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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Inertia

Inertia: inactiveness: a disposition to remain inactive or inert; "he had to overcome his inertia and get back to work"
That would be me.
I think if I were a reptile I would be coming out of my skin right now. I feel restless, distracted and strangely lazy. Maybe I'm molting! I have absolutely no desire to make anything or to blog. A few people have commented this week about my lack of blogging, but I just don't feel it right now. I can't explain it, have no idea what has brought this on, and it bugs me a bit, because I really have a lot I need to do. I have two commissions that I should be working on, a few more holiday sales coming up and I should be taking stuff to some of the local galleries. If I was really smart I would be working on some marketing materials or cleaning my inside work space, but instead, I go to eat breakfast with Gerry, go for coffee, go to the movie with Wesley, wander around junk stores, have lunch with friends..... if I were depending on my pottery for our sole income I would not be eating right now! I have managed to save some $$ from fall sales which is nice.
I have been trying to understand why this happens to me. I work in spurts. One reason I have never been able to work at a "real" job. Corporate America doesn't "do" spurt working. I go at it hard and then I drop, lose interest, get bored, drives me nuts!
Also, Wesley and I are right on the brink of having our lives change drastically and we are both feeling the effects I think. She will be leaving home soon for college and we are both starting to have separation anxiety. I have noticed that she will randomly reach for my hand when she is sitting next to me, or when we are walking down the sidewalk, and she stands right next to me in the kitchen shoulder to shoulder, watching and helping with meals. We are really close, and I am trying to get my head around not having her here. That weighs heavy right now. I also see the potential of where my work can go and I need to kick it in high gear, step it up and take it to the next level. Serous commitment and I don't do commitment very well. One other reason for this inertia is that I am sick of my working conditions. As you know, I have worked out on the deck all summer, I could tolerate the bugs, mosquitoes, heat, lack of space, but I can't deal with the rain, the wind and the leaves. This is just too much and I am fed up with it. My indoor space isn't any better. There is no room to spread out slabs, so I am trying to figure out what to do this winter. Do I just throw on the wheel all winter? And the last thing that has me in this disposition to remain inactive, I think, is that there is too much in my head. When I was just doing the terra sig I was more focused, but I have been doing some Raku with friends, I have an invitation to do a wood firing with a friend, another invitation to experiment with some ^6 reduction and it's just too much. After the holidays, I have really got to edit what I'm interested in. I can't do it all! I'm a Libra and I crave balance and right now there is no balance at all.
I have traded working in a community studio for work space, I have worked in my kitchen, worked in an upstairs bedroom and worked on the backyard deck. If I am going to continue to grow as an artist, my work environment is going to have to grow as well. Somehow I have GOT to build a studio!!!! I think that is the main reason for my lack of interest right now. I feel like a professional artist but my workspace does not reflect that and it's a huge distraction!!!
Lots to think about, sitting here writing about it seems to be helping, I think reading your comments will help as well. I know I'm not alone with all of this, these seem to be common threads for all of us. Would love to hear your thoughts.............

83 comments:

Linda Starr said...

What about getting one of those pre-built sheds as a temporary place to work - I had that in my last place and at least I could leave everything out when I was finished. Here I am using a bedroom, but have stuff drying in just about every closet. Any designated space is a good thing I think even if it isn't the size you want.

Linda Starr said...

that's got to be so hard having Wesley going to college coming up soon, I'm thinking of you.

Tracey Broome said...

Linda, I am looking at the pre built buildings, also waiting for the money tree to bloom in the backyard:) thanks for the thoughts, yes, Wes leaving, yikes!
Love your new photo!!

Lori Buff said...

I know exactly what you're going through right now, holiday shows are in full swing and I should be working with clay like crazy but instead I'm playing with databases & putzing around the house. But there is more to being an artist than creating the work, we need to create the inspiration and that sometimes means stepping away from the medium for a short time. You'll come back renewed, I always do.
We've talked about the studio, any luck getting funding? How about a bunch of friends with power tools? I'd be glad to come up and help you if you weren't so far from my home.

Harold D said...

Tracey... have you considered applying for a grant to fund your studio expansion?... I think the North Carolina Arts Council has grants available, and there are certainly others out there, as well. It's worth looking into, I would think.

Linda Starr said...

Try craigslist or a local paper under used building materials; I've seen quite a few sheds listed here and for much less than they cost new, or used building materials and build an enclosure under a porch? In this area Habitat for Humanity has a separate store where they sell recycled building materials for huge discounts.

I'm look for a money blooming tree too, even just a car, health and house insurance paying tree, I'd be so much better off.

Kelly Kessler said...

I can definitely relate to the creative cycle including a big ol' chunk of inertia at some point, whether the timing is good or not. I came across something that helped me wrap my head around it - and not just beat myself up for it - in the writings of Patanjali, the guy who codified yoga a couple thousand years ago. He said all creativity was made of three elements: the idea, the resistance, and whatever force it took to overcome the resistance to realize the idea. The resulting creation was shaped by and drew its character from the balance of those elements.

This sank into my Calvinist brain in the most helpful way: I wasn't being a bum by experiencing resistance. Here was a rich tradition from thousands of years ago saying the resistance (inertia) is a key part of the creative process!

I never had kids but it's obvious to me that raising children is perhaps the single most creative thing we can ever do - maybe your stores are tapped out right now taking care of what's most important.

Tracey Broome said...

Kelly, the Patanjali quote gave me chills, such a perfect thing for me to read today, thank you so much for that!! Lori, Harold and Linda, thanks for the studio ideas!! Believe me I'm on Craigslist every day, and I have applied for a couple of grants, just waiting to hear with fingers crossed. I have managed to save up some with the past few sales, just need about $2000 more.... it will happen when the time is right, just gotta be patient :)

Cindy Shake said...

Love the Patanjali observation. Some of my best work comes on the heels of a writers block/slump/funk/pitty-pot party... I feel it's important to do even the smallest thing during one of these funks EVERY DAY. Do not let a day go by without some sort of contribution to your art. Whether it's cleaning up tools, organizing art reference books, going to a new Gallery, have lunch or visit with another artist or even revisiting old idea journals. The spark will be reignited, I think these funks are ways to recharge our creative spirit. You've just come off of a very big burst of creative energy with the last few shows and a ton of press and good artistic attention :o) Pace yourself, all is well.

With two kids successfully in college, while it was a big adjustment, it's been great. Flip your thinking from separation to welcoming a new chapter in your growing relationship. Together, you and Wes can reach new heights.

The Seldom Seen Kid said...

Could you make your slabs on your deck and leave them to stiffen up there, then bring them into the wheel area to work on them? Then BACK out to the deck to dry, etc. Yes, it would be a pain, but you could keep moving forward.
I don't know how cold it gets out there, as far as freezing goes, etc.
Does a neighbor have a building you could use/rent? Garage, shed, barn, chicken coop?
How about renting one of those self storage places for a winter studio? I Know bands have been known to rent them as practice spaces.
I've said it gefore, but I'll say it again: "Art and Fear."

Tracey Broome said...

Wise words Cindy, thanks!!! It's all peaks and valleys isn't it!

Tracey Broome said...

Hey SSK, if I am forced to make the slabs outside then bring them in I will, but that means rolling slabs on one level and carrying them up to another level, then back down two levels to fire. I'm really trying to avoid this, but then I would actually save on a gym fee wouldn't I?! It's possible, just not something I'm excited about doing. I figure if it stays this difficult, I will be forced to build that studio one way or another.The money I have saved up for it so far would have gone towards something I didn't really need, so I'm getting there.

Judy Shreve said...

Such a thoughtful post and so many areas to respond! I also suffer from inertia after a big push or right before a big push . . . so I agree it must be part of 'creating.' I need to read more from Patanjali. But I also think sometimes we're afraid of success as artists - worried if we can maintain it. I'm sure you've read the book, ART & FEAR --

I can find so many things to keep me out of the studio when I'm going through that phase . . .

I am very bored with my blog right now -- not my blog-friends -- but my blog. I feel like I just post the same ole stuff over & over again and I'm considering taking from Thanksgiving until after the new year off from posting. I will have email & keep up with my friends through that -- but I just feel the need to change things up some.

And don't worry about 'losing' Wes or even having a chance to miss her -- I text/and or talk to Luke daily. I've talked to him 3 times just today. lol And it's interesting how much Bob and I enjoy our time together now -- just the two of us again. :)) Bob travels a lot like Gerry -- but I'm even enjoying having my own time too. So just look at Wes leaving for college as starting a new -- deeper relationship with her.

Life is certainly all about change!

Dennis Allen said...

For a girl who doesn't want to blog and has nothing she feels like saying, you do pretty darn well at getting a conversation started.I think many of us get inspiration in spurts. It saves us from getting too near the sun and flaming out all together. It also allows time for the other aspects of life that we all need to keep in balance. I have been split between working on the studio or working in the studio. Getting the shell of a building up is just the start of it all.About a year ago I decided I wasn't getting any younger and buildings weren't getting any cheaper and took the plunge. I think you can build a small pole barn as cheaply as a pre-built storage shed.If you have to really do it on the cheap, the folks that sell those metal framed car ports have some inexpensive options. It's a lot of work but do what you can to get started.

Tracey Broome said...

Judy, so funny that you mention being bored with your blog. I am too and am trying to think of how I want it to evolve. I am NOT bored with the folks I blog with, I just feel like it wants to be something new and I don't know what just yet. Personally, I don't think you post the same thing over and over but I know what you mean! you wouldn't believe all the things I found to keep me from working today :)

Tracey Broome said...

Dennis, I know what you mean, I'm about ready to plunge myself! I have found a building that will work, just gotta find the $$$$$.

andrea said...

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”
Pablo Neruda quote

Spring takes time and it needs a fall and winter first.
I am the epitome of wallowing between here and there. You are a serious, well respected artist and sometimes we just need a moment to spring.



“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. i'll always be with you.”
kep21
Winnie the Pooh quote

This is for you and your daughter. As I have a few years left I can only imagine how it will pull my heart strings. I remember, really, the first thing I thought of when Rohan entered this world and I held him for the first time was " He is going to leave me some day" It made me really sad and joyful for what the time we had growing and getting to know each other. Love is love is love. Distance means nothing.

Tracey Broome said...

Andrea: You are a dear sweet person to send the Winnie the Pooh poem! So appropriate, Wes just left to go out with a boy she just met, jeez I'm getting hit from all sides! I emailed it to her and to my mom, thanks so much!

cookingwithgas said...

not committed- you are very committed- to your family, your friends and what you want to do.
It has been a very busy year for you- take a break- go to the movies, hang with Wes.
Take some time with the hubby- committee- I know of no better person-
Just breath.

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks, M! I have really been spending a lot of time with the family and there has been no clay work for weeks. I think I just needed to have a little explosion today to get me going again!

jimgottuso said...

hi tracey, i too have been remiss on the blogging front. i think it may be unrealistic to think we can continue at the pace some of us blog without periods of inactivity. i also seem to get much more done when i'm not starting everyday posting. it's a dilemma for sure. your thoughts on wes going to school hit me kind of hard. i'm still not fine with sofia starting kindergarten. i can't wait for school to get out every day and i simply can't imagine her leaving home to go off and live on her own. i also know that's it's a necessity but i don't relish the thought and know that it will be here before i know it. i hope you adjust to it as well as one can.

Patricia Griffin said...

Wow, what a dialogue you started Tracey!... Judy mentioned Art & Fear in her post. A "must" read, if you haven't already. It's comforting, reassuring and inspiring.

On Wes leaving the nest: My first thought was how wonderful to have that kind of relationship with your daughter. And it sounds like you have a close, loving bond with your mom too. What a gift. It will now evolve into the next stage. Hang on... loosely... like the string on a kite as it soars up and away. It's a bittersweet but exciting time... I'm re-living my empty-nest experiences with our lovely boy just writing this. Ouch, still a little tender. But much, much better. Takes time.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Jim: You and Sophia have a relationship very much like mine with Wes when she was little. We are still really close and it is really going to suck when she isn't here, but I'm already getting myself prepared mentally. Maybe she will be one of those kids that never leaves home:)
Hey Patricia, yeah I have to get the book so many have suggested to me, glad to hear there is life after kids leaving!

ang said...

winnie the pooh !! classic!!!!.... you'll sort it trace a studio is a must, then shelving and a tonne of it!!!! rather behind and catching up with everyone tonight ;))

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