I’m still mostly having a break from blogging and social media: Last week for my birthday my spouse and I went to Oblation Papers in Portland Oregon https://www.oblationpapers.com/ where, one of their knowlegeable staff, directed me to the TWSBI ECO fountainpens with their high volume ink chamber!! I also got a new Noodlers Ink called “Heart Of Darkness”! Won’t it be fun to make my whimsical art from this ink of Darkness?! We rushed home where I immedately filled the new pen and drew in my sketchbook!
Later that day a box from Vintage Books https://vintage-books.net/ came via mail!! I love how they individually wraps each book so they arrive in beautiful condition! In the last photo you can see the titles of the books I got!! This was my first birthday after my adopted Mom’s recent death. It was hard but focusing on things I know I enjoy helps. I even wrote a smidge about keeping a list of self soothing things over on A.M. Sketching.
Quite on purpose not a lot else happened this week so I’ll catch you up on another art for a winery project. This happened over the last 6 months or so and was kept under wraps till the winery could open publicly. For Canal District Wines in Massachusetts I did a series of pet portraits and made them into art prints.
Here you see them being installed.
Here’s a few photos with my art in the background.
Here’s a closer look at a few of the art prints themselves. You can see the whole collection on my Society 6 shop here.
I’ve shared it before but this thumbtacked note on my studio wall containing what Mom said in one of our last conversations bears repeating … she said it in her authoritative Mom voice too! Mom had worked as a psychiatric nurse and she always placed a high value on self-care, especially upon mental health self-care as a way to foster good relationships with yourself and other people, self-care as a lens through which to view one’s choices of activities. When I was younger and Mom learned – before I realized it myself – that drawing and writing were some of my main ways to self-soothe whenever I was upset she would gently direct me towards pens and paper.
Now after Mom’s passing I keep thinking about creativity and mental health skills… what if making stuff is primarily a way of listening to yourself? Not something to be primarily viewed as a way to make money or even with an expectation to make “good art”. What if writing and drawing, along with reading and looking at art, are simply coping skills in times of stress? Something accessible to everyone. What if, as I shared last Friday in my A.M. Sketching email newsletter, art making is simply intelligence doing self-care and playing?
Now I’m thinking of sharing more of my sketchbook work in a step by step way over on A.M. Sketching and possibly here too. Somehow I want to emphasize the connection I see between mental health and marks on paper … but how do I want to do this? How can I do it that also helps me take care of myself by not adding to my already long project list? I’m reminded of this teaspoon page in my sketchbook.
Now I look at the silverware drawer in the kitchen as a homage to grit and resilience.
I wish you to have a good grasp on your spoon too this week. See you next Monday.
7 thoughts on “A break, a birthday, more winery art, my sketchbook and Mom Penny”
I’m glad you’re taking good care of yourself, Sue.
Thank you. I’m doing my best. ❤
What a lovely exhibit and no doubt an honor to have your works at the Winery. A fun wall display to look at as, I hope, you continue to take things one spoonful at a time this week. 😀 Take care, Sue!!
Thank you. I’ll do my best… one spoonful at a time. Thanks again.
You have been in my thoughts as you grieve for your mom and adjust to her absence. I am glad you are taking care of yourself.
Creativity and time spent on art specifically are a massive component of my self-care and keeping my mental-emotional health appropriately balanced. The irony, of course, is that art time is the first thing to be squeezed out when things get tough in life. That is the part I need to work on.
Thank you. I really appreciate your friendship and kindness. Yes, I too find it very ironic that art making time or reading time etc self-care time is often the first thing squeezed out. Often the squeezing is done by a U.S. culture that places higher emphasis on “productivity”. What I find absurd about “productivity” is that whenever that productive person is stressed they seek out music, theater, movies, books, visual art! So perhaps it’s really “more productive” to spend time in the arts…
Anyway, right now I’m mama-bearish about protecting self-care activities and time. Mom Penny would be proud. 😊