Pen & Ink & Patience & Procrastination

I can’t believe I used to have the patience to do this kind of work, but I did . . .

That was a long time ago.

I started a gigantic Spring Cleaning with the incoming kiln ordeal, and that Spring Cleaning has now taken on a life of its own, and is torturing me.

I still have not received a bracket for the kiln. The kiln maker has now told me that the only guy they got who knows how to do it, is also a firemen so hasn’t been around in “awhile” but he will get to it when he is.

“So, that’s the time frame?” I asked. “seriously?”

And I kid you not, he said, “Well, you’ve waited since September, so why the big rush now?”

I hung up first and flipped him off second.

We see once again that procrastination is not a good thing, I am nevertheless, writing this blog post because I am procrastinating on the cleaning project from hell.

I am giving away, I am recycling, I am throwing away when there is no alternative. And I am whining all the way.

I thought i was making progress, But you know how cleaning one area leads you to another area so you can put some stuff away, but that area is full of other stuff, which has to be cleared of other stuff, before you can put different stuff there? Then you get to five or more areas where it’s all “in progress”, and you want to crawl under one of the piles and hide?

And the “in progress” looks so much worse than the original mess.

This is not tornado alley, but you wouldn’t know it by looking.

I have found that my favored solution – whining – has not moved much stuff to a different place, so it will take doing more than that, I’m afraid.

Whining has moved Mark to a different place – at least for this afternoon. He couldn’t take it, poor thing.

But the bright side is the stuff you find that is really precious that you haven’t thought about in years.

Like my Wurlitzer Jukebox drawing from the 80’s. It was all done with tiny tipped Rapidograph pens and India Ink. It was all black ink, so the fact that some of it has turned Sepia is interesting. I sorta like it better.

I also found this pen & ink drawing . . .

The ink all stayed black on this one, and all of those dainty little hash marks, etc. were done on Cold Press Arches watercolor paper. I must have run through some clogged pen nibs that time.

So, I’m just going to hope that there are treasures like these under a lot more of the piles – that each pile has a smile, if you will. All I have to do is get to the bottom of them.

Happy Sunday – hope you are having more fun than I am!





  1. OMG, i so relate to how your are feeling! This is probably why I procrastinate even more in “organizational endeavors”

    I must say, your “lost gems” are awesome, and far grander than anything I’ve found in my cleaning efforts.

    Please don’t throw them out – if you are, send to me!!

  2. Thanks, Suzanne. I won’t throw them out yet – I’m making a new pile – Ha!

  3. The process of making a bigger mess than you started out with is epic. It keeps me from organizing but I’m always glad I plowed though it on the occasions when I get the courage. I’m facing a big one in the studio right now. I’m discouraged that you say whining won’t make much happen–dang.

  4. I just went through a similar though smaller area purge. Interesting to see what is worth keeping and what can easily get recycled or tossed and what gets moved to the garage for future tossing. Then we got out of town to regain perspective. Whew.

  5. I need a big favor from you. I need one piece of Sheer Heaven for a very special project. If you have one, I will pay anything you want for it and I would be soooooooo appreciative.

  6. I can so identify with what you are going through! It’s funny how I can laugh when you describe it, but always feel like crying when I’m actually going through it! Hopefully next time I get the urge to go organize, i’ll remember to find the humor!
    Thanks for the Sunday giggle!

  7. Wow, that ink changed colors but thankfully, all in the same type areas so it looks like it was done on purpose! Oh, I do hate cleaning and organizing. I used to be pretty good at it but over the years I have lost a lot of my patience! It’s probably hiding under the pile of books in that corner or the pile of yarn in this one !

    As for the bracket, you might be ahead just to get something from Home Depot or find a handyman who will do a small job – good luck on that one!

    I am not doing chores today. I am trying to catch up on some art projects and reading. It definitely sounds better than cleaning and organizing. Do you have a bottle of wine for the evening when you stop till tomorrow?

  8. Loved your pen and ink drawings. Unfortunately, I seldom find such gold in my organizational forays. I hope that you don’t have to deal with the kiln guy again once you get your bracket.

  9. Have you considered looking for a metalworker or welder or metal artist who can custom-make you a bracket?

    Oh, can I relate to your cleanup problems. Right now I have a whole double garage waiting for me to clean and purge. So I open the door, look at all that needs doing, and close the door again. I need somebody to urge me on. Say, I have a great idea—why don’t I come to Santa Fe and help you with your cleanup and then you come to Austin and help me with mine? I’ve always found that I can help with someone else’s cleanup better than my own.

  10. I so related to this post! I keep trying to clear my dining room table off so I have a place to draw and it just seems to lead to bigger piles elsewhere. I have a garage that has never had a car in it because we just have one small path from the house to the garbage can and I keep trying to get at that too. I did, however, find some of the drawings that I did in college and managed to save them, so there was actually a good outcome to the little bit I did. If you find a magic secret or a house elf or two to share, please let me know? Thanks for the post, it lifted my spirits a little to know I’m not the only one that is trying to get organized.

  11. So, I have a lot of company out there! I feel your pain – believe me.
    I wanted to add that when I asked Betsi to email me (above), it was not to make a secret Sheer Heaven sale. There is no` Sheer Heaven left. In the end, two well-known artists whose work totally depends on Sheer Heaven, bought up every scrap I had to ensure their careers going forward. I am as sad as everyone else that there is no way to make more.

  12. I am exploring the idea of getting a local genius to make a bracket for the kiln controller. Now, the issue is to find that genius!

  13. Hello Jessica, we are visiting here in Santa Fe and stopped in your WOW gallery. I’ve been following you for a while now and remembered the gallery from a previous blog post. Very well done. We enjoyed it and it was exciting to see in person what I had read about on your blog. I was particularly intrigued by your watercolor on birch. What a creative surface choice for watercolor. Please tell me (if you are willing to give your secret) do you need to prepare the surface in any way to receive the watercolor?

    On to your dilemma of cleaning out your clutter. Speaking from someone who has downsized and up sized and then downsized…..get over yourself, roll up your sleeves and clean out the clutter. It clears your mind for more creativity and frees you like no other process. So welcome the process for the gifts it will bring. Then, learn the lesson about clutter…for lessons not learned will be repeated until they are learned. Again, beautiful gallery. I’m really looking forward to those palettes.

  14. HI Stephanie – No prep on the birch surface but I use M Graham watercolors – which are stickier than most! Thanks for visiting the gallery and glad you enjoyed it.

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