Saturday, January 13, 2007

Introduction to Us

To blog or not to blog? For my wife and I, the answer to this question was an emphatic YES, followed immediately and diligently by procrastination. Days tend to be pretty full when you're both working full time and coming home to a lively infant on the verge of becoming a high speed toddler. There are only so many hours in the day, and they all seem to be accounted for with a variety of mundane but necessary tasks. During Ava's colicky prime, on the many nights when she would wake up every couple hours between midnight and dawn to remind us of her presence, the thought of extracurricular activity was ludicrous. The only extra that we craved, particularly my wife Erin who shouldered the bulk of the late hours load, was sleep.

Lately though, the concept of sleeping through the night is one that our daughter somewhat regularly embraces. As for the never ending list of chores to be done, having a good system makes them a tad less overwhelming. We don't quite have that system in place yet, but with experience we have slowly but surely improved our time management, making the notion of writing a blog slightly less daunting. And so here I sit, scribbling our introductory note to the world, or at least to the World Wide Web which is close enough. We have no idea who will find their way here, so will leave that for fate for decide. But whoever reads these words may want to know what has brought Erin and I to the world of blogging. A paraphrase of one of our favorite quotes provides the motive - "A line a day".

You see, Erin and I are both artists. She is a painter and I am a writer. We knew when we got married three years ago that our lives would dramatically change. It was our intention to go from urban apartment dwellers to suburban home owners, and that we did. We agreed to blossom our partnership of two into a family, and after a sometimes brutal and sometimes hilarious period of battling the fertility gods, we happily went the adoption route. We talked frequently about chronicling our experiences during this eventful time, but never quite got around to it. When you're in the process of being poked and prodded, making love in a closet sized room to a cup, and then abandoning that craziness in favor of voluntarily undergoing the Inquisition to prove your worth as future parents, it can take quite a toll on the creative process.

All worked out perfectly in the end. We have a great house in a wonderful community filled with great neighbors, and Ava is the realization of our most beautiful dream. It is so amazing to watch her learn about the world around her, and to learn from the process of being her parents. But the purpose of this blog is not to tell our life story, which you now know several of the highlights of. It is not to blather on about our neighborhood activities, or our house projects, or even to brag about our precocious daughter. These are subjects that we will probably touch on from time to time, but they are peripheral to our main objective. What Erin and I are here for is to make good on the promise we made to ourselves and each other. As stated before and bears repeating, Erin is a painter. I am a writer. Neither of us makes a living at these endeavors, yet it is how we ultimately define ourselves. Without a pen or keypad, my sense of self is lost. Without a paintbrush or pencil in hand, Erin is still a beautiful and compassionate woman whom I love with all my heart. But she would not be the woman that I pledged to spend my life with. She would be someone else. Neither of us wants to be someone else. We want to remain committed to the aspirations that have sustained us for most of our lives. We want to tell stories with words and brushstrokes. Our wish is for the pages and canvases of our lives to be routinely covered with the magic that only we can make.

It is much too easy and common to give up on your dreams. The far more difficult and worthwhile path is to rage against the machine of inertia. No doubt there are others out there who seek inspiration and motivation to continue their own noble pursuits. Perhaps by striving to provide this for those who happen by, we will simultaneously re-discover it for ourselves. John Lennon once wisely noted that life is what happens while you're busy making other plans. Other plans can be all consuming, but Erin and I refuse to be gobbled alive. Instead we will live, she through her painting and I through my writing, and both of us through each other and Ava and whatever other miracles the future may have in store. This blog will be the testament to our will power. Here you will find our opinions, observations, theories and philosophies about the things we are most passionate about. And above all else, you will discover our art.

Goodbye for now. We are off to create stories and pictures that will hopefully add to the beauty of the world.

- Roy L. Pickering Jr.


I will leave the writing to Roy since he makes magic with words, but want to give some insight to my images and where I am at. The bottom line is I did no painting in 2006 and it left me feeling disconnected and growly. The longer I went without creating, the more the nightmares came. I think I will be a better person, wife and mother if I am faithful to my desire to create art. With all that went on last year that, and also including a surgery, a few subsequent health scares, and my monthly out of town business trips, I simply could not find the time or energy. 2007 will be different.

We made a promise to each other and ourselves to post new work to our blog every 2 weeks. I am hoping the deadline will help me to carve out time each day, even if it's a struggle, to work on an illustration or painting. So far so good. I started the ink tiger portrait on Jan 1st and have worked on it almost daily since... even if only for 20 minutes a day after all the daily chores are done and I am set up for the next day. It is small format so completion feels attainable. I am following the format for an ACEO which stands for "Art Cards, Editions and Originals".

These cards are 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches - the size of a trading card. My goal is to complete a series of 6 animal portraits before moving on to my next subject. The cards will be put up for auction on ebay.

Thanks for visiting and being part of our creative process.

- Erin Rogers Pickering

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