While making good progress on the new Artist’s book, I’ve been dealing with a shitload of anxiety and keeping my blinders on to not think about it all.
Saturday morning, while I was busy cutting pages for the book, I looked at my phone to discover that I’d received a text from my brother. He said he was in the hospital and didn’t think he’d ever make it out. He said he’ll always love me. It was alarming, to say the least.
But this has happened before. In fact, the last time we “repaired” our relationship was after a two-year break—he texted then too. He said he had a stroke. He apologized for how he’d behaved two years prior, and so I came running. I was worried senseless.
He was okay. He did have a minor stroke, which affected his eyesight quite a bit, but he was otherwise fine.
During the time I was out there, he’d promised all kinds of things. He was scared for his life. He was going to turn a new leaf, he said. But that faded over a short time. He soon became emotionally unavailable again.
Saturday, I texted his wife to find out what was wrong. Why was he in the hospital? He’d had fever and chills all week and was dizzy. His fever had broken by then, and the doctors felt he’d be okay. They were just holding him for observation.
A couple of hours later, I decided to text him back. I had to think about what to say because I don’t want to repeat this dance with him again. I told him I was sorry to hear he was in the hospital. I said, “I will always love you too.” I do wish him well, but that’s it. Not to say I don’t worry. I do, but I can’t deal with him only contacting me when he feels vulnerable or just when it suits him.
So, I continued to work, blinders back on. I managed to finish the bow drill kits, which I’d nearly finished before. I just had to tie the strings on the bows.
and I cut all the paper for all the pages.
Now I’m working on the cover for the prototype. While doing so, I realized that I don’t want my name on it. I think it will look better without it. My name is inside the book on the colophon. Good enough.
I also don’t think I like the embroidery this thick (double threaded) on the title. I’ll keep playing with this one and see how the rest of the word looks with a single thread.
While I was about to the digital printing, I came to find that the current printer I own will not print on paper customed at anything taller than eleven inches. WTF?! That’s right. I can’t even fool the printer into it. The paper feeds through, won’t print, and errors out. It’s not a great printer. It has good ink, but it’s otherwise a cheap printer.
That stopped me in my tracks, and I didn’t know what to do. I had no other choice but to buy a new printer—a good one with a wide format and one that will print as tall as tabloid-sized paper. It’s coming on Thursday and it’s pretty exciting since I’ve always wanted one. They used to be way too expensive, but now they are way more affordable.
It’s a good investment since now I’ll be able to create more books in the future (bigger ones, too), and it justifies what I want to charge for Outlander. I’m thinking about a thousand dollars? That might sound like a lot for a book, but if I spent this much time on one painting, it would cost many times that for sure.
I still have a long, long way to go. I keep feeling like I’m doing all the easy stuff first. There’s still a lot of writing, drawing, and painting to do, not to mention printing the lino blocks. But maybe it won’t be as bad as I think. There are only five, not twenty or fifty.
“The Outlander walks off the beaten trail to explore the unfamiliar. They try to navigate the rocks and hillsides, but the vastness of the wide-open space obscures the mind. Lost in the tall grass, the Outlander attempts to connect the unknown terrain to home—to a place of peace and stable ground. As they flounder and seek, desperately reaching for freedom and country, they search out fulfillment in the soil before discovering that the land belongs to all.”