Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: motivation



I felt really happy this fall with the progress on my art work, with ARKEO #4 and #5.

However this month my artmaking has suddenly stalled, as have fall garden cleanup and long walks, and it's not just the fault of our dull rainy days of November. I sit too much in front of the computer and over newspapers reading about elections (yay, Obama!) and the economy; even my usually rare TV viewing has jumped. I've lost my motivation, even though the desire is still there, slowly becoming buried as I dull my senses. Living with pain, disrupted sleep and frequent visits for treatments are my current preoccupation and distraction these days. Suddenly feeling older and crankier, I keep reminding myself that many others maintain their spirits under far greater health challenges, like fighting cancer. Impatient patient though I am, I believe that I'll get better with the care of my gifted naturopath, given a little time. I just hope I'll not lose the creative desire if this lasts too long, for my past experience has been that it takes me a while to get those juices flowing again after too long an interruption.

Another interruption is coming up fast: Christmas. Our eldest daughter was visiting this week and she became excited by the new Christmas issue of the Martha Stewart magazine, thus reminding me it's that time of year again. Our whole family is coming home this year so there will be much to prepare. I think this year I may forego making my own cards for the first time in years. Disliking shopping as I do maybe I'll take up sewing again and make some of the gifts this year like I used to many years ago. I still have a large stash of fabrics. Maybe that will keep some of those creative juices flowing.

Wishes for renewed health, energy and motivation much appreciated!

Marja-Leena | 15/11/2008 | 19 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Home


Write about the pain but not for your blog (initially at least). Do it offline. Junk it if you're not satisfied, and rewrite. Then write/rewrite. Regard this process of gradual purification as a tool against the pain, as a way of getting the better of it. An intelligent yah-sucks-boo. Don't be frustrated by the delay in posting, the work-in-progress is what counts. Post when you're sure. In the interim take more photos of the Britannia shipyard and I for one will respond with smartyboots UK observations. Others will tell you - quite justifiably - that you're a great photographer. And more.

Barrett, I don't want to write about the pain here. I did so today only to complain that it's preventing me from getting to the printmaking studio to make more prints and, since you mention it, out on photo expeditions on those long walks. Blogging I can do when I feel like it from the comfort of home. I may post more Britannia shipyard photos from the one trip we made, though I may be exhausting them soon. Thanks for the encouragement and the compliment on my photography. Having blog friends for company is great!

It's that time of year. We should all follow our instincts, stuff ourselves with fattening foods and hibernate until the spring. Trying to carry on with enthusiasm and energy when our every instinct is to slow down and rest goes against all that's natural. Hope you feel better soon

to everything there is a season. I think creativity ebbs and flows, mine certainly does.
The next bus will be along soon...

Onpa hauska kuvaoivallus!

Hi Mouse, thanks, I sure hope so!

Rosie, true, creativity does ebb and flow. I just didn't expect the ebb so suddenly :-)

Tuima, kiitos! Tuntui jotenkin sopivalta aiheiseen.

Sorry to hear about the pain and lack of motivation. I've been experiencing plenty of the latter lately, I don't know why. It will pass.

I love the photo! Is that some sort of euphorbia?

Dave, yes, I think it is some kind of euphorbia, based on some online searches. Glad you like the photo. Wishing us both the return of motivation!

I meant to say yesterday, all of the pictures on the first page look, to me, organic, like close-ups of living things, even the rocks, and I wonder why?

Sorry it's a struggle, hope it gets better soon. At least you know you still want to do and make things, and I thinik it's better to want to do more than you can accomplish than the inverse!

Beautiful photo, and the Arkeo series is splendid.

On aina vaikeaa lohduttaa kivuista kärsivää, mutta toivotan sinulle voimia.

Auttaisiko yhtään, jos miettisit pakollista taukoa levon kannalta: kuten luonto, joka hiljenee, hidastuu ja vaihtaa värinsä tummiin sävyihin talvikuukausiksi, myös ihminen tarvitsee kunnon hengähdystaukoa. Kehitys kaikkine laitteineen (tietokone, niinpä!) on saanut meidät unohtamaan, että talvi on lepoa ja akkujen lataamista varten. Eihän meistä kukaan jaksa luoda loputtomiin.

Mouse, do you mean that you were not seeing the images correctly, that they were distorted? There are no pictures of rocks on this page. How do they look today?

Lucy, thanks for the wishes and compliments. Good point, I just hope the desire stays with me.

Hei Viides rooli! Kiitos paljon. Ymmärrän hyvin mitä tarkoitat tauosta. Kesä aika on tavallisesti lepoaikaa minulle, ja muutenkin teen taidetyötäni väliaikaisesti jotta kyllä siinä on lepoaikaakin. Syksystä kevään maksan aika paljon graafiikan studion käyttöön jotta harmittaa jos ei pääse. Työni on juuri hyvässä paikassa, pelkään että se häviä.

Sorry to hear that you're dealing with pain and its interruption of your work. We do all need downtime, and I'm sure your motivation will return in good time. It's tough and scary and cranky-making in the near time, though, I know! Mouse may be right that we need a bit more hibernation this time of year, and instead we are hit with the need to entertain and be cheerful. Bah humbug! ;-) Feel better soon.

Oh that art making thing really can be nasty when it momentarily slips away. It will be back however and hope you will be feeling better very soon. Yes, Christmas is an interruption, but a great time to get caught up with friends and family. I figure with the economy the way it is, I'll make gifts this year, too.

Leslee, thanks so much for the sympathy and good wishes.

Joan, thanks! I do hope to recover soon, to get back to my art and to be able to enjoy the Christmas preparations. We keep it simple, not exchanging many gifts, emphasizing family time together, yet the traditions still draw us in.

Life under a rock can feel restricted and dark, with the seeming impossibility of lifting the stone to see the light. Rest. Be self-indulgent. Explore with the interest of an observer what lives in the dark. Soon the rock will roll away.

Christmas. Was Christmas meant to be a burden? A friend of mine who used to organise and host splendid celebrations and find amazing presents became very ill with MS. She decided to ask everyone to contribute something towards the celebration: decoration, food, whatever, and organised a large tub of goodies from which everyone got one gift. She and everyone else had great fun trying to think of gifts which would delight anyone. It was a huge success, and ordinary multi-gift pre-prepared Christmases seemed just boring after that.

Olga, wise words, thank you so much! As for Christmas, I'm glad I don't do big parties, but your friend sounds quite amazing. Our youngest daughter who is living at home again will be a huge help for me this year in some of the preparations.

Sorry about the pain and motivationlessness... may both swiftly shrivel! I hope fabrication keeps the juices flowing.

Lady P, thank you for the wonderfully worded wishes, you made me grin!