Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Catching Spring

Coming home after a journey of five weeks should have made me feel (very acutely) the passing of time, the change of seasons and the sense of much having happened while I was away. But no. It seems that Nature has held her breath since I left (nothing to do with me I assure you!) and nothing has changed since the beginning of March. Spooky really. The trees are still bare, the primroses are fresh and the daffodils are in full bloom -just as they were when I left. It’s still raining and cold and showing very few signs of doing anything else. I was worried that I would miss spring here completely, but if it ever happens, I’ll get the full benefit of it.

I did experience spring in Portland - along with the worst attack of hayfever I’ve had in years. Everything was budding, blooming, burgeoning and shedding pollen. Then on to Michigan where everything was still buried under a thick blanket of snow and finally back to New York where it was 80 degrees on the day I left. Interesting. I’d blame the faeries but I think they are as bemused as we all are -apart from the ones in Oregon who all seem to be as happy as ever. 

One very good thing about coming home, apart from being with Brian again, was to finally realize that I’ve come out of the six month long funk I’ve been in about not feeling like working, not feeling creative and just not caring about it. Walking back into my studio this week made me SO happy. I can’t wait to focus on our newest project -a new book for Abrams in the same format as Trolls -that is, “big” with lots of paintings, drawings, figures and stories. I’ll say more about it as we get further into it, but it’s very exciting for us and hopefully will be fore you when you get to see it next year. 

If we have a perpetual “late winter” with continual rain and no sun, it will be extra easy to stay indoors and write and sculpt without the distractions of pleasant weather. NOT that I’m hoping for that, by any means!!! 

The thing that helped me out of my creative stalemate more than anything was the time I spent in Portland with Toby, helping him work out the look of characters for a film he is making. He asked me to sculpt full size puppet heads in foam rubber so that he could see what they would be like moving and talking before he sculpted them to cast in foam latex. This is something I’ve always enjoyed doing -basically snipping away at a block of foam with scissors and razorblades until the head takes shape -and haven’t done in years. It’s still fun and even better - I can still do it. I haven’t lost the knack. So -thank you Toby, for giving me the opportunity to discover that ability again. It has inspired me to just start “doing things”. This was done in between times of practicing being a Granny. That was the best thing of all. 

It’s good to be home -bad weather or not. It’s good to sit here and write, good to look around our waterlogged garden again and good to spend time with Brian and Elfie and Buster. I’m very grateful for it all. 

Here’s a bit of spring indoors. We’ll just have to wait for Nature to catch up!