It’s been a difficult week for the city I live in.  I’m feeling all kinds of strange emotions on top of the already strange emotions I’ve been having admist a pandemic.

I took a drive today.  I just wanted to see, to understand it really happened.  And it did.  On the way over I saw a squirrel get run over by a truck, like literally.  And I passed by it and it’s in the middle of the road twitching and dying and it’s all weirdly symbolic.  Only because I like to think of things as being symbolic, even though nothing really is.

Waves of sadness over the most senseless death.  Waves of anxiety over the bigotry and division and the violence that often follows such things.  Big wafts of dark smoke in the sky, all coming from a car on fire in the parking lot of where I once grocery shopped with an ex-partner.  And who’s car was that?  Did they know their car was on fire?

On the way back home, I almost drove into a wall of protestors.  I turned around before they enveloped me and parked on a side street to watch them pass.  This was amazing to see, but the destruction I saw earlier scared me, even though I know the reasons for it can be valid.

Life is really different.  Things have changed.  I do my best to remember to not be too afraid.  You hear it all the time, but sometimes things have to get worse before they get better.

Throughout the years, I’ve tended to prefer more subdued colored palettes to bright ones.  However, since discovering colored pencils last March, that has changed.  I am finding with each piece I do my use of bright colors gets ever more amped up.  Now I’m working on a tripytch in colored pencils and have discovered after doing this sketch and color study that I am pretty much using the entire spectrum of the rainbow (along with incorporating a literal rainbow):tripytch-planning

Is this too much?  I don’t know, maybe.  But I’m so excited.  I started the final of this a couple nights ago and I hope I can pull the colors off.  I guess I will see.

Haven’t updated recently.  The graphite drawing I’d had in progress turned out to be a bust…  I finished it, but I didn’t feel happy with it, so I put it in storage.  I will post two little MOMENTS from it I feel okay with, however, like this really tall dog and this royal-like girl:

I also want to share an update on the last colored pencil drawing I finished, “Kitty Space Party.” A good friend of mine purchased it and was kind enough to share with me a photograph she took of it hanging in her home:

It makes me happy to know it’s in such a good home.

I don’t have much of anything else to share.  My original goal for quarantine was to create at least two new drawings a month, but May appears to disagree with that goal.  The warmth of spring has caused my concentration to vanish.  I have been spending more time outside and daydreaming about possible future art projects.  I’m currently in sketching mode, and I am hoping this will lead to some new work soon.

See ya for now.

Kitty Space Party, 9.5 x 11.25 in

In an attempt to bring some cheer to my current isolation I made a drawing of a little cat enjoying some time alone in her quarantine bubble.  This is my second drawing done in colored pencils, and I can tell I have learned a lot since doing the first drawing.  While sketching out this piece took 6 days, creating it only took 5 days.  Using the colored pencils felt much more intuitive this time around.

Here’s a close up of the little cat, just ’cause she was the whole reason why I wanted to create this piece:

I found out last Friday that it’s unlikely I’ll return to either my jobs until mid to late July, and, honestly, it left me shook.  For a while, I allowed myself to believe this period of quarantining was simply me taking a break from life.  But now I realize this isn’t the case.  As much as I don’t want to accept it sometimes, my life isn’t on pause.  It’s literally just changed.

Last week, I made a list of goals to work towards, just to keep myself from becoming catatonic.  And also, to hopefully help build myself a new normal.  One of those goals is to create 2-3 drawings each month.  This April I was able to get 3 – hopefully this May I am able to do the same.  =)  But hey if not, that’s fine too.

Deer and Ghost Deer, 10.5 x 7.5 inches

All done with this graphite drawing.  I was hoping to get it done while Minnesota was having its snowstorm (last Sunday), but, unsurprisingly, quarantine had other ideas for me.  I wound up spending the majority of the storm holed up in my room feeling bummed.  About exactly what, I can’t even say.  I think I just miss my community.  I think I just miss being able to laugh, joke.   I know I can do that on my own, like I’ve gotten myself to laugh on a number of occasions, sure.  But I’d really like to share a laugh with a friend or two.  Or a meal.  Or a beer.  Or a movie.  Or anything, anything.  And because I felt bummed, I had to take a break from drawing for a few days.

I discovered earlier this week my furlough from one of my jobs has been extended until late July.  So this drawing will not be my last of the quarantine.  Most likely, instead, it will be my second of many –  I will not be working much, if at all, for at least three and a half more months.

Okay, well I thought I was going to start another colored pencil drawing yesterday, but then I looked at my graphite pencils and felt really sad for them.  They looked so lonely and abandoned, and I couldn’t handle it.  So now I’m working on a quick little graphite drawing, just as a break before delving into colored pencils again.

Here’s my progress on the drawing so far:

I’m hoping to have it done by the end of tomorrow!  We are going to get something like a snowstorm tomorrow, which means it’ll be a perfect day for a drawing marathon.

Anyway, I don’t know what else to say.

It’s day something.  I don’t even know.  Last night, I dreamt I stuffed myself in a cabinet.  It seemed right.  That’s how I’ve felt – stuffed in a cabinet.

Drawing has taken up the majority of quarantine time.  The drawing below I completed this morning.  I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, as I haven’t gotten any space from it, but I’m glad I got myself to see it through to the end.  I’m not used to working in colored pencils and so it took a while to learn how to layer the colors and live with the fact that I can’t fix mistakes.  Unlike graphite, my usual medium, colored pencil is not very forgiving.

Lighthouse/Eye, 14.25 x 10.25 inches

I’ll probably start another colored pencil drawing tomorrow.  I’d really love to get better at this medium.  My state extended its stay-at-home order until May 4th yesterday, so it seems like there’s a good chance I’ll be able to finish at least one more drawing without any interruptions.

Okay, goodbye!

A poem I wrote while quarantining.  It doesn’t make any sense, but I had fun writing it.  Note: it sounds a bit better when read out loud.

The Last Storm
Wash of rain escalating, winds howling.
Wolves vanishing into black holes.
Ghosts hidden in the organ playing
so loud, so haunting.  
Airplanes in the sky, silver and melting.
Eyes on the moon shining their tears.
In the ocean, colossal waves crashing,
wild sirens submerged.
Magenta sky, hot, feverish like mercury.
The sun a disc that died long ago.
People’s bodies, brittle and shaking,
bursting into bones.
Mountains rising, earthquakes resounding.
Serpents whorling in and out of clouds.
Seesawing the sounds of voices, despair.
Witches in the world’s ears.
Hearts, dispersed, lay in distant deserts.
Collapsing the tranquility of dreams.
Silver lining not here, nor an ever after.
Last storm awakening.

It was inspired by a Weyes Blood song called “Storms that Breed.”  I actually wrote the poem while listening to this song on repeat, ha.  Click the image below to hear the song!

It’s only been 11 days.  Still, I miss my community very much.  Over the last week, I had been sick and so hadn’t quite internalized the depths of isolation I would be experiencing.  I had the benefit of being tired and miserable, which made each day seem faraway.  Now, I’m well.  And this means I’m hungry, restless, and fully aware of this pandemic and its consequences.

What will happen when I return to my community?  Will anything even be the same?  How will all the people I know change?  How will I, myself, change?  Fissures in my world.  Things falling in.  Will I lose some people?  Will the isolation have a profound affect on me psychologically, especially given I do not live with anyone I can confide in?

Creatively, I’m stoked.  I’ve spent the last few days writing poetry and drawing.  I’m happy when doing that.  There are no interruptions anymore.  Ideas I have just bloom and expand.  I get lost in my own flow.  I can actually envision myself finishing a small collection of poetry or a detailed drawing in a matter of weeks, not months or years.  That is great.  But when I snap out of my trance, I remember Earth is turning.  All the people and things are moving through time.  And they are changing, a lot.

What kind of change will I return to?  Change is hard to face.  I’m afraid of it, honestly.  Particularly, I’m afraid of change when I don’t get to witness its gradual process.  I am afraid of change that is sudden, that knocks me off my feet.

However, I have no choice but to make myself ready.

Sadly, I am done, a piece of trash.  Sidewalk-ridden.  There’s nothing more I can give, I think, just the Same Old.  I Can’t Compare to what’s Shiny.  So how will I deal with it?  I mean, with my being a piece of trash?

I’m not really.  I’m still the same person I’ve always been.  And with each day, I get a little better.  A little more improved.  But eyes, they get bored of what they see.  Or, sometimes, what they see isn’t even what’s there.  Who was I?  Was I me?  Or was I distorted, something else?  A collection of projections?  I can’t be too sad.

Objectively, I can see I am not a piece of trash.
Objectively, I can see I am not a collection of projections.

But eyes, they can see me as one of those two things.  And that’s out of my control.  And so what’s being rejected?  Isn’t it just false-me?  Because there hasn’t been enough time.  There hasn’t been enough time for myself to really become known.

How do I deal with that shine of someone new?  Watching them shine hurts, feels like I’m being beat with hammers it’s true.  I can’t compare.  My shine has dulled.  I’m old, not just metaphorically, but literally.  I’m gone, gone…

Going somewhere else.  What’s best for me?  It’s obviously not what I’m experiencing right now.  I don’t even know how I got here. But I do know I want to get away.  So it’s time to plan my escape.  It’s time to exit gracefully and quietly, as if I had never been here in the first place.

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