Therapeutic cleaning or a manic fit?

I never really know where a cleaning fit comes from. Over the years I've come to recognize that they're often linked to a need to control or organize some part of my life in order to balance out the feeling that another part is out of control, or perhaps just beyond my control. I took a "vacation" day on Friday because I have unused leave that I need to burn up. (That's a topic for another post.) I thought I would get in some good studio time, but I needed to tidy up just a little bit first because my work space was a mess. The sequence of events that followed is too circuitous to retrace, but somehow it led to cleaning out the attic, shredding old financial records, rearranging the storage in the studio/office (such as it is), and beginning to load our entire collection of CDs into iTunes. So far I've filled two large trash barrels and the recycling bin. This is a good thing. Sometimes these cleaning jags amount to little more than putting things away, but don't really lighten the load of accumulated stuff.

As I've been cleaning I've been continuing my meditation on lines. While we were in Philadelphia I took pictures of things that were catching my eye. It was all linear.


I've always loved street grates. As a kid I remember being afraid to walk on them because I thought I would fall in. Now, they're just enticing patterns. The shot of the buildings is intriguing too. My photo collection is full of numerous similar frames. The color of the buildings, the strong angles, the clarity of the sky, the value range, and the irony of the sign for "Parking" of which you can only see "Park". This street was hardly a park.

I've been doodling the middle of the two frames all week. I started out with careful sketches, moved on to things with lots of crosshatching, and finally ended up with rapid gesture drawings. These feel really good. I'm going to try exploring that a bit more.