(The lower left of the composition)
Slooooowwwwllllyyyyy making my way through this drawing. I cannot emphasize enough how slow this medium is for me after working with chalk pastels. A typical day for me (when I am not working at my part-time job) leaves me about an hour and a half of work time. This is just reality when you stay at home with a young child (who is two years old now!). So if it takes me about 15-20 minutes per color to get it right, well you can see why this is taking so long. And then the color may still not be quite right but I cannot figure out how. I have to work in one direction because the residue marks the paper so easily. In some cases, the stain doesn’t budge, but I am just letting things like that happen and save the evaluation for the end.
What I’m doing is very mechanical, executing the plan, making very few decisions. Actually that is relaxing. I listen to a podcast and simply enjoy time to myself. It doesn’t frustrate me too much to know that while other artists are finishing work at a rate much faster than mine, I am inching forward. I am just happy to have a work in progress, to be going somewhere even if it is in the slow lane. It is not about cranking out the work right now. It is about being able to be a mother and an artist, knowing that having a young child at home is a special, wonderful, hard, trying, beautiful time that will not last forever.
(This is what I scrape off my blending stump every time I apply a color)
I feel that even though the scale is tipped more toward life than work, just know that I am content, and that is huge for an artist, for me.
(Disclaimer: I am not asserting in any way how women should attain a work-life balance, or what I think you should or should not be doing, so please don’t get all mommy-wars on me.)