As I have gotten more and more into sketching and watercolors finding time for carving woodblocks and printing with my 300lb press has been more of a challenge. But I have a commission to work on and I am not ready to abandon printmaking to become a watercolor sketchbook artist. Printing for an hour or two once a week seems like the perfect amount for me to get things done and leave time for drying and thinking in between. I knew that I wanted to print the color red and that Monday was the best day to do it as the week was already filling up with end of school year commitments. Yet I hesitated and came up with excuses and other things to do with my precious time. The truth was I didn't want to print. Or more accurately I didn't want to start printing. Starting things tends to give me anxiety because my brain focuses on all the ways for me to mess up. This is a tendency that I am fighting. So at 9am I set a timer, put on my studio apron, put on a podcast and got to printing. I was done when the timer went off at 10am. This routine is going to get more challenging this summer in the heat and with the kiddos home with me so I had better get used to using the time when I have it.
Vacation week is over and the kids are back as school and I need to get back into my regular routine. The routine that I just started just this month when the youngest started preschool mid-year. Yeah, that routine. Break wasn't awful, it was actually a lot of fun at times despite some pretty poor weather. But it had some really hard moments, especially during the last day and a half when the kids were exhausted, I was exhausted and we were just done with each other. The weekend was a time to recharge for the week of dropoffs, pickups and afterschool lessons. And time for me to get to work and get to printing. I finished carving the block I have been working on since November and I will be ready to print once I have my paper torn to size. Probably my least favorite part of the art making process. I make a day of it and do it all in one big chunk so I don't have to do it again for many months.
Even though I didn't follow my 10-12 core hours perfectly every day without distraction I still managed to have a rather productive starting week. May there be many more to come. I mounted and waxed a bunch of artwork. Hung some pieces. Reached out to a local place to show this summer and did some drawing. I did not carve or prepare any of the paper that I got last week. That's okay because I have time for all of that. It's not even spring yet.
Turns out when you have a busy life that involves young children blogging every day can be really easy to push to the back burner. Even when you only promised yourself to blog daily for one week. But I know very well the importance of habit and routine and the power of the just flossing one tooth style approach to make a big life change one small step at a time. So thanks for the inspiration James Altucher for the push I needed to get this one tooth flossed before I go and break up a fight between my two darling daughters.