Creative depletion, and I must learn to use watercolors

I feel completely depleted. I forgot this is the consequence of more creative work than I’m used to — and I think there’s a little cabin fever mixed in too. I’m even having trouble concentrating at Freecell, which is pretty pitiful. What I need is some exercise and an artist date, but I’m afraid to take the evening off because I know I’m going to have a long weekend of activities starting from tomorrow evening. This is one situation I still haven’t learned how to deal with yet… actually, sometimes a shower helps. I’ll try that after this, if Erik’s not home by then.

Partly, I think, my work is slower in coming today because I began the day with a downer. When I sat down to write my daily LiveJournal entry, I was going to keep it neutral, but what came out was this: a confrontation of my cat’s mortality and my own helplessness and confusion. It’s good I wrote about it, because it clarified some things for me and because I decided after VONA that I need more practice writing about subjects that upset or discomfit me. But it was hard to move on after that. I paged through two drawing books and couldn’t bring myself to do the exercises, and I didn’t even give a second thought to writing any fiction. In the end I applied myself to tedious manual labor instead: I washed the dishes, then slipstitched the side slits in the kameez I’ll wear to Jennifer’s wedding. Hand sewing helps with mental perturbation, I find.

So does painting. I’m not a good painter, and I don’t have the right materials to make big sweeping pieces, but I do have some little brushes and a whole lot of inks. So I pulled out my drawing practice file, a pencil, and a ruler, and began setting up for a drawing of a house.

Kent house, pen

Pen outlines

I love my new chisel-tip pen for making straight lines, especially on textured paper like this. The lines come out straighter than they would with a fine-tip pen, but with more variation. I should have measured the window proportions better, but oh well.

Kent house, first ink wash

First layer of ink wash

I haven’t done an ink wash in years (seriously, like since age 8 or something), but I’ve been wanting to try it. When I look at what I draw it kind of makes me crazy that I don’t know how to use watercolors, because I think my style would go so well with them. I’ve resisted taking classes because I already have too many activities on my plate, but maybe in this case a little bit of training would go a long way. I’m thinking about it. The RAC‘s fall courses will start in August or September, and I’ve been itching to get back there anyway, so I’ll keep a lookout for their schedule.

Kent house drawing

Finished drawing

This drawing took me about an hour and a half, and I’m very pleased with it. Of course it’s from a photo; I couldn’t have managed the detail on my own, at least not at this stage. But I think it’s charming. I’m almost wondering whether I should make more drawings like this and put them up in the shop.

Erik’s home, so we’re going to go get some dinner and then I guess I’ll get some rest.