Above: page spread from an 8.5 x 11 inch (or so) hardbound Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal. I think the message on the verso page says it all. We were already 2 weeks into the wasp invasion. On Thursday, September 18 the exterminator came for the fourth time and he and Dick found another entrance on the roof that they were using. That's great because on Wednesday I killed 33 wasps in the course of the day and was left with such frazzled nerves that now I jump if a dust mote passes my vision. I calmed myself by taking frequent breaks to enjoy Edy Outshine Blueberry Medley bars (like a popsicle, but with blueberry flavor). I made a valiant effort on Thursday to finish the video flip through of my 2014 Minnesota State Fair Journal, but I ran out of time. I am 99 percent sure you'll get to see it very, very soon indeed.
Wasps have also kept me from totally enjoying the cool fall temperatures and sunny crisp mornings. I'm still going out on my bike, but I couldn't understand why I was getting slower, and slower. Then, duh, it hit me: I haven't slept in my own bed for over a month and I'm only getting about 5 hours of sleep a night. How can I expect my times to improve.
This is something to remember about your artwork as well. Sometimes you'll make leaps forward and other times you might find that you just are stuck and not improving at all, or not getting the emotion or line quality or nuance of color you are seeking. At those moments it's good to look at the rest of your life and see what's happening.
DON'T STOP WORKING, but don't beat yourself up. Change something even if it's a small thing like working in a different room. (I like to go to the zoo and sketch for the afternoon and then return to work.) Then work some more. Reassess. Things will break in a new direction.
I'm thinking right now that the thing I have to change to improve my cycling times is quite frankly location: a trip to FRANCE, yep, that's the ticket. Will that happen? Nope, but sometimes just thinking about the things we need to change in our lives can allow us to start making subtle changes.
Sometimes subtle is OK.
And if we can laugh about it that's OK too.
Wasps, however, I don't think are ever OK.