Whenever I begin a project, I tend to be a very slow starter. I think about it for a while, and then I talk about it for a while, and then I finally start easing my way into the work. As I have mentioned before, I have to impose significant external deadlines on myself in order to move forward at a quicker, more productive pace. In other words, I tend to meander down the path until I tell a bunch of people when I’m going to arrive, and then I finally move into a purposeful, focused stride. I used to bemoan this seemingly other-based motivation process, but when you’re in your mid-forties, you start to learn to accept that some things just are. I am grateful that I at least have a tangible way of making my way towards goals I have set for myself .
As my Iona book deadlines move closer, I have been writing and prepping the drawings for layout. Lots of questions arise as I decide on format and text placement and all of the myriad of decisions that need to be answered in the process of making a book. I received my journal images back from the graphics company that scanned them for me, and one thing that I have discovered in four years of documenting my travels is that I am always glad that each drawing exists. This sounds strange, but there are many days when I draw that I don’t like the art that I do. AT ALL. I want to rip it out never to be seen again; because, on that particular day, it feels incongruent with the beauty that I am trying to capture. I scowl at the innocent combination of lines and colors, because it doesn’t meet with my expectations of what I thought I could do when I first sat down to paint.
I have blogged about this feeling before, and in those musings, I have shared that I would try to keep all the drawings that I create. Each one automatically and effortlessly takes me back to the places I visited and I get to relive the moment in a way that is not possible when viewing a photograph. When I finished the above painting, I did not like it. I contemplated removing it from my journal and pretending it never existed. Now, four months later, I’m so glad that I didn’t. A bit of time and distance have given me kinder eyes. I find myself back in the wind on the edge of Columba’s Bay, and no matter how technically good the rendering is or isn’t, that is a brilliant and wonderful thing.