habitual

I've developed habits over the years, as we do. The most current and notable one I am trying to modify is whispering 'there!' to things, after I complete tasks on my to-do list, or finishing drawing something or complete blocking in the colour on a piece. Now I roll my eyes at myself right after I say it.

Task complete. There! (eye roll)

Perfect. Now I have two silly behaviours to modify. Sometimes I chew the skin around my fingernails, not the actual fingernails. It's a nervous habit. I get anxious and pick at the skin, and left unchecked it can become a raw mess. I've gotten better with that one. I always seem to start with my thumbs, so sometimes I make a fist around my thumbs to stop myself. It's a habit that manifests itself with good or bad stress. Our bodies can't always tell the difference. But I am aware of it, and can stop it as soon as I begin or feel the need to want to begin.

 

One of my weird creative habits is the starting of projects right before a trip. Usually only one project. Sometimes I like to finish it, but usually I just start one, a painting, and then once the outline is on the canvas, I'm satisfied and can clean up the studio and think about packing for the trip. I've realized why I do this now. I thought it was a nervous thing, anxiety/excitement about visiting a new place, being away from home and my usual routine, but it's to help me get back into routine afterward. Coming home after a trip with a bunch of new drawings and ideas can be quite overwhelming. Having something to work on in the studio, particularly something not  related to the trip, helps me get back into a working groove. It makes the transition from adventure to working less stressful for me.

Today I took it a step further. I began two new projects. 

 top: 24x24 inches, bottom: 36x36 inches

top: 24x24 inches, bottom: 36x36 inches

 the reference photos, with swapped placement.  both of these photos were taken at the Terwillegar dog park here in Edmonton on a really cold day. the light was amazing. the numb toes and fingers, not so much.

the reference photos, with swapped placement.  both of these photos were taken at the Terwillegar dog park here in Edmonton on a really cold day. the light was amazing. the numb toes and fingers, not so much.

I might get the first paper and gel layer on today, but now that the outlines are drawn into the canvas, I feel more relaxed. The slacking off and trip prep can begin comfortably now. 

If you visit this website frequently, you might notice a few new galleries. A '2017' gallery, and one specifically for petraits that I've painted. 

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One of the clients's that picked up her petrait commission from me this past weekend, emailed me this photo of her dog Jackson posing in front of his petrait.  

 jackson, mixed media on canvas, 14x18(in), commission, 2017

jackson, mixed media on canvas, 14x18(in), commission, 2017

Now to indulge in the other pre-trip habits, like house cleaning and travel journal kit assemblage. Happy Monday.