My Week So Far/ or Screen Printing and Self Help

I’m not even sure what to write for this weekly dispatch. My brain seems to have congealed into a sticky, overheated mess.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve done quite a lot this week, my body certainly feels like it has done a lot, but my brain feels as limp as a jellyfish, and refuses to produce any kind of analytical or organized thought about the week. I don’t even feel like making a list (shock, horror!!).

I’m just so very tired.

I’m recovering from a nasty virus, I have some gnarly bruises from a recent attack of clumsiness, my husband is abroad, and school, work, and life has chosen this exact time to keep throwing curveballs at me. So before I get any more bloody emails announcing impromptu parent/teacher conferences, t-shirt suppliers that have gone bankrupt and can’t fulfill my orders, or school events that I signed up for many moons ago while drinking a Merlot, let’s get this thing written!

Ooh, I just realized that I actually have photographic evidence of the fruits of my labor! Let’s look at some pretty pictures that prove that I actually did some work this week , and remember the shiny, pretty parts of the week.img_5194img_5195img_5197img_5204img_5205img_5207img_5230img_5232


Yup, that did it. I managed to print some pretty sweet stuff this week, and by the way, screenprinting is one of the most therapeutic activities ever. Feeling stressed? Come and print with me. Even looking at screen prints makes me unwind a little.
The kids made me some lovely hand made valentines presents, and my Neil Gaiman book finally showed up (I knew Neil wouldn’t forsake me on Valentines day). The kids and I watched Muppets in Space (my turn to pick the movie), baked a tudor almond cake, listened to a lot of punk rock. I managed to do some drawing in my sketchpad, and the little one confided to me that he wanted to live in the library “in the audiobook section where old people work on laptops”. Sometimes just remembering a few good things can spur other happy memories to come flooding out of your brain.

Okay I’m still tired, but maybe a tiny, teeny bit less grumpy… maybe. Luckily enough, the weekend is right around the corner, and it’s a long one …ahhh the sweetness of that thought.



Playing Hooky at the National Gallery

On Tuesday, I decided to take a day off from work, the suburbs, and my constant worrying, and caught the Metro into DC with a friend.
We seized the surprisingly sunny day and went to check out the newly renovated East building of the National Gallery. I’m here to officially state that it is gorgeous, full of amazing art, and definitely  worth a visit. It’s a perfect place to take kids, because the building itself is so engaging and full of beautiful open spaces, balconies, and spectacular views. I’m hoping to take my kids over the weekend, I think they will particularly adore the Calder room, and it’s adjoining outdoor terrace that is home to a larger than life cobalt blue rooster (what’s not to like?). My daughter will love the Rothko room and the large sculptures on the concourses, and my son will love the views from the balconies and those Wayne Thiebaud cakes. Add to this the space age travelator, the amazing kids’ bookshop, and the fact that that the cafe sells Eccles cakes, and we have a winner.
Spring is just around the corner (don’t argue with me, it is), and I’m going to take my kids to as many galleries as possible starting with this one.

In retrospect, I’m so glad that I threw caution to the wind and took a mental health day, because, as it happens, I’m spending the rest of the week at home with a sick six year old. Carpe diem my friends.


Janine Antoni’s Lick and Lather
Huge Jean Dubuffet sculpture that made me very happy
More Dubuffet
Henri Matisse – The Palm
From the Rothko room
Objectivity – Sol LeWitt
Wayne Theibaud’s cakes
The Calder Room
The Calder room
Views from the terrace

Climbing Out Of 2017 Malaise

Time for a fresh start

So far, 2017 has not shaped up well on a professional level (as well as so many other levels). I have had two months of uncertainties, working on projects that may not ever come to fruition, waiting for people to make decisions that may shape the rest of my year, nay the rest of my life (no you’re being dramatic), not knowing what I will be doing this time next year.

Not knowing, it’s the not knowing that is the most troubling thing. I dislike uncertainty almost as much as I dislike holding hands with a child who has just been picking his/her nose. If you can take any more of my whining, here is a brief review of what is causing my pain right now:

  • I have lost the location that I was going to run this summer’s camp at (something to do with imminent sewage works), and have restarted the long, arduous search for a suitable location. I have no idea when I will find one.
  • I’m not sure whether I’ll be teaching full time next year, and I’m not sure how ‘full’ full time will be.
  • I’m not sure what my summer will look like (because of the first two points).
  • I’m not sure how many shows to sign up for (because of the first two points).
  • I’m not sure what the future holds for Noctiluna (BECAUSE OF THE FIRST TWO POINTS)

All of the above has frozen me, and I have felt blocked creatively and unable to make any moves at all. Part of me really just wants to give up on doing anything and binge read Harry Potter on my sofa, whilst wrapped in a soft blanket – aah sweet escapism. But that won’t do, I need to snap out of this funk fast.

I tried writing a pros and cons list to bring some clarity, but that didn’t work, it just made me more sulky and contemplative. Noctiluna V full time teaching, working for someone else V working for myself, talking with colleagues V talking to myself, commute V sweatpants, structure V flexibility, teaching dream V artist/teacher/kick ass entrepreneur dream, chai V coffee, Hufflepuff V Griffindor…aaarrrgggh!

Nope. I guess the only way to becoming productive again is to just be productive. So I’m not going to think about anything, I’m just going to do (Nike was right).


The Plan

I’ve started making stuff again, I’m drawing, and embroidering drawings – something I’ve always wanted to try.
A shipment of onesies landed on my doorstep yesterday, it’s a sign, I’m going to make some screens and start printing this week. I’m going to knock on the door of every church and school in Vienna to find a spot for the camps, and at some point over the next two weeks, I’m going to start a new canvas. Tomorrow, I’m going to a gallery to get inspired, (and to see other humans).
Interestingly, this fresh new start is also coinciding with my husband’s two week trip abroad, maybe I can be more productive in the evenings without my lounge-mate around? Who knows? I’ll be back with evidence of my productivity in the next post, and maybe even some clarity about the rest of the year.
Fellow self-employed artists with small businesses, I salute you, it is not for the weak of heart.