You just can’t avoid getting sick. It happens.

But what happens to the art when you get sick?

I came down with my pulmonary embolism in mid-July, just as I was waiting to hear from one gallery about whether or not they’d represent me, and waiting to hear from another about their decision on my proposal for a show. My being sick would have impacted both; my lack of energy affected my output and my ability to meet with people face-to-face.

My show proposal was turned down, thankfully (why thankfully? I might not have been able to meet my commitment!) and I still haven’t heard back from the other gallery, which is, as I said last time, essentially “no” until I hear otherwise. I haven’t had the energy to contact them again, and that may have to wait for another time.

My being sick affected my ability to work at my easel, so for the last two months I have done no painting at all. But I didn’t stop creating. I just found other things I could do, within the stamina limitations I had.

First, I continued working on my post card subscription — and while they haven’t been as on-time as I wanted them to be, I still got them out within the months expected. The post cards are a thing I can do with my computer in my lap, sitting wherever I happen to be.

Second, I worked on crafts — knitting, crocheting, embroidery. I love these things. They’re different from “fine art” work, but they are still creative art nonetheless, and just as valuable for the creative mind.

Hardanger embroidery in progress

Hardanger embroidery in progress. Creativity is important, in all its various expressions!

Third, I worked in my sketchbook as I got ideas, which would come now and then, so that when I am again ready to work at the easel, I have things to work on. I already have one canvas sketched out, waiting for the current Work On Easel to be finished.

And the time is coming again, soon! This week I am feeling vastly improved. I’ve kept a small exercise routine every morning with deep-breathing routines and yoga stretches, and every day I add other strength-training exercises and different things to keep pushing myself and get myself toned back up so I can get back to doing things.

Which, I guess, is the thing… with art as with fitness, you have to keep yourself primed somehow. You just have to find a way to do it that will accommodate your stamina/schedule/ability, just so long as you keep doing it… because if you stop, it’s harder to start back up again.

Onward and upward!