I have not done much painting this year.
In my defense (?), I had a lot planned for this year before I realized I’d be going back to a desk job, and I have done my level best to meet all the deadlines I promised I’d meet despite the—very slight!—imposition of having to spend thirty hours a week doing something else.
But one of the things that I torpedoed to make that possible was painting. And this is a bad thing, because painting relaxes me, and I very much enjoy doing it. I am only a mid-grade talent, but I often accomplish what I set out to do, and the process of honing my painting skills is a fun challenge.
The Godkin cover was the first real project I sat down to this year, and the fact that I haven’t produced any other interesting paintings is a big disappointment to me. I’ve been aware of that disappointment for a while now, I don’t think I really understood just how long it’s been between projects until a day ago. One of the things I look forward to at the end of a big painting push is cleaning up my palette. That means not only scrubbing the wells, but coring out all the dried up paint that’s gotten too mixed up with other colors to be useful for a new, fresh project. The Cleaning of the Palette has become a ritual, a way of telling myself, “You’re done! Deep breath, start looking forward to the next, exciting thing!” It’s like spring cleaning that way: it makes you feel the possibilities. It’s exciting!
…and yesterday I discovered that almost all my paint tubes have dried up.
My brushes are in pretty sore shape, but I can get by on the brushes I have (and will have to, because a shortage has caused these brushes to be unavailable indefinitely). But the paint! To know I’ve let it lie long enough to dry out?
I am not depressed. I am disgusted with myself, as much for having allowed an expensive supply to go bad as I am for being lackadaisical. And yet I know I can’t get done all the things I want to do. There’s not enough of me to go around. More things than painting are slipping through the cracks, some of them far more necessary.
And yet, and yet.
Maybe the worst part is that I can’t do the ritual, and I feel the lack of the clean palette like a closed door. I know the door won’t stay closed, but it feels awfully claustrophobic all the same.
Mirrored from MCAH Online.