I truly wish I was one of those people who can juggle a spotless house along with everything else, but I'm not. I strongly suspect I would be if I lived alone, but then there'd be a lot less fun in my world. (That's my subtle way of blaming the chaos on my family, but seriously if the hamper is right there, how dang hard is it to get your dirty clothes IN it instead of next to it? RIGHT there. RIGHT THERE!!! And if you miss, pick it up! Why is that such a foreign concept? Don't even get me started on toilet paper rolls.)
I have a limited amount of energy for the day. I struggle with exhaustion, and I budget my energy like it's precious gold. I allot time for exercise, because if I don't get it in I actually start feeling pain. I allot time for working on the computer side of the business in the morning, because it has to be done. Usually about 30 minutes into that, I start having problems staying awake. Sometimes I'm defeated enough that I crawl back into bed and guiltily steal an hour or two, but it's not restful because I didn't earn it. Guilt-sleep stinks.
Then I move on to some basic upkeep like laundry, figuring out meals (like what I should be doing for dinner for the family - because I would just eat dry cereal or ancient leftovers and call it a day if I was left on my own) or running errands that must be done. My brain starts to wake up enough to paint after noon, and I slowly go in that direction, but then I often have to run and pick up my kids from after school activities (which takes out at least an hour right there, as the school is almost 30 minutes away.) Then it's working between helping with school work, or just general mom-stuff, getting dinner going, and trying to get other things done like laundry (it's never ending. I've never seen people go through so many outfits in a day) or whatever emergency has cropped up.
I end up doing most of my painting in the evenings, in the middle of the family bustle, right at the kitchen table (I can't work in my studio anymore, it's too full, no matter how I organize it.) This works, because I am there for my kids, but I am able to work at the same time. Yet, I feel bad about it because I should be focusing on them fully. Or scrubbing something. ANYTHING.
On the scrubbing front; the days I do clean things, I don't have the energy to paint anymore. I cleaned all three bathrooms, and I needed to take a nap later because of it. Painting goes out the window when cleaning is front and center. I have discussed this tiredness with doctors over the years - since I was a teen, but they just blow me off. I mean, I ran a marathon like this, so I'm fine, right? Never mind that the marathon training was the only thing I was basically able to do for the day at all. The rest, I just survived. Barely. My new and current doctor is taking more of an interest, but we'll see where this leads.
Well, that was a tangent (sorry) to get to this: I did manage to squeeze in some time to work on my Queen of Hearts, finally! I started painting her, and this time I got to start on the face (normally, placement puts that later in the painting, but this time I could jump right in.) This was good because she's the centerpiece. It would be awful if I worked hard on the rest, then painted her and watched the painting fall apart!
|Working on the skin. I only realized after I was painting her that her eyes follow you wherever you are in the room. It's creepy. I'm being judged by the Queen of Hearts! GAH!|
I'm planning on her hair being raven black, but that's at an in-between part of the painting. Once I finished her face, well that's where it gets messy. Some painters are clean painters, and can work on any detail anywhere in the painting. Me, I work in layers. When I work on a part I have to ask if there is another layer in front of it or not. I have to work on the furthest back layer, and make my way forward to the last. I think I'd like to learn how to develop a painting all at once, but this is my current process.
So, after her face, I lightly under-painted her hair and then blocked in the sky:
|I'm going to tone it down and push it back further into the distance, but the first blocking of blue was nice to see anyway. I'm working in acrylics, and this is 16x20, stretched fine-tooth canvas.|
I have to say that my heart is more into this painting than it has been in any of my others in a long time. I can tell the difference too. The quality is just better, I'm trying harder? I don't know. I try hard at everything I paint, but I think I have given myself permission to take as long as I want on this, and that takes off a lot of pressure. That means better results... I hope the rest of the painting keeps turning out!