Working on some fun new art this week, the first time in a while. I’m hoping to use these as a new fabric design over at my Originals By Katharine Tracy and Spoonflower shop next month, but even if they turn out unusable, it’s been fun designing and drawing them out. Tonight I will start to color them.
I’ve honestly had a very difficult time tapping into my creativity lately. Having an idea that is super cute and literal fluff has been a relief. I don’t know what the future brings, but I can’t shoulder the collective burden as much as I have been this past year.
It’s been a long time since I was able to pick up a paint brush, but I managed to start this cute rodent painting while my 4yo was painting. Still needs the finishing details put on, but it was fun to do! I basically let her pick what colors she wants and then use up the paint so as not to waste it. I’m frugal like that. So the background was from a few weeks ago, and the main body is from yesterday.
It felt good to paint again. I really burned myself out making my shop site and samples for the site, combined with homeschooling/remote schooling and taking care of the house. My energy levels this year have been all over the place, as I get myself excited about something then quickly scrape the bottom of my creative and energy barrels. I’m trying to take each moment as it comes though, and I’ve been giving myself permission to rest when I need to.
As a bonus, here are a couple of the paintings the 4yo did.
I finished this abstract painting about a month ago, but I had to install my scanning software onto a new laptop since my old one decided to die. I’m hoping to get my gallery pages updated this week at some point.
I’m here and creating when I can. The creativity comes in waves during this social isolation and political turmoil. It’s still been kind of a roller coaster ride emotionally, and there are so many nights that I’m too wiped out after cleaning and prepping prek homeschool for the next day to do anything. But I do what I can. Anyone else feel like they are scraping bottom of the barrel and have been for months? We have to do what we can to refill ourselves, because there isn’t anyone “out there” to do it for us. But it’s a hard task. I find playing creatively is the best means for me to do that though.
My husband gave me my first ever set of oil paints for Christmas this year, and we finally took them out and played with them this weekend. This is what I started.
It is maybe not the easiest choice to start in on a human with zero reference photos, but I had the image of Spring as a goddess in my head and this is what came out. Hopefully as I add details, it will be less garish.
Overall, lots of fun! I love the way the paints layer. It will be good to experiment. I get a little nervous about the kids or the cat accessing the painting since it takes so long to dry but we shall see how it goes.
This has been a rough couple of weeks. By the end of both weeks of homeschooling, I was feeling drained, anxious for the kids, sad that I won’t be able to see some family before they move from a 1.5 hour drive away to fifteen hours away. My husband’s one job has him out but his part-time job is considered essential business (and oh how I shake my head at cigarettes and beer and lotto being essential) so he is still out and about more than he should because we need the financial security right now. I feel like I am overburdened carrying the emotional weight of my entire family on my shoulders.
So I had to give myself time to grieve. Grieve for the loss of innocence my son will definitely have of all this. Grieve for my family I don’t get to hug goodbye. Grieve for myself and my sense of timing for my online bespoke clothing and costume shop I was finally ready to pull together this spring, because I can’t afford the start up nor does it seem a wise business venture when so many don’t know how they will be paying their rent or mortgage. Grieve for my friends in the entertainment industry who are unemployed and considered expendable by much of the population. Grieve for those dying alone in hospitals and for their families unable to say goodbye.. Grieve for this country and this species and this planet. It’s a lot to process. And it will be ongoing for the duration.
But letting my grief out let me move forward and cut myself some slack, something I always have to do. And I am doing what I can. Getting moving as much as possible. Creating little bits of art. Making masks that I’ve been donating to local medical facilities. I’m dipping my toes back into writing and making music again.
Today, I painted this tree in blossom on a paper plate while my 3yo daughter experimented on some plates of her own. She insisted on adding the black strip on the edge for me.
I still feel some hope for the future. That this will be the wake up call we need as a species. But I also know that so many people are still not ready. Still, these are interesting times to be alive. Sometimes I wish it was a little less interesting.