Constant focus change

Wax on Wood

Last week I mentioned the absurdity of a health challenged person embarking on time consuming physical tasks such as gathering natural malerials, making paper, prepping and studying new branches of the art tree, and it surprised me that nobody mentioned “productive procrastination” aka Resistance. (dah-dah-DAAAAA)

Because really, it’s exactly what I’m doing. After all I am the champion of painting these colourful random backgrounds and then leaving them for years while deciding how to proceed because I never had a plan. Not having a plan and just slathering colour is a GREAT way to beat performance anxiety if you feel like you can’t get started, it will get you into the groove or at least the studio. Unfortunately, when you come back 2 weeks later after a migraine etc, you’re not really “feeling it” (pout) and it’s so much more fun to begin something else. (especially if you spent your downtime on Pinterest) Otoh you don’t want to keep erasing the same two pieces of board or canvas in all eternity, because you wholeheartedly intend to finish all those wips, obviously. (I do finish paintings actually, but a lot of them are testing ideas and methods and not really for publication. Not that I don’t on occasion publish them anyway…)

Partial background of very large panel. It’s not done, but it does have a title!

And then it’s so easy to pull the “as long as I show up and do something it counts, so how about clearing the table and gessoing ALL the things to make the workspace nice and ready?”-card. Or the “I should totally make it my thing to paint on my own handmade paper, to make it sooper special”-card. That is what I call productive procrastination, you use new and exciting endeavours as an excuse to put difficult projects on hold. Because you’re still working, right? And “each of my hobbies spark the others, right?”

I guess I’m especially disadvantaged here, because even if I lack ideas for halfdone images all the time, I have a supply for 2-3 lifetimes in general. It’s just that they veer off in every possible direction; forget about lining up ducks, my thoughts are gibbons.

Small stamp collection. In a row.

I think I know what I lack, however: Stories. If I had a collection of those, I could always pair them up with a background. I’d like for something to happen in a painting, not just pretty colours arranged in a pleasing combination. I don’t want to try my hand at realism per se, but I’m getting bored with empty landscapes. A suggestion of figures, or an imprint of some sort is what I’m looking for. Does that make sense?

So how do I go about finding and collecting stories, and how would you keep track of them? Write them down? “Fat man walking tiny dog in November”. Or by making a lot of sketches of stuff (but even then, doesn’t the story come first?) Working from photos or real life doesn’t really light my fire unless I see something unusual (which can be turned into a story). I don’t go out much, so I don’t see a whole lot of unusual things.

This week’s supply of stories in three languages to keep me on my toes.

Well, at least I’ve come a ways since I started talking about this years ago, I do actually paint a lot more than I did then. Having my own room in the loft has also helped enormously, and I have a bag of tricks to get me going, so all I really need is more uninterrupted time. And stories.

To begin with I’m taking note of all the recurring themes and keywords which overlap all of my interests to see which ones can be used as a common base, then make a list of activities in each hobby which fit those parameters and perhaps weed out the ones that don’t, for now. And in the way of stories I collect quirky titles and sentences to peruse when I need inspiration.

My table usually looks like this, so I must be doing “things”.

Breaking news: We had a rain storm Saturday evening and my water barrel is completely full. That means I can begin testing for my new plant pigment project. To be used with my handmade papers obviously. I’ll even test them on yarns.


 

NoNoWriMo

As the season changes again from early autumn glory into endless darkness, I feel myself changing gears too. Not just in my activities as I’ve mentioned before, but also inside. It’s not yet noticable to you perhaps, but my blogging gear feels different somehow. I want to say other things, and differently, but how or what exactly hasn’t emerged yet.

November appears to be a silent month. A cold, grey, muddy silence, that is, when the winds aren’t howling with rage. Inside and out. Perhaps I don’t really want to say anything, but haven’t realized it yet. Or I do, but why?

I thought this was going to be a writing winter for me. Not any kind of monthly challenge or reporting to anyone; just because I felt like it and my thumb still can’t knit or the various other things I’d planned, but it can type, sortof. Or I can type without it, rather. But I could be wrong. My creative channels are static at the moment so I find myself on the sofa with Neil Gaiman, who appears to have fiber optics installed.

I may be back eventually, you’ll just have to wait and see, won’t you. ūüėČ It could be tomorrow, or next year. I don’t even have a pretty picture for you today, you’ll have to go find one yourself on the other blog. Could be false alarm too, and I’ll continue my regular nonsense before you can blink an eye!

And no worries – I’m not any kind of depressed or such. Just odd. Probably a normal reaction when you have to adapt to an unwanted situation. From extreme high to wallowing in the mud!

Books this week

pod

  • Joanna Rubin Dranger: Miss Remarkable and Her Career (Fr√łken M√¶rkv√¶rdig og Karrieren) (comic book – billedbog)
  • Katharine McMahon: The Alchemist’s daughter
  • Bren√© Brown: The gifts of imperfection : let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Creativity : flow and the psychology of discovery and invention
  • Garbor Mat√©: When the body says no : understanding the stress-disease connection

Do we sense a certain theme here? ūüėČ

And next up was supposedly Chaucers The complete Canterbury Tales, but what happens when you order via online libraries is that you risk getting it in original old English…. Fun and understandable enough, but not quite what I feel I have the energy to study at this point in my life. So I’ll have to find something else until my next batch is delivered. Or I could try not to read if I finish “Creativity” and GASP do some painting instead! Haven’t knitted in a while yet either.

And then I look sideways at the mess on my desk (needed a box used for temporary storage, so all the contents got poured out), there’s a book someone lent me about synchronicity. “The Power of Flow”. So I guess I’m good for the rest of the holidays. ūüėČ I also have the C.G. Jung version somewhere in the back rows of my bookcase.

danishN√•r man bestiller via bibliotek.dk f√•r man nogen gange ikke helt det man regnede med – som fx. Canterbury Fort√¶llingerne p√• middelalderengelsk. Jeg kan godt forst√• det, men det er en smule anstrengende og helt √¶rligt ikke lige noget jeg orker at studere pt. Enten m√• jeg gennemrode reolerne eller ligefrem holde l√¶sepause, uha! Der ligger jo noget strikket√łj og venter. Men s√• fandt jeg lige her til sidst en bog nogen har l√•nt mig: “Flow – den str√łmmende kraft. Synkronicitet og meningsfulde tilf√¶ldigheder.” Jeg har ogs√• Jungs version et sted.

Book break

Sometimes I need to zone out from real life, and now apparently is one of those times. So instead of being busy doodling in my repurposed books (I’m planning for 7 with each its own theme, but I only have 5 so far) I’ve been reading and not much else. These breaks are usually very univited, I’d just figured out that acrylic paint doesn’t work in the books because the pages stick together and my promarkers don’t work well on gessoed pages. Doh. I’d tested them on acrylic only… So I splurged on a little box of pastel chalks just yesterday to force the flow, but alas, it’s not how it works. My body reminds me not very kindly, that I’m not really in contol ūüėČ

pastel

This weekend I’ve been through “Labyrinth” by Kate Mosse and “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks. On the table are “Of Marriageable Age” by Sharon Maas, an equally brick thick book by a Danish author and “The untethered soul” by Michael Singer (so, it had a horse on it…). I may have another browse thorugh Hugh MacLeod’s “Ignore everybody And 39 other keys to Creativity“. On order from the library are Kate Mosse “Sepulchre“, Felix Palma “The Map of the Sky” and Anne Lamott “Bird by Bird“. I hope that will be enough to see me through to the other side!

ubundne bogensfolk labyrint herskere sepul The-Map-of-the-Sky ignore bird_by_bird_lr

Bogpause

Pause fra mine hjemmelavede skitseb√łger og pause til at l√¶se. Tr√¶nger nogen gange til at bare stene og lade verden g√• sin egen gang uden mig… Ikke af lyst, for jeg vil egentlig hellere forts√¶tte med mine projekter, men kroppen tager over og bestemmer noget andet.

Her op til og i weekenden har jeg l√¶st “Labyrint” af Kate Mosse og “Bogens folk” af Geraldine Brooks. Nu venter “De ti herskere” af Christian M√łrk, “I giftef√¶rdig alder” af Sharon Moss samt “den ubundne sj√¶l” af Michael Singer og p√• biblioteket er bestilt “Sepulchre” af Kate Mosse, “The Map of the Sky” (den er vist ikke oversat endnu, men “Tidskortet” er) af Felix Palma og “Bird by Bird” af Anne Lamott. S√• h√•ber jeg at jeg har nok til jeg igen dukker frem af t√•gen! ūüėČ Jeg skal jo i gang med at lege med mine nye pastelkridt som jeg k√łbte i g√•r, dels fordi jeg ikke kunne f√• de sprayflasker jeg gik efter (som man bl.a. kan bruge med skabeloner til at lave art journaling baggrunde), dels fordi jeg har fundet ud af at akrylmaling ikke duer i b√łger, siderne klistrer sammen, og mine fine dyre tusser tegner ikke s√• godt ovenp√• gesso. Doh. Jeg havde kun testet dem ovenp√•, ja akrylmaling!!

***

Jeg har et sp√łrgsm√•l til de danskere som evt. l√¶ser: vokspapir, hvor finder man det? Det skal v√¶re mere vokset end bagepapir, alts√• s√• man kan bruge det som melleml√¶g ved sider som ikke er helt knast√łrre uden at det h√¶nger i.

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Activity?

So I promised this would be knit-week and then I haven’t had any more show and tell here. Such is life. I did knit, but not as much as I hoped. To prove that I have indeed been doing something, I’ll share my tada! list with you:

skammel1 skammel2

  1. Got the plant dyed yarns out and started on the first planned project – using the oldest ones since the new ones really should sit until next year so I can see how much they fade in storage.
  2. Finished priming one of my homemade sketchbooks, working away on the others, one 2/3 done, one just started.
  3. Started doodling in the sketchbook.
  4. Did some painting 2 days in a row even.
  5. Read some books, some nonfiction as well as “The Sunne in Splendour” by Sharon Perman
  6. Walked the dog in the forest quite a lot, as per request. AND tested the pocket camera I was given.
  7. Started spinning some fiber I dyed last summer, just recreational spinning, no project in mind. Another one lined up for a challenge.
  8. Made a few stencils out of laser transparencies which I was given a whole package of (100). The circular cutter came in handy among other things!
  9. Baked swedish buns “r√•gsiktskakor”. Yum.
  10. Woven almost half of the ends on my sweater dress and wore it.
  11. Decluttered my desk.
  12. Found a foam block and the fiber that I wanted for some needlefelting.

skov2 skov1

skov3 skov4

Aktiviteter

Jeg havde jo lovet at holde strikkeuge, men det er ikke meget jeg har fået rapporteret her. Jeg har strikket en smule, men ikke så meget som planlagt. Så nu vil jeg i stedet kede jer med ugens tada! liste, ikke at jeg holder op i weekenderne, men jeg trænger til at lige huske hvad jeg egentlig har nået.

  1. Rodet lidt i mit plantefarvede garn, taget et par n√łgler frem til mit f√łrste planlagte projekt og strikket nogen pr√łver.
  2. F√¶rdig med at grunde den ene af mine hjemmekogte notesb√łger, 2 mere p√• vej.
  3. Skriblet en smule i bogen.
  4. Malet en smule, endda 2 dage i træk.
  5. L√¶st et par fagb√łger f√¶rdig og et par romaner, “The Sunne in Splendour” af Sharon Perman og “Taxo Luma” af Lars Muhl (meh).
  6. Taget på hundeture i skoven og testede det brugte lommekamera jeg har fået.
  7. Begyndt at spinde noget BFL jeg farvede i sommer, ikke med noget særligt formål, bare afslapning. Og fundet mere uld frem til en udfordring på Ravelry.
  8. Kreeret skabeloner af overhead folie som jeg fik forærende, cirkelkniven kom lige til god anvendelse igen.
  9. Bagt svenske “r√•gsiktskakor”.
  10. Syet nogen af enderne p√• min sweater, damn det er kedeligt….
  11. Ryddet op på mit skrivebord.
  12. Fandt en skumblok og de fibre jeg vil bruge til mit f√łrste n√•lefilteprojekt.