Monday, May 04, 2009

I need an apprentice


My blog is pushing 1,000 posts and now entering its 4th year. Sometimes I feel as if I've run out of words and inspiration to add more to it. I know that I still have information and art in my past, my present and my future, but sometimes it doesn't come out the way that I plan.

These last few weeks seem to be those of starts, but not finishes. There are sketches, half finished drawings, starts for oil paintings and now a lino block that I've started, but my body refuses to let me complete it.

With aging comes its own set of complaints and in my case its some arthritis in one hand - the drawing hand of course. It was exacerbated by an accident years ago when a sizable sliver of glass entered the joint of my forefinger on the right hand. It became infected almost instantly and was dealt with medically promptly. However the glass severed the nerve and there is a numbness from the joint to the fingertip which causes problems sometimes.

I started this lino cut a few days ago, but had to stop as my finger was too stiff and painful after extended pressure on it. I keep trying and may transfer the piece over to a softkut piece of vinyl that carves more easily and see how that works.

I think I need an apprentice. Isn't that what artists had years ago? A 'go fer' to mix paint, do the parts that the artist hated to do, like tedious backgrounds, and to cut lino blocks! Then I could come in and work on the fun part like printing. I've set Tripod with the task of searching online for an apprentice for me. He seems quite dedicated to the work...

There are still apprenticeships available in some areas, and while they may resemble in some ways the apprenticeships of years past, the workload is less strenuous and the life not so harsh in the 21st century. The passing down of skills from master to apprentice is age old and very valuable. Only now are people understanding the loss of information and skills that can only be produced through person to person sharing and not through a virtual connection.

13 comments:

Billie Crain said...

Sorry to hear about the finger.:( Arthritis is a mark of our advancing years as well. For me it's my neck and back. Then I think of Strider on the w/c forum at WC. He was a quadraplegic who painted with the brush held between his teeth and I try not to complain. An apprentice does sound nice, though.:)

Tripod looks like he's shopping for mice online. Better keep an eye on him.

Rose Welty said...

Congrats on nearing 1000 posts! You sound so tired Jeanette. You seem to have regular stints of needing multiple copies of yourself! :D I hope you get some rest. Wish I could be that apprentice...that gorgeous place you live, your intriguing mind...it would be a wonderful opportunity!:D

Sonia said...

Wish you recover soon, Jeanette! I would gladly be you apprentice. I am sure I would learn a lot! ;) But I think you cat is doing just fine... Perfect for the job! ;)

Regards,
Sonia.

Pat said...

I have been enjoying your blog site and just wanted to let you know you are appreciated. When I have arthritis days I remind myself that somedays are better. This doesn't happen to be one of them but the better day will come. Take care of youself. You are loved.

Jeanette said...

I shouldn't complain Billie as there are lots more way worse off than I. The getting older part I have no problem with. The associated problems that go with are a challenge sometimes.

Tripod likes to watch the computer screen and sometimes pats it if something interesting comes on, like animals. He's a strange cat.

I am tired Rose. The pace lately at work has been beyond extreme and spills over into the weekend so there's little catch up time. It will slow down again in about a month - I hope.

Come on over, all apprentice wannabes more than welcome! :)

Thank you Sonia. The cat is both useful and non productive, depending on his mood.

Pat, thank you for your kind words. I know we all have days when things don't go as planned and our bodies don't cooperate either. But there is always a tomorrow to look forward to.

Teresa Mallen said...

I love the drawing! It will make a terrific piece. I hope work slows down for you soon and may your body recover quickly. It is always great to see photogenic Tripod. :-)

Mary said...

Congratulations Jeanette, and to me your blog and art work seems as good or better than the first day, but I do hear you on age getting in the way of creativity. With me it is not the steady hand I had before and having trouble seeing the right color at night, so I can only paint during the day.

Anita said...

Robyn Sinclair mentioned to me that she had tried a synthetic Japanese lino that cuts like butter. Might be worth your getting in touch with her as it might help you in your plight.
Hope your finger feels a little less bothersome soon.

Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

Jeanette, get better soon.

I chuckle out loud at seeing Tripod at the computer.

My "plans" are cataract surgery on Thurs. One of those things that are seeming necessary.

Jeanette said...

Thanks Teresa, I'll get it done eventually.

Mary, I guess we'll all have problems as we get older, perhaps some of them will make even more interesting art!

Good idea Anita. I do have a couple of vinyl blocks that do cut very easily. I'll have to ask Robyn about the Japanese ones. Finding them may be the challenge here.

Peggy, thank you.

Tripod is a real ham sometimes. He's the perfect set up. :)

Best of luck with the cataract surgery on Thursday. I know that it does make a big difference once its complete.

Robyn said...

Jeanette - Better late than never, I finally catch up with my reading. So sorry to hear your hand is giving you trouble. It is always depressing to think some diminishing skill will stop one making art. I have an ongoing fear that my eyesight will be the problem.

I don't know the name of the Japanese vinyl blocks but I bought them from Intaglio Printmaker in London. You'll find an email address on their site. The seem very friendly, so they might give you more details. Unfortunately the vinyl is heavy to mail, so it may be too expensive to order from London.

Good luck!

Dermott offers himself as an apprentice but I'm suspicious of his desire to 'play' with Tripod! ;)

Jeanette said...

Robyn, thanks for the link. I may be able to find a source of this in Canada perhaps. There's always the vinyl blocks which are quite soft to cut, but expensive.

As is always said, getting older is not for sissies.

Lindsay said...

Happy Blog Birthday. Sorry to hear your are in a bit of a funk. Last year, I took off the month of August from blogging and felt great about returning in Sept. This year, I may take a spring month off too. When it starts to feel more like pressure than fun, time to do as the cats do....take a nap. They are great teachers in this regard.

Hope your finger recovers soon.