I find that some days are tough and they become all about just getting through the day. Especially during this Coved-19 crisis. I had a few days like that this week. It’s funny because a week before I got two of my big ink drawings done in one week. I haven’t done that in a long while. The surprising thing then was that I wasn’t even feeling the groove but somehow I managed to roll from one right into the other.

The key is knowing what I want to do. For the first big ink drawing I had the idea that I wanted to do another portrait. The problem was that I didn’t have any idea who I wanted to make a portrait of. So I settled on just drawing a face. That was a good enough substitute to keep me going. After that I wanted to do one of my more regular drawings of the Dreamworld with weird figures, faces, and landscapes in it. I got both of those done in a week with a burst of activity. Then I burned out.

It’s not unusual that I don’t have the energy or ambition to work on something big. That happens all the time. Working on big projects for no pay takes a lot of self motivation and that’s not always in supply. That’s when I can turn to my smaller pieces in order to keep making art. Usually.

In the spirit of my smaller pieces I decided to check my box of 11×17 drawings in which I have stuff in progress. What caught my eye was the oldest pencil drawing in the box. It wasn’t dated so I had to look through my scan folder to find out when I had drawn it. Turns out it was from 2016. Four years ago. It was “Saint Blue #1.” A drawing of a woman on a geometric background. I decided to ink it.

I got out my brushes, pens, and ink and got it done but I was never into it. It didn’t come out badly or anything but I think the image is pretty mediocre. The figure work and design of the drawing didn’t make me feel anything and though I finished it as skillfully as I could I think it’s one of my blander drawings. No wonder it was sitting around for so long.

I’ve also noticed I haven’t been able to get much done in the digital realm. I often have books projects or digital photo projects underway but I haven’t worked on any of them. Being digital they don’t exist as much in the physical realm. I make printouts of the photos and books eventually but ninety percent of the work takes place in the computer. I think that’s seemed a little too unreal for me lately so I haven’t wanted to deal with it. Except for a few black and white photos.

This winter I got into the idea of printing black and white photos. (Black and white photo blog.). I made a whole bunch of them and ended up nearly filling up a 48 page portfolio of them. I got good at processing them digitally and then printing them so that they didn’t take me a long time to make one. They’re just standard type black and white photos so unlike my photo collages they take an hour to do rather than days. I ended up filling out the last six photos for the portfolio case in a day. I got things done that day.

Following the photo day I decided to do a bit of drawing. For my “Dreams of Things” series I’ve been making 6×9 inch pencil drawing that I blow up to make 11×17 inch ink drawings out of. One of those pencil drawings usually takes anywhere from two to four hours to make. Drawing number 93 took me about six hours to make. It seemed to take forever. It came out nice but it took all my concentration to get done. I had to take frequent breaks because it was hard to motivate myself. I remember that being a tough day.

After that the weekend came around. I usually get stuff done on the weekends but not this weekend. I made some YouTube videos, did some Zoom socializing, and got my Four Talking Boxes comic strip done for the week but didn’t get any drawing done or art made. Instead I did a bit of reading and hoped to recharge.

Monday rolled around and I pulled out my box of 11×17 inch drawings to find something to work on. I decided to marker color my “Dreams of Things” #86 cover. It took all day and a lot of concentration and energy. Once again I never got rolling with it. It came out fine but nor spectacular. At least I didn’t feel spectacular about it.

On Tuesday I decided to try something different. I was searching for something to work on and decided to make one of my 5×7 inch cartoon art cards. That’s when I draw a face with a word balloon above it. I hadn’t made one of these in two years. I make a lot of baseball size art cards for my “Drifting and Dreaming” comic but these ones are bigger. I pencil, write, letter, ink, and then color them. Each one takes an hour to two to make. They’re kind of pointless since I don’t even make a comic strip out of them but I like them. I ended up making just two of them. That took me all day.

Wednesday I decided to go dark. I pulled out my rough 5×7 watercolor paper and my busted brush and made some monster faces. Since my mood hadn’t been great I embraced the dark monsters. I can make these drawings fairly quickly if I get into it. Each one takes a half hour to an hour to make. How many I can get done in a session is variable but I ended up working all day on them. I got eight of them finished. That seemed like a lot. Especially since, once again, I never felt like I was on a roll.

On Thursday I went back to the 5×7 inch cartoon art cards. I got three of them finished but that was it. They came out okay and amused me but were tough to do. I also spend part of the day scanning all this stuff in so I had digital copies of everything. This is par for the course for me. Not the most productive day but stuff got done.

Now It’s Friday morning as I write this. I’m still not as into it as I could be. I took my latest big ink drawing off my easel in preparation for putting a new big piece of paper up there. Maybe I’ll even figure out what I want to draw on it today. We’ll have to see. Meanwhile I’ll keep on keeping on.