Pen and ink with watercolor pencil, from reference photo taken in Door County in June.
I subscribe to a website called "A Word a Day," and this was the quote included from poet Ezra Pound: "The only thing one can give an artist is leisure in which to work. To give an artist leisure is actually to take part in his creation."
That got me to thinking about why I have done so little drawing and painting over the past month. One excuse I've allowed myself is that all my sketchbooks were in a display case at the library. That's foolish of course, because I went out and bought myself a new Moleskine. A person would think that in summer a retired person like me would have all the leisure in the world to make art. But instead I have been weeding and planting flower beds, baking rhubarb treats, cleaning out the closets and attic and hauling loads to the Goodwill store, driving north to attend a doll show, visiting relatives, and riding my bike. I got lots more artwork done when the weather was not so sunny and warm. Still, I have been busy, and for me one aspect of a happy life is being able to do lots of different things.
My other excuse for neglecting my drawing is that my little upstairs studio gets hot and stuffy in the summer. The air conditioning just doesn't seem to reach that room. It's not so bad when I can have the window open, but on humid days like recent ones, it gets awfully close. After our recent flooding, painting outside requires heavy applications of bug repellent, since we have an unusually fine crop of mosquitoes.
So, perhaps the best thing is not to worry too much about how much I'm producing right now. I can enjoy the extra space in the attic, and now have some room to store the overflow of paintings I just brought home from the show at the library. Then I can think about doing some drawing in my leisure time - maybe downstairs at the dining room table, where it's cool and mercifully free of mosquitoes.