Went out today and did what I have been meaning to do for two weeks now…bought plants for the patio. Woot! I have lived so long without a yard space that I had given up–my early attempts at window boxes gradually gave way to a few houseplants, who, when we moved into my dark, dank, sporadically heated previous apartment, gave way to a few forlorn pots with mold growing in them and one lucky bamboo, which evidentally cannot be killed by gods or men.

But now I have a patio! I can container garden!

If I get adventuresome, the place is well enough lit that I may be able to manage houseplants again, particularly since what really killed the last ones was the frequent temperature fluctuations between 90+ (when the furnace was on) and 55 (when the furnace was off.) Starting small there, I acquired one pothos for the studio, since pothos are virtually unkillable.

On the patio, however, which has a northeast exposure–about the only exposure, happily enough, that does not result in burnt plants–I got to put in a gorgeous bouganvillea–one of the ones that are somewhere between orange and pink. I also put in a honeysuckle, which hasn’t flowered yet (not sure if it will this year or not) and a hardy purple verbena in a hanging pot. That’s enough for now–I lack the time at the moment to do anything dramatic with annuals–but even that’s a huge improvement over bare concrete, and everything but the verbena is drought and neglect tolerant, which is a Good Thing. I am happy. I put up my hummingbird feeder, too–I dunno if any of them will find it, but Arizona’s supposed to be lousy with ’em, so I can hope.

Other than that, not much today. Continuing to paint. A lot. I’ve got to produce stuff for Anthrocon and Trinoc Con, I’m sorta under the gun, and as a result, I am perilously close to burnout. I keep finding myself drawing fragments of figures, and abandoning them–everything seems like a good idea, and nothing, and I no longer have the neccessary braincells to sort it out. I am far too aware that Everything I Paint must be saleable, and it’s makin’ my brain go dry and itchy and chafe against the inside of my skull. Even for a diehard art mercenary like myself, used to shackling creativity in the pursuit of profit, it’s rough. This is a perilous state, not improved much by PMS, so I’m gonna take tomorrow off and go visit the Phoenix Zoo with the digital camera. Hopefully that’ll be enough to relax and inspire me, or at least let me paint a few I-don’t-care-if-it-sells, I’m-glad-I-did-it pieces.

It’s hard sometimes to remember–even though I KNOW–that creativity is WORK, and much as I love painting, it is a hard and difficult task that I am bending my brain on, and my brain needs downtime. Even wandering around going “What shall I paint?” and doodling thumbnails of bathing rhino women clutching bathtowels and giving the viewer the finger is work, and I shouldn’t feel guilty or like a slacker because it takes it out of me, and I can’t do it twenty-four hours a day. I think that’s the hardest mental adjustment–even when you’re doing a commission, it FEELS like work, but when you’re painting things without guidance, but with intent to sell, it feels like it shouldn’t be work, despite the fact that you’re milking your Muse like a Holstein trying to come up with things to sell.

I’ve got a month and a half. I should be able to come up with plenty of art. In theory.

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