I’ve always been that irritating combination of lazy and impatient.
Not good qualities really.
But they are perhaps contextual… I have the patience to make a million tiny stitches, for weeks on end, and the tenacity to see it through. I have the patience to read with a child… to slowly discover the words and the story…
But those types of patience are active.
Waiting is passive…
…and yet again I am reminded by my materials that not everything can happen at once. Now.
Some things need waiting time.
So I’m writing this while I wait for the paint/paper to dry. Actually more paper than paint. I’ve washed most of the paint off. I’m trying for a quieter piece… not so many paint runs, not so much paint. This requires me to leave the dryer on the shelf and the paint and paper and water to do their own thing.
I am a little scared of this “new” body of work that sits away from the textiles I have used for decades. I’ve drawn all my life. But my drawing has always until recently been from life, observation and also a sort of record keeping, ideas communicating sort of drawing either for myself or to show others. It has been “a discipline”. The skills used over those (well over fifty) years are being drawn upon now. And the scary part is that I am drawing from myself… I am drawing from experience. I do feel, actually, that some of the things I am feeling while I draw are being dragged from deep within me, sometimes kicking and screaming. I am facing things down. I am pinning them down. My mind scours itself for these things. It is no wonder that at the end of the day I feel tired and drawn.
But this is why I have put down my needle. It got me to this base camp, but now I need Sherpas.
Textiles gently assured me that all would be well… held me to my comfortable past and let me explore… they took me to a darker place, but they kept me warm. Some surround me in my studio. My helicopter parent textiles.
And they watch while I draw.
I find myself drawing upon the woods near my childhood home. But the gnarled branches that appear are false. They are not real branches. They snag at my clothes and bar my way. I draw upon the ditch of stagnant water, flushed out with each downpour, if it goes on long enough to rise above the level of the lane. Deep in the water are rotting, pungent-smelling things, they suck at my feet and pull at my boots.
I feel that I am now waiting for my mind to catch up with my pencil. There were times in my childhood when I would wander deep into the woods, be engrossed in my thoughts and then miss a landmark tree. Suddenly I would come to, to find I had lost my bearings. A slight rise of bile would panic me… but I knew to stay calm and if I walked in a straight line I would find something familiar, and find my place again.
So this piece of paper is waiting… waiting to dry, while I wait to catch up a little on what I want to draw. I won’t know what that will be until it is dry. The paper leads and I follow, drawing the map as I go. I tie the piece of string to my garden gate, and unwind it as I explore.
I remember reading a Stephen King book… “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”… a girl wandering in the woods among the waiting psychological horror. I don’t have any really nasty horror in my own life, thankfully, but others do… and I am prone to wandering in the dark places. While the textiles kept things real, I draw now …. And I have a sense of impending doom, that the drawing might take me somewhere I didn’t want to go… Or I might trip on one of those hidden tangled brambles, and fall…
Maybe I’ll wait a bit longer…