I started this fall and Christmas season with high hopes. With my physical therapy sessions, massages, chiropractic visits, specialists and all other helpful whatnots, I was able to create a decent sized smattering of creations for a small fall open studio. It was not even half of what I would normally create for a “normal” open house. More importantly, this smattering took over three months to create where before my injury it would have taken 4 weeks at the most. But, it was far more than I had been able to do in nearly 2 years and I was grateful just to be back in the studio painting.
With the little open studio however, I pushed myself too hard toward the end and my arm paid for it. The tightness did no favors to my angry nerves that run down my right arm and the muscle weakness was evident. Sleep was fleeting. Frustration filled too many days. The worst day came when submersing my arm in an ice bath for 5 minute intervals left me in an agonizing tearful heap. I did myself a kindness and took a couple of weeks off to concentrate on strength building, rest and making the arm “happy” again.
When I returned to work, it came slowly. The tightness, tingling and pinching that lays on the top of my hand makes it hard to hold a brush for any long period of time. We tweaked my therapy, exercises changed, and massages were needed more than every 4 weeks. I knew this was going to be a slow road. I was told it was. Being in various braces on and off for two years appaarently did no favors to my bones, muscles and nerves. I can’t always tell what will be a good day or not in the studio until I set to task. “Your nerves are going to be like razor wire” Dr Noll told me. “And what we do here and what you do at home will only antagonize it.” And he was right.
Don’t get me wrong – things are MUCH better than they used to be. Things don’t fall from my hand. I sleep most nights and the debilitating headaches have left me. But as an artist there lies a frustration that bubbles up from not being able to create what you want. Not being able to move your hand to create the smooth lines that make up the majority of your work get to a person. So I walk away to take a break, refocus and hope that the next day will be better. I have to take my time, not push myself and remember how far I’ve come and have faith how much better I will be in the coming year!
So for now, I have decided to list the handful of new paintings to be available on line, and an open studio and home tour will have to wait ...