Ekkk! Firstly a HUGE apology for mixing up the month in the posting schedule and therefore giving some of yesterday’s early readers a blank page to look at. Duh duh duh!!!! … Do I have a red face on this one! Moi and technology are not always the best of friends. I can only apologise profusely and let you know that I’m always trying to do better.
I will warn you in advance that this post ended up as another “jot-the-dots” effort, I start at one point and get to the end point after a few seemingly unrelated detours (which aren’t quite detours) Please bare with me and all will become clear (I hope)…
When it became clear that I was going to be laid up for a while I had the best of intentions of doing those 101 things that you “need to get around to” but never have the time.
Stupidly I found that it doesn’t quite work like that. Painkillers do their job very well, but I then want to sleep a lot.
I am pushing myself to not totally waste my days so decided to try and fulfill one of my New Year’s resolutions: to get back to drawing more. I used to draw constantly, compulsively. We had a rule at school that if you scribbled on your exercise books then you had to re-cover them with paper. Sigh, very single time it was just a new blank canvas just crying out to be filled in, and I couldn’t help myself. It wasn’t unusual for me to be recovering my books several times a week.
Any subject that required illustration I excelled in, My brain likes pictures, Math did not therefore fare so terribly well. Eventually I majored in Art and Design, and later specialised in Graphic Art, but for a multitude of reasons never followed it up into a career.
Despite that I sketched constantly. Little notebooks followed me on holiday and the creativity leaked out of my fingers as easily as water from under an old washer in a leaky tap… and soaked itself into my sketchbooks as easily too.
Then I had my first child…. Kiwi Daughter was born without a suck reflex and feeding her was a two person job, we had boxes of syringes (with no needles) and I would express milk. The trick was to try and squirt milk into her mouth towards one cheek, rub where an adams apple might have been to get her to swallow before it all just leaked out the other side of her mouth. It was hard work for all three of us and she ate little so was hungry all the time.
We tried to breastfeed every single feed before the syringe work as well. After six weeks of perseverance, and with a Lactation Specialist, Kiwi Daughter finally figured out what was required, but her general interest in food was still very low. Himself and I spent the first weeks sleeping in blocks of 20 minutes and we both distinctly remember the day when the three of us slept for two hours the first time… We felt like new people and cried with sheer relief that there was light at the end of the tunnel. It was a milestone.
I learned that not all new mothers are happily wheeling prams around the park, some of them are behind closed doors, tired and struggling, crying their eyes out with sheer exhaustion. You just don’t know about it because no one talks about this side of parenting. We worked like crazy to keep up, Kiwi Daughter was underweight, she had hospital scans for Rh blood complications, they had us weighing her daily at one point. She was waking 4-5 times a night for her first year and creativity became a foreign word waaaaaaay down my list of priorities.
Slowly I slipped into doing everything for the family and less for myself, drawing was left behind as dirty nappies, work, pick ups from day care and school and other stuff took over. I was better prepared for Little Mr. as all parents of number Two generally are. Still, Life got busier with two and he didn’t sleep though the night for the first year either.
By now I can’t even find my expensive fine(r)-tipped pens and any notebooks left out were later discovered, hiding in the bookshelf full of wild crayon scribbles that my wannabe artist daughter “contributed”. Some of the books got the same treatment too.
These days it’s been a nagging thought at the back of my mind that I should push myself to draw again. It’s been my intention whilst I’ve been laid up to follow though. I found one sketchbook that had a few salvageable pages and think that the rest have run away to the land-where-lost-things-go as I searched high and low and can’t locate them anywhere.
So, scrap pages in hand I dived in with buckets of enthusiasm. but some thing has happened, and what used to be so easy is now hard… the pencils and pens don’t do what I want, lines are jerky and won’t flow. What’s in my brain isn’t leaking out to my fingers. I know I need to practice, practice, practice but it’s hard when it’s frustrating.
I can’t get out to a class as I’m not mobile right now and when I am mobile, I will be back at work with lots of catching up to do.
If anyone has ideas on how to get my drawing mojo back I’d love to hear your advice.