We are just over halfway through January, and I thought it time to take stock of progress in establishing a productive creative routine amidst the chaos of my life.
I seem to be without broadband this morning (potentially always a creative plus) so I’m tapping this on the mobile. The advantage is I can do so lying in full sunshine on a bed (the bedroom being the sunniest room of the house at this time of day). The disadvantage is my mobile only allows me to tap out this post in HTML because of some glitch in the software. Given my HTML level of knowledge, I can expect lots of unplanned creativity here.
Back to routine. The Postaday2011 commitment lay at the heart of a new daily routine set to be a springboard for the making of great art. This routine of daily writing and drawing is now reasonably well established; I once read somewhere that you need to repeat an action 18 times to make it a habit. Or maybe it was eating a new food 18 times to like it. No matter. I have a morning routine.
So I should feel very happy about writing and drawing regularly. I am also keeping up to date with the art world in general, and am viewing lots of exciting new contemporary work online.
And yet, I am still not able to find the uninterrupted periods of time I need to really progress studio work. My routine is the only bit of order amidst total and complete chaos in the rest of the household. The dog needs a walk. Food needs buying. Food needs cooking. Kids have exams and need collecting at odd times of the day. The dishwasher starts dirtying dishes instead of washing them, and the coffee machine moans all day long about lack of water, no coffee beans and wanting its trays emptying.
Yesterday I stood stirring a pan with one hand whist drawing with the other. The fat spatters added a certain something to the paper. Afterwards, one of my daughters needed me to print something for her – I am the only person in the house who knows how to talk nicely to the temperamental printer – and I became nicely distracted by playing with the phone camera photos she had taken of her (admittedly fabulous) textile art creation. They reminded me of something, and after I’d edited out the household clutter, I suddenly had a vision of them as early 20th century ‘swagger’ portraits in the manner of John Singer Sargent. I finished the evening on a productive creative high, but sadly nothing to do with my own work.
What is the solution? Ruthless disregard for the needs of an entire household? I’d better finish here. Two hours have elapsed since I began. Had to collect daughter after an exam, and thoughtfully took her to a local cafe to revise. She now thinks she has frostbite in two toes after half an hour sitting outside under a blanket with a hot water bottle. I am required to massage her toes to save them. Maybe I can do some left-handed drawing whilst I minister to her needs.
And HTML and WordPress combined to alter my header image without me knowing. Sorting that will keep me nicely distracted for a bit yet.