This is the time of year at which I find it hardest to force myself to work. There are so many other things that I'd rather be doing; gardening, hiking, photographing…..
Often I partially yield and find ways of justifying my delinquency. Photographing is…. honing my artistic eye and gathering images that can be used in my work. Gardening is…. exercise and the flowers can be sources of inspiration, dyes, etc. Hiking is both of these combined as well as a way of rejuvenating my self and marriage.
I've learned recently that, while you have to keep working consistently, this type of work is more like "punctuated equilibrium". You work on a plateau for a while and then suddenly you advance rapidly through new techniques or media. Long periods of sameness are followed by unforeseen leaps of creativity. the corollary of this is, of course, that the leaps of creativity level out into new plateaus for a while.
The emotional roller coaster of this can be hard to take sometimes, especially when you crave that feeling of exhilaration that comes with the flash of inspiration and all you have before you is the hard work portion of artistry. The hard work part is, of course, the foundation for the leap you'll eventually make. If you don't keep working and practicing and trying and failing, you'll never be able to surge forward as you won't have the footing or the fuel.
So I'm chugging along nicely now and finishing things. It looks like I'll have some substantial results to show soon, if we get some rainy weather to keep me indoors!