Saturday, March 30, 2013

Oh fleeting youth....

It's official... I'm old.

It's not that I celebrated my 38th birthday last week.  Moreso that the birthday gave me an opportunity to hang out with members of my family who are, let's say a level or two higher than me in this RPG we call life.  That, combined with a looming deadline for the upcoming ISSA show, made me painfully aware of something that has been creeping up on me for some time.  I'm getting old.  Or at least my lenses are.

Last summer at a conference I noticed myself occasionally leaning my head back to look at people I was chatting with.  Meh, whatever... I work from home and don't usually have to stand and talk to people, I was probably just getting more introverted right?

Then in the months that followed I started slowly picking up momentum on my various (and, oh, there are many... but that's another story) scratchboards, but I was finding the task more tedious and less fun than I remember.  Was I just spreading myself too thin with other activities?  Was I losing interest in the medium? Not really, I still loved the idea of scratchboard but the execution was becoming a bit of a drag.

Then I go do dinner with my family and amidst the typical showing of photos on various phones I was confronted with a new frequency of the ladies pulling out of glasses to facilitate the seeing of said photos.  "When did you first start getting farsighted?" I asked tentatively, recalling the familiar scene of my mother holding something at arms' length in order to read it.  The reply was a chilling "Oh, around 40".

* sigh *

Then I came home and started to prepare for the ISSA deadline... and it became uncomfortably clear (or rather... blurry) that I can no longer focus on scratchboards at my typical working distance, and so what I've been doing is working further and further from the board.  For some forms of art that might be okay, but with the fine detail of what I do there is a distance where I can focus on the board but I just can't see the subtleties of the lines!

So I will be making an optometrist appointment.. but in the meantime I picked up a pair of cheapo reading glasses at the drugstore, and lo... I can see my scratchboard!!  Scratching when I can see what the heck I'm doing is a LOT more fun, and I was able to get a TON of work done in the past couple of days.  Unfortunately I look like this...

With these little glasses I could see the scratchboard but then I also had to look at my reference... suddenly I understood why the iconic 'old lady' always wore her glasses on the end of her nose, she just didn't have bifocals!  To anyone over 40 reading this, go ahead and laugh.. I honestly have never thought about the concept of bifocals or what it would be like to need them.  To anyone under 40 reading this... your turn will come!! Also, get off my lawn!!  * shakes fist *

I hope to post more often as I have some great things happening with my art this year...  I'm on a mission to develop my 'artist's voice', I'm revamping my website, I'm hoping to start taking pet portrait commissions again at some point - but it's all going to be different than how I've done it in the past, and I'm SO excited about it all!  But more on that to follow... for now, to prove that I ~am~ working, here's a quick shot of my current workspace (with a portion of the works-in-progress that I'm currently grappling with).

Now, however, I need to go have some fiber and get to bed.

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