I'm still doing pretty well in unemployment land. I applied for unemployment on Thursday, which just means I started the process, not that there's money coming to me anytime in the next month or so.
I've found myself to be curiously busy. Part of it is still job related, for example, Tues. I went in to tie up some loose ends, yesterday I took a fellow laid-off-ee on a tour of my building so she could get some photos for her portfolio, today I'm going into the office again to get some photos I wanted but forgot, and twice I have gone out to lunch with the people from the construction office. Part of it is fixing up the house (the project in the basement will be blogged about in the near future) and trading services with a friend who is also laid off and fixing up his house. Then there are the phone calls and emails from concerned friends, plus evening gatherings I would be going to anyway (BSG at brother's house, women's group, etc.). So, I haven't been sitting around the house needing to motivate myself as much as I thought I would!
One of the fun things I did this week was go to a women's group (the spellchecker doesn't like the word "women's." What, a group of females can't possess something?) that supports each other in spiritual expression, development, and exploration. It's not focused around one dogma (in fact, we often express the differences in our beliefs) and that's what makes it an interesting group, in my opinion.
Last week, we met and two of the gals, who are artists, set up an evening of art, inspired by a woman who does "soul painting". They didn't set the bar too high - we didn't try to paint our souls, just tried a self/spiritual expression exercise with multi-media art. I found it interesting that two of the gals initially had trouble without stronger guidelines of What To Draw, but as they experimented with media and started talking instead of thinking so much, they did much better. Those of us with artistic (of the painting and drawing type) backgrounds linked in with that creative impulse a lot quicker.
Though I spent much of my childhood doing art (went to art camp every summer of high school), I don't do a ton of it now. Occasionally I will do a painting in gouache, but ultimately, I don't often find the time to play with art. I really enjoyed myself that evening, and though I really don't need to have yet another creative pursuit or buy the supplies for it, I'd love to do it more often.
We "warmed up" (loosened up, is more accurate) with charcoal, and one of my first efforts, I really liked what came to my fingers:
When we moved to the colored media (watercolors, chalk pencils, acrylic paint, oil pastels, etc.) I decided to base my next piece on that first one. I had a really fun time doing multiple media (which I haven't done much of). It really yields some interesting depth and texture. I was very pleased by the outcome. If pressured, I would say it represents where I feel I am right now, but ultimately, it's a nice piece of art: