Saturday, 12 June 2010

Madness lies over there

This is the reason I gave up my artistic and creative endeavours.

Art needs time, and attention. I have to think about the project I start. When I start to think about the project I start, I think of nothing else. Nothing else matters. For days.

That is a disaster. I forget to feed the children lunch. And supper. I hear them cry, and I don't respond. Their pleading is an interrupting nuisance.

Then there is the stuff that keeps the house churning. I don't do that, either. Washing dishes, laundry, kitchen table clearing, floor scraping.

Worse, any significant moment, date, or time is invisible to me. I cannot recall, organise, plan. I ignore everything, everyone. I go to sleep, get up, forget to wear pants.

One day, sometime later, when I'm coming round to consciousness, I might jump up and shout, Do we have any children?

Which is why I love days like today, and I hate them.

They are liberating, and they imprison me.

I became timelost in bookart. I started to make seven, nine, twentythree notebooks. I completed one clipboard. Here it is.

This is for our outdoor fieldtrips, so it must be durable and practical. It must have bulldog clip, string, tied up pens that I can't lose.

But I'm tired of pink butterflies, pastel stencils and delicate flowers. I imagined I might like to stride around the fields pretending to be an amateur magician instead. Then I can collect slugs and snails for potions and lotions.

For the inside pages, I cannibalised old drawings and designs. It doesn't matter they are already written over. I like the idea of new writing layered on old writing. It will look like a magician's code.

And I won't be able to read any notes I make.

You see? It's not as if it's any use. One moment's thought would tell me it is totally useless. It just follows the illogical path that it started, regardless of sense, experience, or the wisdom of hindsight.

This is the type of insanity that leads me next to dismantle a perfectly sound book, simply because I have seen the inside binding and I decide that I like it for another project. One that is half conceived, incompletely imagined, and will require more glue than we have.

It is also the fixated madness that leads me to think it is a good idea now to feed black plasticine into the laminator, never for one second considering the physical properties of black plasticine pressed by heat, but imagining only the magical sparkle of the silver glitter that I have sprinkled onto it as it eases its way, too late, onto the smooth and heated rollers.

I should be stopped. It's the only way normality can be resumed, the children fed, the laundry done, the floor scraped.

And give the bookart world a chance to heave a big sigh of relief.


Rachel M. said...

so what do you do with all you journals when they are full? I had a pile on my bedside and just put them with my books. I read another that never really got any worthwhile notes and through it away. Now that I read this I probably should have kept it and rebound it into another book.

Rachel M. said...

I do hate it when I leave comments with improper spelling on someone's blog, especially a teacher AND an editor! Meant to say "threw" it away. Please forgive my pregnant addled brain.

sharon said...

What price boring old housework when you can create such wonders! And, don't forget, these days the gritlets are quite capable of cooking their own meals. Just the small problem of ensuring they don't resort to cannibalism if their conflict resolution process breaks down ;-)

Michelloui said...

Very inspiring work! I wish I was just a bit more casually creative. And I love the journal you made while your kids were starving (next post)! I love creativity that is so full and all-consuming that it becomes like stepping into another world. Nothing else can matter. I love it and I hate it. Just like you. I wrote for a month solid once and when I emerged at the end there was rotting food in the fridge, mud everywhere, broken plates, and weeds where I didn't even realise weeds would grow. My family felt sorry for themselves, but I did get some quality writing done!

Katherine said...

Ah Grit. You are an artist. Now I know where she gets it from.