sophie’s choice

so i am applying for this award that goes to mothers who write &/or draw.  there are a bunch of categories, but they encourage you to only enter in one. i have been agonizing over whether i should go with the graphic novel category and enter moses jones or if i should enter in the drawing category and just showcase my ink stain whimsy series (among other drawings i feel strongly about.)

seriously, it has been agonizing.

last night i was sure that i could write a graphic novel to go with my ink stain whimsy series and enter it & mojo in the graphic novel category…. and maybe i could. and maybe i will! but not right now. i started to. split into a few different directions. saw images in my head i knew i could not at this time create.

finally, i started to physically go through all of my pages of moses jones and all of my ink stains.
reading moses jones had a much stronger pull for me than my inkstains.
i love my ink stains. they are totally a relaxing and fun art to do.
but graphic novels…
moses jones…
how i love my graphic novels.

i even dug through some of my other comics. weener coop and just me & my lizard brain:

man, i love comics & graphic novels.

so i am going to convince myself that the judges will see the beauty i see in moses jones and award me a greatly needed cash prize.

 

where am i?

the last time i smiled
was two years ago
in pictures since
it’s like i’m trying to smile
but i can’t
my smile is gone
he took it
& which is the greater sin?
that he took my smile–
or that i let him?

& daddy 034

there it is. my last smile. two summers ago when i first left dusty due to his refusing to stop seeing his girlfriend…of course, since i had left him, he was being super sweet to me…and that might be why i am smiling. fuck it. fuck that bastard.

i feel so lost lately. i am on auto-pilot. spirals of self-pity & anger. is this part of healing…or just another level of my own personal hell?

i don’t like that i have lost my smile. sometimes my smile was the best part of me. once when i worked as a baker behind a big glass window that people would knock on and i would smile at them (okay, that makes me sound like a zoo animal–nevertheless), a person slipped me a note that said, “i would walk a million miles for one of your smiles,” and i’m sure i still have that note somewhere.

who am i without my smile?

sometimes i wonder when exactly my heart fell into its current state of decay.

i try to do dating sites, but then i think, “who the fuck would want to deal with this?” meaning me, my life, my being trapped on a homestead, my four overwhelming minions, my general fucked-upness….

i have $45 in my bank account. i am seemingly unable to figure out how to make money. which is another trap. poverty. do i continue to borrow from my credit card? that seems like a bad idea…but what happens when i need gas for the truck? or toilet paper? there are only 4 rolls left. do i go pick leaves? switch to cloth?

a friend told me about a grant for moms who are artists or writers. i am both. i could enter in like four different categories–at least–i have that much material. since becoming a mom, i have done more art & writing than ever….
but what if it all sucks? surely everyone else is better than i am.  i could never win a grant. no one will publish me. i always get the, “we really enjoyed this, but…” rejections. which are probably just standard rejections designed so i don’t stick my head in the oven.

i started working on the inking shown at the top of this post a couple of weeks ago.
this is as far as i have gotten.
and i haven’t gotten any more work done on the project i have half a summer to finish….

what is the matter with me?
how do i pop myself out of this puddle of misery?
i’m not dancing. not smiling. & my dreams are a soup of anxiety.  the highlight of my week was getting two dairy goats. since then i have actually told them, “you complete me.”

i think maybe i was a shepherd in a past life…or a herd dog.

spring garden

my spring garden
my spring garden keeps me from getting any art done
i am so tired by the end of every day
it feels like i never sit still
i go to do one thing,
and i do three other things on my way
because
well
they have to be done.

springgarden1

so my inkings are few & far between as i am overwhelmed with garden, livestock, a yard to tend, a house to keep clean-ish, four kids to feed & care for….
spring is a busy time.

IMG_3832

now i have to focus all my art on finishing a project
i agreed to illustrate
i am excited about it. yet my sketchbook eludes me.
i think about working on it all the time
but i need to sit & actually put pen to paper.
i need to be sketching the characters ever day
to get familiar with their faces…

IMG_3872

i also need to learn to cultivate mushrooms, grow herbs for health, become more confidant about checking my bee hives, build a bigger house for my ever expanding poultry, and learn more about goats (i’m getting goats next!)

IMG_3949

homesteading
alone
with four kids
is just non-stop

chaos

good chaos
bad chaos
& all the chaos
inbetween
my muse
& my unamused

what keeps me busy, inspires me. what inspires me, keeps me busy.

on the bullfrog song homestead with me:
7 sheep
8 hens
8 pullets
2 chicks
7 muscovy ducksings
7 turklings
1 gosling
2 toads
1 tarantula
1 cat
1 dog
2 beehives
4 minions
and one ex-husband.

i welcome most of these things. okay, all but the ex-husband. i have realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that i do not want to live with him.

whether he’s good or bad, i do not want to live with him.
i want to get on with my life.
and he is not my future.
i do not love him.

bunny moon

part of my process
when i am getting familiar with a character
is to draw that character over & over
until i have gotten to know her.

i really like this character
i am excited about being part of her story

i also started another ink stain drawing

IMG_3673

it’s kind of chaotic, but i think i can pull it off
that’s part of the fun for me
making cohesion
out of chaos
that is actually my life
gluing together the good bits
arranging the parts that work
filling in the blanks and drawing out the whimsy
to make a perfect picture…
or something like that.

the far beyond

days & days
of staring at an inkstain
drawing a line here
& there
squinting to see the shapes
in shadows & smudges & splatters
meanwhile,
putting up beehives
raising chicks
building pasture
planting seeds
& trees
& flowers…
eleven days into april
just one inking,
but so much work

i’m exhausted. but i finally finally finished this. there were several times when i thought i was done…but then the light would hit it just right & i would see another face…another creature…more magic.

i am having trouble focusing on my artwork. it shouldn’t take me eleven days to do an inking. or should it? i am distracted. with spring and all the work of a budding homestead.

but, also, with dusty around, the little voices whisper to me that he thinks i am wasting my time.that he thinks i am neglecting the minions. that he thinks i am being silly–thinking my art is a worthwhile endeavor. that i should be doing something else–something worthwhile.
when dusty is nearby, it echoes of my childhood & when my dad would enter a room, i feel like i have to look busy…i feel like my artwork is not real work.

i could very well be projecting this.
or i could very well be sensing it from him.
he has made snide comments in the past.

some days i think i can keep dusty in my life.
i am trying really hard to be nice to him
to see if that changes how he treats me…

…but most the time, he is still a turd.

sigh.

dusty doesnt like it when i compare him to a hookworm

he’s not a bad guy
really
just the wrong guy
really!
he’s here again
at my invitation
it seems
though i cannot tell you
exactly how that came to be.
how is it that i invited him back
into my life
when i knew for sure
that i had finally
finally
gotten rid of him.
i knew i had seen the last of him.
but somehow
i invited him back?

my hookworm.
my favorite parasite.
the father of my four
other
favorite
parasites.

i’m not getting any work done
on my art at least
i did put up beehives today…
and i am keeping house…
and reading a really good novel…
but my art is suffering

is it because of dusty?
is it because of the endless display of
rainy days?
cloudy days?
sunless days?
is it because i have used up the quota
allowed me
of creative genius?
is it because the minions are nuts?
is it because of dusty?

so this is like, what?
all of april’s artistic efforts…
this?
yes.
this is all i have to show for my ink
in april.