I had my first day in the studio today after being away from 2 months. I have had a lot of anxiety about getting back into my artwork after being on hiatus for so long. I think it’s similar to not exercising for a long period of time; you know that first day back at the gym is inevitably going to be really painful. When I sat down to work on some thumbnail sketches this afternoon, I initially felt disoriented and had trouble concentrating. I spent a lot of time just looking at my reference photos, just to remind myself of the kinds of images I had to work with. It felt weird at first, but once I started sketching, everything immediately felt better.
Once I had the thumbnail sketches done, I starting sketching with vine charcoal on top of a figure drawing that I had started two months again. This was also an awkward start, as I don’t usually take two month breaks in the middle of a piece. Vine charcoal is extremely forgiving though, and once I started making a mess I loosened up and began to develop a sense of focus. My plan is to start two more new drawings over the next two days. That way, all three drawings that I have to finish this summer will be started and it will much easier for me to gain momentum. I have found that working on multiple pieces together feels more productive than creating one piece at a time.
The other recent development is my course load for this summer just doubled. I am now teaching 4 courses in the RISD Pre-College program, which is going to really cut into my time in the studio. I had planned on getting the bulk of the work for my solo shows done this summer, but that is no longer an option. I am pushing most of the work to September and October, since two of the three shows open in November. It’s a little tight, but I looked over the schedule carefully the other day and know that it is definitely manageable.