Hey there, creative friend!
It's been a week or more since my last post but mostly because I have been taking time to do other things. Work was a bit slow, but that will change tomorrow. More on that a bit later. I have not been working, or making art - what I have been doing is reading. Not only books on my to-read list, but also a few of my own unfinished manuscripts. I do that for the simple reason to find inspiration to work on my current novel-in-process. I feel a bit stuck.
I know the next major scene involves a kidnapping, but what is bugging my creative brain is making that happen in a way that will actually work. It is one thing to kidnap someone, but making it happen in a story is a different matter altogether. The solution has not yet presented itself, so in the meantime, I found an interesting book well worth reading until my creative brain cells figure out what I need to write.
The book is called Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. It is an interesting take on time management. I have only progressed about 25% into the text, but I am enjoying learning a few things.
|Ballysaggartmore towers ink and wash|
Back to the work thing. Tomorrow I have to start testing several industrial pieces of equipment coming in to the lab one after the other. This type of equipment is a huge challenge (which I thoroughly enjoy, mind you) but they also take a lot longer to test than the multi-media and high-tech equipment that we normally test.
I am not anticipating problems, but I feel that it is important to be prepared for the feeling of being overwhelmed which will invariably happen along the way. If you have been reading my musings for a while, you will know that I have a game plan in place for when that happens. This time around, I think that perhaps an adjustment to the game plan might be in order to anticipate the situation and work with it before the feeling hits me head-on. Because once I feel overwhelmed it can often be difficult to recognise the feeling and then sit down to work on resolving it. And this book might be helpful for that. It is too early to tell, but I have a feeling that using the 12 Weeks Year planning I am implementing this year, along with Four Thousand Weeks, I might be able to live a productive and creative life in 2023 without pushing myself too hard.
I do have an ambitious list of goals for sure, but what I have put in place with that list is to prioritise those goals. It does not only help me figure out where to put my time when things get busy at the lab, but it will also help me focus on the things that I feel are a higher priority.
Prioritising goals might seem weird, but I love what I do in my work life and my creative endeavours, so it is a win-win situation as long as I remember to take care of my health and well-being too.
One of my creative goals this year is to work on improving my skills with oil pastels and oil paint. Oil pastels have always been a difficult medium for me, but I am finding it more fun the more I use them to create drawings. In the Artkula group, there are two challenges every month, and I find doing at least one of them with oil pastels to be an enjoyable way to improve my skills.
Oil painting remains difficult. My sketchbooks do not lend themselves to oil painting, so I purchased a sketchbook purposely designed for oil painting. Since I am still a pure novice with oil paint, it takes time for me to do an oil painting. To this effect, I have done an outline of a self-portrait during the past week on this new paper. I finally made my own Mahl stick, set the pad on one of my easels, and I am ready to start painting.
There are a few things on the to-do list this week that needs to be done for the solar power installation in our home, but if that happens quickly then I will have a bit of time to start work on the portrait, otherwise, it will be early next week. Am I worried about the potential delay? To be honest, I was worried, but I decided to let things happen as they should, then there will be less pressure on myself to do stuff. Since I am prepared to start the painting, it won't be such an issue if there is time available earlier than anticipated.
Organising my studio remains a thorn in my side. I found a small bookshelf at a really reasonable price that will help to organise one area in my studio that has been annoying me to no end. I ordered two of them. That corner in my studio is used to store items I use for journaling and mixed media, so if they are better organised, it will be easier to find what I need when I want it. I will post a few before and after pics when I got that done.
An exciting week ahead for me, and I wish you a creative week with time for loads of fun time too!
Until next time!