Tilling the fallow field

The rains started this week, and so did Inktober, and art.

I’m learning to accept the fact that I don’t really make new art in the summer. Summers are full of gigs and gardening and house projects, festivals and yard parties. In a perfect world I’d still have time for art, but having to work for a living eats up the rest of the time.

That’s okay. In summer I can perform music, work in the garden, and store up ideas for when the weather turns gray and dreary again. Then I’ll want to be in the studio. It’s kind of a personal energy crop rotation. My paints and pens are lying fallow, and I’ll pick them back up when the yarden goes to sleep. My music also follows the weather. Pinniped played almost a gig a week for much of the summer, but most of those were outdoors. Winter is time to work on and refine new material, to practice, and to play music more introspectively.

I’ve always struggled with my desire to do everything. That little ‘fifteen minutes of practice a day’ rule is great in theory, but starts to get quite cumbersome if you’re trying to practice more than two things (after all, there’s practice preparation and transition to do, too, so the fifteen minutes is never just fifteen minutes, and all the fifteen minuteses really start to add up). I’ve attempted to do a little bit of everything, tracking my art, music, and writing time per day down to the minute. It’s not sustainable, and it doesn’t allow enough time to slip into the ‘flow’ on any one project. On the other extreme I’ve gone years without painting. I certainly don’t want to do that again.

A seasonal cycle might just be my happy medium, and Inktober is perfectly timed to get me back in art-making mindset. I’ve got a brand new sketchbook and four days of drawings already under my belt. Here we go!