The full spectrum

There is no progress to report from the studio, because I haven’t spent time working in there. I did, however, clean it from top to bottom in preparation for a new drawing. That felt really refreshing. The pastel dust was getting pretty thick. And then I deep-cleaned my entire house (it involved borrowing a steam cleaner) since we are having more people over than usual for the Christmas season. Those two things right there made me feel more energized.Image

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I have also spent a good deal of time decorating the house for Christmas. This part is a lot of fun for me. I don’t have to think about it too hard, and the simplicity of combining colors and textures with no expectation of profundity is a nice break from the studio. The more frugally and creatively, the better (like making construction-paper ornaments, for example). It is fun to go beyond red and green for Christmas. I guess you could say I use a full spectrum of colors. Just for kicks.

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My mother made a lot of my clothes when I was a kid, especially holiday clothes. Fortunately, she also taught me to sew. And almost without thought, I found myself doing the same thing for my son. I was in a craft store for something else, and some Christmas material caught my eye. Without thinking, I took two bolts to the clerk, asked for a yard each, and went home to make two pairs of pants for a size 2 toddler. Just like that. Because that’s what you do, make Christmas pants, of course.

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I also hosted a cookie-decorating party this weekend. It was so much fun to glop purple and blue icing onto a snowflake-shaped cookie while hanging out with friends and sipping on hot apple cider.

Oh, did I mention finals? Grading my finals for my Beginning Drawing class was quite a task. It involved grading portraits, sketchbooks, averaging grades, posting them, and then returning the material all within a 24 hour period. Whew!

All of this takes time. Naptime, after bedtime, here and there. It is nice to stretch out a little, make the Christmas season fun for my family, and mentally rest from my studio. I guess a more serious artist would never take a long break for such things. This is probably why you will never see my work hanging in a museum. A part of me really enjoys sewing and baking and homemaking (not in a polished 1950s kind of way, but think more 1920s homesteader). In some ways I get to be the full spectrum of myself: mother, homemaker, friend, wife, hostess, artist, professional, teacher. Any other time of the year, I wouldn’t put as much thought into decorating or baking, but it is fun to tap into it. I couldn’t do ALL of this year-round, but I do especially enjoy this festive time of year.

At church yesterday, I had a range of emotions: joy, hope, sorrow, peace. The music was beautiful and the homily was uplifting; I cried, laughed, left with hope. I hope your Christmas is FULL and festive, restful and exciting.

“And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.'”

Have a merry Christmas,

Kathryn

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