Victorian cat wearing floral easter bonnet hat. Artwork by TaraFly

Despite the pull of gravity, I managed to finish Victorian Cat.

Last week passed by in a Benadryl-induced blur of grogginess, thanks to the fine weather spawning a severe allergy… it was the first time I’ve ever experienced throat-swelling in addition to my red, itchy face and watery eyes.

Cat dander and dust, most likely, stirred up by the spring breezes blowing in the open windows throughout our house.
Merlin rubbing his furry face under my chin produced an itchy rash… and my family is howling with laughter at the irony of Mom being allergic… to CATS!

The horror!
It isn’t funny.

I was also dealing with a creative slump, which coupled with the medicine, left me couch-ridden… drowsily nursing a root-beer float and watching BBC television.

I’m tempted to blame the “Super Moon” for my lack of energy… you know, that hyped up phenomenon about Saturday’s moon being apocalyptic due to its close proximity to Earth.
Hehe, and I wonder if my ex-boyfriend is being adversely affected, since the 1997 Hale-Bopp comet’s interference with his brain supposedly caused him to break up with me… 😉

The full moon is notorious for the belief that it induces crazy behaviour in humans…
In fact, the word “lunacy” is derived from the Latin word for moon [luna];  people actually used the full moon as an excuse to commit crimes (i.e. the 19th century version of “pleading insanity”).

I rather tend to think it acts as a stimulant, not unlike a sip of Folger’s MasterBlend or a draft on a cigarette.

The interesting fact about stimulants, however, is that they produce the opposite effect in people prone to hyper-activity.
It’s true that caffeine can relax and even put folks to sleep… I can attest to it personally. LOL

I was a bit shocked to read online somewhere that parents were letting their toddlers drink coffee, and a few parents were recommending caffeine as an alternative to prescription drugs for calming ADHD children.

Drinking coffee was a “no-no” when I was growing up. In fact, one of my “rights of passage” involved being considered old enough to taste it.

I still get a twinge whenever I put a coffee jar into my shopping cart, or buy an extra-large cup from a convenience store…
it’s an – “I’m an adult, and I’m allowed to drink coffee!” feeling.

I would imagine it’s akin to making a liquor purchase, but I don’t have any experience with that.
Coffee and Pepsi taste far better than alcohol. 😉

Especially if you brew spices like cinnamon and nutmeg into the grounds, and then stir heavy whipping cream and some caramel syrup into it.
Mmmmm nom nom.
Okay… but getting back on topic…

If full moons have this reputation to drive people mad,
than what effect would they have on an already insane person?

My belief: full moons make crazy people SANE.
They make creative people un-creative, boring, and normal.

In my case, it dampens my ability to paint cats parading around as literary characters, dressed in silly costumes.
Because it takes a certain ounce of insanity to see the images that I see in my head every day.

I wasn’t feeling at all crazy last week, lying on the couch… tuning into Netflix to catch up on Mistresses – Season 1 in my pajamas, with loads of laundry waiting to be folded, and kids in need of a hot bath.

I felt decidedly typical… as if any moment, I might morph into the next door neighbor who hangs her clothes on the line, while chatting on her cordless phone (to another housewife, no doubt) about Jennifer Horton-Deveraux’s latest entanglement… both wearing their slippers and robes, and curlers in their hair.

Okay… so I made up the bit about the curlers.

I wasn’t in the mood to design new business cards, or upload my latest painting for sale, or write a blog post.

I wonder what other creative individuals do when faced with a slump like mine?
What do the folks at Disney do?
When those silly little creatures need to be digitally painted a thousand times over, regardless of how the animator feels…

autumn walk through downtown Funkstown. Guten Tag gift shop.

This shot of Guten Tag was taken during my autumn walk last year.

On Saturday morning, I took a walk into town to visit that locally owned gift shop that I’d been eyeing for several months.
Stepping inside, it reminded me of a potting shed… but in an earthy, inviting sense.

The owner of Guten Tag has focused her wares around the “home and garden” theme, and with the advent of Spring… her shop was full of potted plants, vintage gardening tools, lawn ornaments, and all sorts of home accessories in wrought-iron, stone, wood, and grapevine materials.

Promisingly, too, her shop was busy! I was hoping to catch her all to myself, to chat about the possibility of a consignment or wholesale arrangement… but I wound up standing in line behind a few other ladies, with a paper weight and picture frame in my hands.

I did get a chance to mention my artwork, give her Mr. Darcy’s portrait with my contact info… and she seemed genuinely pleased to make my acquaintance.
She said Mr. Darcy should do well, as apparently cats sell like hot cakes… strange to note that I saw very few cats represented in the selection of goods.

Another lady who showcases her work in the shop, creates apparel pins with kitty cats on them… and the owner suggested,
“Perhaps you could put Mr. Darcy on something like that?”

I’d hate to compete with another pin-selling cat artist. But her inventory got my brain plotting ways to utilize all the flower pots and vases I’ve been storing in my studio closet.

Unfortunately, when I arrived back home… after doing some research into 19th century porcelain vase designs, I couldn’t settle upon a design that I liked.
After decorating the blasted flower pots for nearly two hours, I changed my mind and trashed the whole thing… repainting over them all.

Painting a rural countryside scene on flower pots

Changed my mind from pink marble to 'rural English country'...

I’m still stuck in this rut… with a tentative appointment scheduled for tomorrow looming over my head, I’m worried that I won’t have a single thing to show her.
Worse still, I have half a dozen projects lying around and no guidance whatsoever. I keep adding to the growing list, and nothing is getting finished.

People often remark on the effectiveness of the calendar method, so I’ve decided (as of, 5 minutes ago) that this will be tomorrow’s FIRST project:

Create a calendar to keep track of every idea that floats into my brain. Assign a date to it, and if necessary, an approximate deadline.

Each day, I will have a visual reminder of which projects need to be completed first, i.e. the oldest pieces.
Hopefully checking something off the list will feel more satisfying than jumping sporadically into different projects, leaving a chaotic unfinished mess behind.

This also works well with blog post ideas, or so I’ve heard… it will be worth trying.


Of course, you know what else can be determined using the calendar method?

A: A full moon.

Perhaps it’d be wise to schedule those periods as “days of rest”… for couches, PJs, and good old Netflix.

When I’m called into account for my laziness, I’ll plead guilty to lunacy!
The full moon made me do it!

Do you think it will work?
And any thoughts on fighting creative burn out?