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
they have to be done.
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.
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…
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!)
with four kids
is just non-stop
you know how some things stick with you?
i don’t know if i read it in just one book. or if it was a re-occurring theme in books about the noble poor, but the summation in describing said poor kids:
they clothes were worn, but clean.
as if by keeping them clean, their mother somehow made up for the sin of being poor.
& for some reason this seems to echo in my mind decades after i would have first read it.
now, with four poor kids of my own.
when we go out, which isn’t too often because we are homeschooling homebodies. even my extrovert prefers being at home–he just requests that i bring people to him.
so we don’t go out too often
but when we do, as soon as we get somewhere, i notice what my kids must look like to others.
we shop second-hand (even if i did have money we would still shop second-hand) and i let my kids dress themselves. i let them choose their style. i let them choose how long or short they have their hair. i encourage them to be individuals. sometimes misha only wears princess dresses when we go out…sometimes she wears star wars pjs.
i like this about them.
but then there is the public eye. which might not even be a legitimate thing. it might just be a filter i have created to judge myself by…and now to judge my mothering skills via how my children appear in the public eye.
if you understand that at all?
i have a little voice saying to me, “your kids look pretty damn scruffy.” and i have to silence it. i have to silence it by remembering who i am and what is important to me.
don’t blame them; their mama is an artist & very distracted.
don’t blame them; their mama believes in low-impact living & does not buy extra cleaning/stain-removing product…and even before that:
don’t blame them; their mother is a terrible laundress.
don’t blame them; their mama feeds them real food that is messy–not packaged neatly & individually.
don’t blame them; their mama encourages them to play like children, to get messy.
don’t blame them; their mama has them do chores that involve the outdoors & dirt.
don’t blame them; their mama believes that there are more important things in life than making sure you put on a good appearance for the public eye.
more important things to spend your time doing than worrying if you are clean or not.
art! gardening! pets! livestock! exploration! adventure! cooking! baking! mucking about!
we do a lot of messy things around here.
okay…so i just had to get that out of my head because it was rattling around in there all morning. it has probably been percolating for weeks if not years…now it is out.
exorcism complete…now i can get some art done.
iggy will tell me i am cheating when i do something like color in the eyes, to make them more visible, lightening them with white or yellow ink. he thinks that is cheating.
iggy doesn’t understand that i make up the rules…or lack thereof…in both my art & my parenting. iggy is always ready to challenge me.
iggy is mad at me for selling an inking that he really likes. he says that if i loved him i would give it to him and not sell it. iggy is always ready to challenge me. always.
i am thrilled that i sold an original. i also sold several prints. so…i’m actually doing it. i’m actually making art for money…or making money with my art…depending on how you look at it. tonight i was able to say to the minions who were of course squabbling right on top of me as i worked on this one. i yelled, “hey! i’m working here.” then i added that i could call it working now because i am making some money at it now. yay! it’s hard for me to wrap my head around. it gives me hope that i am actually doing something right. i really need to make a store on this site. i have the directions…i’m just waiting for the inspired moment to make it happen.
on the topic of minions & art, i really think i must have a guardian art angel. or a horde of fairy guards helping me. for as much as they wreak havoc, they really don’t destroy any art or even fuck up the art i am working on. i mean, i get slammed into. my desk gets jiggled as they crawl under it. my elbow must have a target on it. plus i will leave art out to dry, and they (almost) never smear it or jostle it or spill anything on it. it’s amazing.
also, once the dogs got ahold of my journal and only chewed off the spine.
and one night the cat who likes to sit on my desk while i sleep actually puked on my art journal and managed to not destroy any of the inkings inside.
and i, of course, have ample opportunities to fuck up my own art…and i don’t.
i need to remember to set out a little offering to the angels or fairies that protect my art.
so i showed y’all this stain in my last post. this one is a good example of how sometimes i manipulate the stain. and sometimes i stay true to the stain. sometimes the stain just gives me the idea. sometimes the stain is the idea.
here it is again: