How much I prefer being awakened at 2 or 3 a.m. by a Filene's Basement "running of the brides" rush of ideas for journal pages, rather than by The Fretter. Begone, she/he who needs to know NOW what might be done about something that is usually at least a month down the road, and over which I have no control no matter when it may happen. And it always involves money.
Waking briefly many nights, my preferred state is that of blank mind; no scrolling list of thoughts, helpful or distressing. Wake up, blink, go back to sleep. It is not always an option. Over the past several nights, my interrupted slumber has been a source of inspiration, not angst. In preparation for a journal demo - a tandem booking with artist friend Lisa Hoffman at Stamp Your Heart Out in Claremont - I have been mentally thrashing through supplies, techniques, revisiting books on journal pages, trying to plan an approach that doesn't have me lurching in more than one direction at a time.
Voila - pre-dawn suggestions, and not in an overwhelming way but more a casual flipping through the catalog of options. Stencil ideas, prepping the paper ideas, layers, themes - I began to write them down that first night. In nights since, I have begun to build some of the elements of pages before I return to sleep. This morning my hands smelled like crayons.
The studio in our home is not a monument to delightful order; the room is designated as a den, meant as a sitting room, place to watch tv, or install an office. Ours currently houses the Christmas tree, rolling storage drawer units of many sizes, a drawing board and 8-foot work table - and all the stuff that is tucked around those items. The room is a grab-bag of materials for paper crafting, currently without a flat surfaces to work on those crafts, and what I am able to find there is as much a surprise to me as it would be to a stranger.
Which is to say that, until the perfect storm of energy, time and inclination blows in, art happens in any available place. And, it would seem, any available time, planned for or not. The ability to remain flexible - or philosophical - is a gift, practiced by me in bumpy spurts, for notions of how I wish to see things go can be painful to release. However, the muse who beckons and instructs is not to be turned away for appearing at an inconvenient hour. So welcome, guiding light of stencils cut from junk mail printed on heavy, glossy stock; welcome sprinkler of Crayola-colored dreams. Welcome illuminator of faint ideas, champion of pen-wielders and pencil scribblers, voice of direction for the inky-fingered. Welcome, you are always welcome.