I am oddly at loose ends this morning.

I have work. Oh, do I have work. But all three of my current projects are all pending other people getting back to me. When they do, I’ll be swamped again. And there’s always Digger, but I finished up the first one yesterday, and generally don’t start the second until Thursday. And there is a commissioned piece, but I just sent out my work in progress. And there are other things on the horizon, but I am largely on track for those, or they’re much too complex to slot into my few hours breather. My schedule has a kind of pause in it, and I’m sitting in the middle of it.

And there’s…the painting. It sits in my studio, smiling benignly, and as soon as I go in, it will drink me down to the dregs. My judgement as to whether it’s a good painting is never reliable at the time, but it’s at least a consuming painting, because James had to come and haul me out of the studio last night for bed. (James has mastered the art of this sort of thing–he convinces me to put the painting down if I can be convinced. Sometimes–very rarely–I can’t stop, and then he knows it’s important, and leaves me alone. On at least one memorable occasion, he has quietly done the whatever I am supposed to be doing, like washing the dishes, made dinner, and put tinfoil over my portion until I can be coaxed away from the painting. And when I finally come up for air and stare at the clock until I am quite sure that I’m not hallucinating, and thank him, he shrugs and says “Hey, I know how it is with art.” Take my advice, O fellow artspawn–a spouse who believes in your gift and knows how it is with art is worth their weight in those short-lived superheavy elements that cost a million dollars an atom.)

I’ll go back in the studio soon of course, probably in the next hour. I’m on the downhill slope with this painting, the brakes have gone out, and it’s all one screaming runaway ride to the bottom. And while my schedule is constructed on the understanding that I will steal chunks away for my own art whenever I can, a pause, even for just a few hours, is still too good not to take advantage of.

But it still seemed worth noting that I’m sitting in this peculiar pause, drinking coffee, and typing, and watching the cat sleep. It seems like it hardly ever happens, and I felt like recording it for posterity.

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