In a rut


I’ve been on a bit of a break from making artwork since Christmas.

I’m sorry to say that it has gone on much longer than I had planned.

This holiday from artwork was supposed to last a week or two while I dealt with the logistics of  visiting three families and traveling to and from the Bay Area before I got back into the groove and grind of things. Unfortunately I’ve been sidetracked by illness and trying to get things in order after the Georgian Calendar new year and before Tet/Lunar New Year starts next Sunday.

I am not the kind of person who has the compulsion to draw or make something everyday. I had an old roommate that had that sort of discipline and I was a bit jealous since I could never find the right balance between working full-time, relaxing, and creating.

This is not to say that I don’t make anything at all–I derive as much pleasure from cooking a fine meal or coaxing a seed to a bloom (and on the rare occasion cleaning ). They are tangible but impermanent things so despite my fleeting pleasure I may have nothing to show for my time when I look back on things.

I have notions and ideas that creep through my thoughts but when I actually sit down to try to articulate what I am picturing I second guess myself and become self conscious of what I am drawing.

If I have a goal or a deadline I can push past the anxiety I have but I think a blank page is frightening; all that white space is terribly oppressive.   The realms of possibility weigh heavily in my mind and I become afraid of making a mistake and I find it very difficult to just want to draw for fun.

It used to be easy to sketch and and doodle in my college classes but I’ve lost a bit of confidence in my abilities since then.

This artistic rut is frustrating. Perhaps I am unhappy at trying to force myself in the wrong media; maybe I need to take up clay again (even if I can’t fire/glaze things) since I was much happier with a lump of clay than I ever was in my drawing classes. Or I need assignments and self-imposed deadlines and challenges.

As this new Snake year starts I’d like to make a change. I just need to do something and try to get past my hang-ups.


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