I keep a calendar. A digital one. If I have any kind of appointment in the future I put it on the calendar but that’s not the bulk of the things written on my calendar. It’s mostly filled up with things that I did or made on any given day. If I work on one of my Gatsby illustrations I make a note of that. If I do a 6×9 inch ink drawing then that gets typed in for that day.

I started keeping a calendar that way back in the late 1990s. It was on a paper calendar back then and there was less space per day but it worked at the time. The reason I started keeping a calendar was to keep track of what art I finished and to give myself a sense that I had gotten stuff done. Usually I make a drawing, it gets filed away, and I don’t see it again. That is not a recipe for a sense of satisfaction.

I mention this because keeping a calendar can sometimes change my sense of time. Or at least it makes me contemplate time in a way I don’t normally do. Years ago I actually entered all the notes from my 1990s paper calendars into my digital one so that I could easily access them. So now if I want to look up what I did on any given day 20 years ago I can. That’s kind of cool. And a little strange.

It doesn’t have to be my deep past that gets me contemplating time either. I usually write in my calendar the day I do something or maybe the next day if I was too busy or maybe forgot. So I look at the calendar about every day. I also copy and paste the repetitive stuff that I do rather than type it. So if I ink a “Dreams of Things” cover I look back to the last day I inked one, copy the “Inked ‘Dreams of Things’ #141 cover,” paste it in a new day, and change the number.

I mention this because just yesterday I marker colored a “Dreams of Things” and when I went to enter it into my calendar I noticed it had been two weeks since I marker colored the last one. For some reason that struck me as a longer time than I imagined.

I’ve written a couple of essays in the last month about how I was having trouble getting art things done but I was still chugging along and finishing things. I think that art malaise has distorted my sense of time a bit. I thought back to those two weeks and they seems to have passed very quickly but uneventfully. That’s a strange combination.

To make things even a little bit weirder is that I’ve now gotten two “Dreams of Things” covers marker colored and finished. It’s really not even that weird that I haven’t finished a cover in that two week time. It’s probably happened over and over. I even got a lot of other things done in that time. I even pencilled four new “Dreams of Things” covers over the weekend that are ready to be inked. I could just be that my calendar reminded me that time is passing and I somehow hadn’t noticed time recently. You’d think with writing in a calendar every day that I would.

Another thing I noticed when contemplating time and my “Dreams of Things” covers is that my images can have groupings. A month or two ago I noticed a few of my covers in a row had big faces in them. It wasn’t a conscious choice but it was how things worked out. After I finished these last two “Dreams of Things” covers I put them on the easel side by side and they had some things in common too.

Each cover has a large main figure and two more smaller figures in back. The compositions aren’t really the same but there is some similarity to them. Plus the coloring I did share some common elements. Each has a primary color main figure with a couple of large elements of green in them. I didn’t plan any of this but sometimes when things are close to each other in time whatever artistic elements that are in my mind can make groupings all on their own.

After I finished marker coloring “Dreams of Things” #143 it struck me that I haven’t put in an art supply order in about three months and I wanted to look into buying some new markers. I don’t actually need any new markers right now but that doesn’t mean it isn’t time to start thinking about it. There is that time thing again. There is a time for planning to buy art supplies and a time for buying them. Figuring out which is which isn’t always easy.

So I went onto the art supply website and started looking at the colors of Copic markers that I don’t already have. I have about 110 colors so I’ve got a lot of them. I ended up picking out another 15 of them. But at around $6 a piece plus another $6 a piece for ink refills I was up to $180. I don’t really want to spend that much on markers right now. So I guess it’s not the time.

Here is the kicker. The day after looking at markers I worked on “Dreams of Things” #144. The one I mentioned before that is similar to #143. It turned out it is really similar in color too. I mentioned the main figure and big green areas but a lot of the other color motifs were similar if not the same. The two really do make a pair but maybe I could also use some new color markers to choose from. I’ll buy them some time.

I got no new covers marker colored in two weeks and then two in two days. Now I have to figure out what to do next. Maybe another one? Maybe ink one of those four that I pencilled over the weekend? I don’t know. Time will have to tell.