I spent a good few hours in the studio tonight, so I feel like I’m back on track. Especially because I began my artist’s journal – FINALLY. This is a smallish spiral-bound handbook that came from work and is now out-of-date, so instead of sending it to the landfill (I try not to say “throw away” anymore), I’m reusing it as a journal. I paint over the pages with gesso as I go. Because it is nothing special, I’m not tempted to hang on to it for that “perfect” time to use it. And I’m not showing it to anybody, so I’m free to screw up and experiment all I want without fear. In fact, I’m going to TRY to screw up.

Because I’ve discovered something – artist’s block is fear, plain and simple. And there’s one more thing – you’re an artist too. That’s right, YOU. You may have had the desire or the courage for art criticized out of you, but you could make art. You really could. And here’s the last thing that I’ll say on the subject today – don’t limit art. That’s how you kill it. I believe that gardening and painting and cooking and weaving and decorating and ceramics and dancing and knitting and music and raising children and writing is art. As well as anything else that requires you to put some of your soul into it.

I also wove about a foot on the fabulously ugly scarf III, but I found that my upper back hurt after about 10 minutes of weaving. So it was fortunate that I’ve got so many projects and ideas in motion. This was part of my strategy. Since I tend to have a lot of little aches and pains, if one thing bothers me, I can switch off to another.

Also this week, other than carving stamps, I finished backing and photographing the ATCs. I took a heavy watercolor sketchpad that I wasn’t using and made signatures for a 48 page book, cutting the heavy cardboard back in two pieces to use for covers. When I showed it to my co-worker who is getting married in August, musing over what I might make out of it, she said that she needed a guest book. So I’ll do a test run on this one, since it’s my first book not made from a kit, and then I’ll take her to a local art supply store that has some wonderful handmade papers and I’ll make her a nice wedding present. I’m thrilled about this. It’s good to have a focus. For me, anyway!

The only real problem that I’m having at the moment with my art is that I’m fantasizing a little too much about if only I could attend this school or make art full time or go to this retreat or conference. I’m much happier in the present moment, but not having much to do at work right time is a blessing and a curse sometimes.

Oh yeah – there will be much of this kind of talk this summer. Apparently I can’t cook and do housework and garden and do art at the same time. So the cooking and housework obviously have to go.

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