Monday, March 28, 2011


I've been hanging out in the studio recently, since my last wood engraving was finished, reading over my notes and lists of ideas, drawing in one of my sketchbooks and generally struggling to come up with my next wood engraving.  Authors call this struggle "writer's block".  Every time I had something I wanted to work on and tried it out in the sketchbook there was something about it I didn't like. This recent "dry spell" isn't new.  I've struggled through many of them before.  Sometimes the only way to solve it has been to keep at it until it works.  Occasionally an idea gets handed to me when a remark from a friend sparks an idea. Another solution that works is to just give it up and turn to a totally unrelated activity, like herding dust bunnies out of the studio or reorganizing the bookshelves or the filing cabinet.  I call this the "nest-building" solution. When the mind is on housekeeping and not on finding a solution, the solution sneaks in.  Then there are the spooky times when the idea sneaks up on me out of nowhere and I wonder, "Where the hell did that come from?"  I've had a couple of them arrive while I was in the shower, with nothing on my mind except getting the spray to remove the soap from my arm pit.

The real spooky ones arrive at night or before dawn when I'm about to start dreaming or when the last dream has ended and I'm waking.  If it's the former, I have to jump up and find a pen and paper and jot it down or it'll be gone in the morning.  If it's the latter, I have to jump up and avoid going back to sleep or it'll be gone when I wake again. There seems to be no way to control these arrivals.  They're independent and wonderfully spooky.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Third Day of Spring

I don't think this needs an explanation.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First day of Spring

On this first day of Spring, 2011 I tromped through a few inches of falling snow, entered my studio and sat, wondering what sort of joke mother nature was playing this time.  Yesterday was the second day of mild (read: above freezing) temperatures we were just beginning to enjoy.  When the backed-up storm drain at the end of the block had created a lake at the intersection, with tides influenced by the full moon, and just as we were hoping to be able to see over the mountain range of snow between our driveway and the neighbour's, Spring arrived.   The lake is now a glacier, the mountain range has grown in altitude requiring oxygen to reach the summit, and the snow is falling thick and almost as fast as the mercury in the thermometer.

But... at least I have a nice warm studio in which to continue my hibernation.