Janis D.


So many ideas running through my head.  So many choices to make.  I start to develop ideas and set them aside for the future.  Still searching.  Audition fabrics to help visualize. Adapt my photos, develop some drawings.  Narrow it down to looking for one special idea that has enough content and that I feel enough energy for that I can run with in a series. Several ideas come to mind. But my anxiety level increases and finally I realize I’m racing ahead of myself and I need to take a break.

Sometimes one must stop,

in order to give the muse

a chance to begin.

~Andy Sexton~

Almost four years ago, I moved in with a man who is very supportive of my goal to commit to develop my art to a point that I’m happy with.  Having had to put it off for so much of my life, I felt an urgency to do this as I was approaching my sixties. Now, I had studio space and a man who didn’t expect me to wait on him and would encourage me to do my thing.  And I ran with it!  It felt so good to have this freedom. 

At first I spent a lot of time cleaning.  He was a widower who had lived alone for about 12 years.  Yikes – I had a lot to do.  And then I focused on refurbishing my bedroom and the sewing room.  Then I set about working on my art in the studios, pretty much non-stop!  I also stopped redoing the other rooms.  It was/is riddled with problems so I threw in the towel.  

Now, however, I feel a need to prioritize what’s important to me again because a change is in the wind.  I’m a Cancerian so home is pretty high on my list and the state of my home is pretty demoralizing right now.  I can’t think straight until I cleanse it! Clean, scrape, paint and altogether alter it!  

 I realized that one of the reasons I’ve become so reclusive is because I won’t invite anyone in because it’s always such a disaster. Bill does a lot of regular cleaning and he cooks dinner every night. But it’s the condition of the house that gets to me.  All the walls and popcorn ceilings are yellowed and dingy and won’t wash clean. It hasn’t been painted in years.  The carpet is old and stained and so on.  It’s getting to me. I have to do something about this.  I have to feel that I can have friends here and not be embarrassed.  I never let this happen before and I don’t like it.  I spontaneously invited one of the only friends I have that knows anything about art to join me for a play day where I’ll show her how to do botanical dyeing and printing.  Then panic set in! I can’t live like this anymore.

It’s time!  I’m not going to completely stop my art practice but I am going to divide my time between the two forces (like most people do).  I’ve been spending some of my art time working on what I have – finishing things and pulling out some things that are just sitting in drawers and giving them a new life.  I’m saving money on supplies, that’s for sure. I also am participating in an artist book collaboration so that’s ongoing.  

 With what time I have I’ll work small to try some ideas out. And I’m writing and thinking.   I’m not going to rush into making any decisions right away. 

Summer is coming and I’ll set up my outdoor studio because I can’t let the summer go by without replenishing my supply of hand dyed and printed fabrics. But I won’t be out there working morning to night every day.

There’s only one place where a substantial amount of the time will come from and that’s social media and computer time. I’m going to dramatically reduce the time I spend in front of my computer.

Yesterday, I also purchased a membership at the Museum Of Fine Arts Boston, to make sure that I’m still filling the well.