How to get out of the doldrums?

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The weather is finally changing here, and things are melting. (unfortunately, not me)

But with the change, everything is looking very dirty and dreary.  I know it has to get ugly before it gets pretty.  I have been in a slump these past couple of weeks.  I have managed to waste a boatload of time. I could finish a whole bunch of projects that have been left undone, for years! Yes, years! They aren’t artwork, but refinishing a Hoosier, reupholstering a chair I don’t want to get rid of, painting our bedroom, and so on.  I waited long enough though, and those urges left. Thank goodness.

I did try to start a new fabric piece, but couldn’t make up my mind what to do. I looked through fabric, looked at photos for inspiration, but nothing jumped out at me. I enjoyed going through the references though.  I still couldn’t get myself to actually start creating.  I wandered through the house, sort of searching for something to move me.  It just wasn’t happening!  I started feeling guilty about the time I wasted and thought about what I should have/could have been doing.  Well, that wasn’t extremely helpful, as you can imagine!  I finally thought, maybe if I do something simple, something that doesn’t require a massive amount of planning, I could get myself moving.

I went into the spare bedroom (my studio for mosaics) and looked at all the plates, cups, bits and pieces in all the bins.  I hadn’t done a mosaic for at least a year, I think.  I found an old cabinet door stashed with other art and decided I would give it a try.  I would make the door into a mirror.  That is to say, I would mosaic the outer BORDERS of the door, and place a mirror in the center part.  It didn’t take long to get me going.  I enjoy the process of looking through all my goodies, dishes I had forgotten about, deciding what colors I would use.

My sister gave me a vase that used to sit in her daughter’s bathroom.  I have always liked it.  It had light bright colors and lots of swirls and curls.  I would make it the focus of the mirror.  I took a hammer and hit it.  It cracked into several pieces and I was back in the saddle.  Yay!

Working on a mosaic feels much like trying to work a puzzle. (which oddly, I am not a big fan of normally) I do not like crossword, jigsaw puzzles or sudokus.

But mosaicking is very relaxing and satisfying. I created a pattern from the colored swirls and quickly got into a groove.  I found myself not wanting to stop at the end of the day.  That is always a good feeling!

The week went by quickly, and I did not have enough time to stay at the work.  I did, however make time this past weekend and finished the gluing.  I am now ready to grout it and polish the mosaic. The grout really completes the work, as you can in the before and after pictures. Amazing.

There are times in everyone’s life when things are boring, not motivating, we feel lost, unsure of what to do…. When I cannot get myself to make art, I worry that it has all dried up and there isn’t any more talent left inside of me.  I panic, thinking I am done for.  It is all gone.  What will I do if it doesn’t come back?

I took a short class this past Saturday; only 2 hours.  It was Needle Felted Landscapes.  It was crazy fun!  I have never done anything like that before.  I was nervous of course, but Lisa, the instructor, made us all feel comfortable and helped us to get moving.  It was wonderful and inspirational.

I am telling you this because it is another way to get out of the doldrums, and change directions.  It helped me get excited about making art again.  It might not help every time I am in the dumps, but it did this time.

I guess what I had was an artist’s block, like writer’s block.  The creative juices are still here.  They just got clogged for a bit.  I look forward to making more art.  Spring is here, and I just might have a new spring in my step!

Go make art!