We came home from our vacation a day early so we would all have more time to recover before school, work, travel and chores take over our lives again. That is one of the advantages of driving. It paid off and I have a plan to take off running in the studio on Monday with no pressure on myself to do anything other than draw in my sketchbook before my core hours start. Then come Monday after getting the girls to school I will be on the clock working. It will be a week of streamlined schedules and hopefully learning how to be more efficient as a family and as an artist. Making time work for me instead of against me.

Family Schedule:

  1. Wakeup 6am to beat Charlotte
  2. Morning Pages + Blog
  3. Light Breakfast
  4. School Drop Off*
  5. Exercise
  6. Shower**
  7. Tidy
  8. Core Hours 10 - 12
  9. Lunch + Social Media
  10. Preschool Pickup
Afternoon Plan:
  1. Play or nap
  2. Alex Pickup
  3. Playground
  4. Homework
  5. Dinner
  6. Bath
  7. Read
  8. Girls' Bedtime 8:30
  9. Read, draw and relax
  10. Bed by 10pm

Transient

Downtime, rest and recharging.

I took the weekend off blogging, rode my bike, got my hair cut and spent time outdoors with my family. Did minimal art stuff and didn't spend much time thinking about my next steps. I have been feeling plagued with a lot of "what next" kind of worries and the weekend of glorious weather and one sick child seemed like as good a time as any to step back for awhile. Vacation is next week.  The world didn't end and I felt better starting out the week after a bit of rest. I still kept my sketchbook up because that is completely habit at this point.

Sick day spent drawing.

Sick day spent drawing.

Week Two Impressions

As we finish up our second week having the girls in neighboring schools I am able to step back and get an impression of how it's going. It is going fabulous, better than I ever anticipated. Montessori school is a perfect fit for my youngest child and we love her class and she skips in most days. I am getting more time with big sister and feeling more of a connection with her and with her school by taking care of her drop offs in the morning and Jon is getting to the T faster. It's so bitter cold that we have been driving to school which I don't love. But I do love that the preschool has an actual parking lot and that I am usually home and ready to work by around nine. Pickup isn't until one for the little one. That is a lot of hours to get stuff done. And I am getting stuff done. I can't help it. Even when I waste time I am just not capable of wasting that many hours four days a week. Things are happening. I am gearing up for an exciting spring. 

Transient

Developing my Style

I love when I manage to get a rough draft for my blog from my Morning Pages. I love having ideas laid out for the future to make my life easier when life gets suddenly busy. Because life is always busy. I just cut and paste something that strikes me as possibly blog worthy onto Squarespace and try to add any links or tags on the Chrome Book then pictures and publishing on my phone after some editing. Sometimes it needs a lot of editing and sometimes it needs very little. With Morning Pages and Blogging together I am learning how to be an effective writer and as somebody who has always considered writing a weakness not a strength this makes me proud. The Morning Pages get me writing every day and the daily blogging in November gets me editing and developing what my blog writing is actually about. By writing and posting every day for a month I am learning how I want to let my family into my Art Blog writing without talking about them too much or sharing too much. And what too much means to me. I am learning what kind of a blog I have as I write more and more. I am not quite a mommy blogger but I am not a pure art thinker either. I can't be. I wasn't even before I had kids and I certainly am not now and that is okay.

Jungle  

Jungle
 

Why I Blog?

 This is a question I ask myself a lot as I get back to writing and blogging. After all I am not a writer I am a visual artist. That is the script that I formed for myself long ago and it can be hard to break out of that mold even when doing so is so obviously the right choice. By nature I am insecure about my words. Rather shy and reserved by nature I prefer to let my art speak for me. But writing my morning pages every morning (except once) these past two months and blogging on a regular basis has been changing me. And changing my art as well. It creates feedback with myself and causes me to consider things that I wouldn't necessarily consider if I wasn't forced to write all the time. Seven hundred and fifty words for my Morning Pages every morning is a lot of page filling. But I do it and stuff comes out and I learn how to write while doing it. Blogging is a lot. Instead of just going on with my busy life with my family and making art whenever I can I am forcing myself to stop and think about what I'm doing, why and what's next. I blog because it is changing me and I like it. 

Next is an older piece that I never loved or hated. During my printing last week I found it and added one more layer and now it is finally finished. 

Next is an older piece that I never loved or hated. During my printing last week I found it and added one more layer and now it is finally finished.