Days 41, 42, & 43 of 50: Details and Definition

Not really enamored of time in front of the computer after coming back from camping in the Sierras. This constructed life seems less real each time I leave it and return.

There is relief in having some definition around this project now. For the first 40 days, I just made as much art as I could each day, not really having a “plan” for how or when or if it was going to arrive at 50 finished pieces. I just did the work.

Today, I know some numbers. I have two completely blank panels that need ideas, two extras in case I need those, six primed for attaching watercolor illustrations, five definite watercolors that will be attached to panels (and a handful of maybe’s for that last slot), and then finishing touches.

As I was looking at some of the pieces today, I noticed a little tension around “making it better” or “turning it into something”. But then I said, “Who is my audience, really?”. And the real answer is, “Me.”

It feels good to have the next week to put some finishes on a few pieces and come up with two new ideas/processes. There are a lot of other dreams in the making right now, and I am ready to put the 50|50 chapter to bed soon!

This was the learning from the last few days:

1. Double-sided tape* works a LOT better than Krylon spray adhesive for attaching the watercolor paper to the MDF panels. (*specifically, Letraset high tack double-sided tape, 12 mm, courtesy of my artist friend)

2. 6″x6″ watercolor paper and 6″x6″ MDF panels are not exactly 6″x6″. I had to prime all the edges of the panels because half a millimeter or so will show on any given corner (they are not square, or the paper is not square).

3. I get bored easily. Having a project like this was good medicine for me. Somehow in my adulthood I have lost most of my taste for delayed gratification, patience, and allowing processes to unfold over time. I want things NOW. I want things to be DONE.

4. Travel is a great inspiration for me. I am torn between being part of a hyper-local and the larger global nomad community. I know this is a false dichotomy my mind has created, but there is some level of trade-off between being a fixture, visible in a certain community on a day-to-day basis for many years, and being someone who shows up for a few months each year. There is love and generosity and contribution in both forms, but it is a choice, and one that I struggle with. I feel a pull to wander, to let go of more belongings, to see colors, landscapes, food, people, from other parts of the world. To commingle with fellow wanderers. And I also treasure the feeling of having a home to come back to, a garden that has been cultivated, a piece of earth that bears the impression of my daily involvement.


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