staying put

On the shelf next to my drawing wall, my studio bunny keeps an eye on my progress. (and also holds spare change, since she’s a piggy bank). Getting ready for the studio tour, I’m doing more drawings, and trying to keep a steady momentum going.  I used to keep a small Kathe Kollwitz self-portrait sternly gazing out at me, but the bunny seems less accusatory somehow.

Now, that I am home more, there are upsides to be sure. The garden is really taking shape early, and it’s wonderful to sit and enjoy the birds and flowers during the day.  But those pleasures come with a price of distracting me from the painting and drawing.

Recently I told a friend who also has a studio in her home, that I’m still a bit challenged when it comes to arrivals and departures from my basement… ie: I can’t stay put all the time.

There’s a difference between leaving the house at 10am, going downtown to a small room where nothing else can happen vs. being at home, and needing to tell myself that I should be downstairs working, and that nothing should distract me from that process.  In fact the building where I used to work was often very quiet during the day, so I could work with my door open.  I had my supplies, and my pot for heating water for tea, and could occasionally walk a block or two for snacks, or head to the library.

So, how do I replicate that focus in the midst of this largess of distraction?

My friend’s ingenious solution was as follows.   Leave the house through the back door, walk around the house and come in the front door and down the stairs.  There needs to be some ritual that triggers my brain to make the transition. I have a suspicion my best working hours are afternoon, evening- but that also depends on what task I’m tackling. (still figuring out that one)

Just finished this one…

"In the Weeds" 22x30, charcoal pencil on Stonehenge paper ©Nanci Erskine 2012

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About nerskine

I've been a painter for about 30 years. I also draw and make monotypes, linocuts and other prints. I like tangled stuff.
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