No! I had promised myself art time every day if at all, at all possible. I couldn’t find my sketchbook, so I grabbed a scrappy piece of printer paper and sketched snowdrops from some Victorian botanical art. Then I played around with colors inside lily shapes for a few minutes. It was a pleasant, peaceful exercise—I love the sound and feel of colored pencils on paper.
I hadn’t made anything exciting, but I was sleepy, so I went to bed. As I pulled up my blanket, a wave of satisfaction unexpectedly washed through me. It was my making something feeling--not the tenuous thrill of finishing something I like, mixed with disappointment that it’s not as good as I hoped, but the simple, grounded happiness that (for me) comes from applying pencil to paper.
There should be a recommended daily allowance for that kind of happiness. About a year ago I realized that when I don’t do art for awhile, my inner light goes dim. I had been determined to get my house in order no matter what, and for a couple months or so I had a clean house and no laundry backlog by giving it my undivided attention. I felt I had no time for art. It was fun to move around my house without kicking stuff out of the way, and sheer delight to get to church on time because we weren’t sorting chaos to get ready, but I noticed in myself dullness, a listlessness. I thought maybe I was getting down because I was addicted to mess stress. But one day I did some art (not having connected artlessness to the creeping depression) and unexpectedly zest for life returned.I wonder how many people are sad because they are not exercising some vital element of their beings, and they are unaware that this is so. Think about it. What would you love to do if only you had time? Would doing it give you more energy to get other stuff done and actually save you time?
My house did get messy again, which crowds out art and is also depressing, so now I am learning how to keep a fairly ordered home without being obsessive and self-destructive about it.
I wrote this awhile ago, before I had this blog. Circumstances in my life have changed since then, and I’m doing art for many hours a day. Most of it I can’t put online yet. That dream come true has its own pitfalls. I’ll tell about them pretty soon.