A few months ago I signed up for a "mixed media weekend technique intensive" at the Rhode Island School of Design (Continuing Education summer class). I've been eagerly awaiting this fabulous weekend, and now that it's two days away I'm having fits of irrational anxiety.
Right on schedule.
The email from the instructor started the spiral:
"bring your sketchbook with ideas and motifs. You will want to have sources for reference; a subject or abstract theme in mind."
And just like that, all good ideas vanished from my head.
I need to come up with something fast and it better be good, because I'm going to RISD for heaven's sake.
How about trees or leaves?
I can't do that. It's completely overdone and way too simple. Same goes for circles and flowers and birds and hearts.
What on earth will I put in a sketchbook?
I don't even draw.
I am convinced I will embarrass myself in front of "serious artists."
Naturally, when the crazies strike, they are not limited to a specific topic. I am now completely over-thinking the two round robin journals that are sitting on my table.
No idea is good enough, and the longer I worry about it, the longer I hold up the groups, which then leads to a whole other kind of panic. Whatever I create will reveal the truth about me.
So just to be clear, I KNOW I'm being crazy.
I'm not being graded.
Nothing is at stake here.
The room will be filled with lovely human beings who will not notice or care about the contents of my non-existent sketchbook.
I will learn bucket loads whether I have a motif or not.
My round robin folks will not send back the book and demand better art. I just need to get this particular brand of craziness out of my system.
Here's the one thing that is not freaking me out, and is making me very excited. I will be meeting - in person for the very first time - the sewing/knitting/painting/stitching/salamander dreaming wonder, Amy.
Here's a postcard she sent me after she got back from Squam.
(She's giving away more from this series here.)
After several email discussions about the class supply list, we have agreed we will be "those women with the wrong paper."
I solemnly swear I will try my best not to disrupt her learning experience with whispering and giggling. (I'll save that for our dinner together.)
And if my anxiety doesn't abate by Saturday, I can always travel incognito. Amy - if you have trouble recognizing me, I'll be the blurry one with the mustache.