Everyone can agree that 2020 has been a disastrous year. I recently came across a creepy meme that really spoke to me and I thought I'd create my own variation of it. These two images are taken of Highboy going over the same jump just milliseconds apart from each other and I placed them side by side. The expression on my face really says it all. Getting through 2020 with clenched teeth.
Riding out 2020 feels very much like riding Highboy when he's messing around cross country. I have to ride Highboy through the nonsense and bad stuff, and if I don't let it get to me then I can have an amazing actual jump. Similarly, I just need to ride 2020 until it's done with it's nonsense and bad stuff and maybe I'll salvage something decent out of it.
I came across another poignant cartoon on the internet today. This is very much how I feel, like I'm being handed all these balls...
So I keep my figurative hands at my side. People and situations and politics can attempt to give me all these balls of anxiety, but they get put on the ground at my feet. I choose not to pick them up. The way I refuse to carry them is by not watching the news, not tolerating people treating me poorly because they're stressed by their anxiety balls, not taking on responsibility for others' emotions and anxieties. I'm doing the best I can with the emotional reserves I have. While I'm not capable of resolving society's issues myself, I can certainly decide not to contribute to them.
Kind of like I can't force Highboy to behave himself, but I can refuse to contribute to his drama by not fighting with him. I just quietly do things my own way regardless of what's happening under me.
One of my coping mechanisms is riding my own horses and taking care of things in the barn. Organizing my tack room gives me peace of mind and a sense of quiet in a very loud world. Over the past week I've been sick (tested negative for covid), and haven't been able to do my usual things outside because of feeling poorly and the smoke and asthma making it difficult for me to breathe. So I've returned to my favorite indoor project: drawing.
I found this photo online that I wanted to draw:
I struggle a little ethically with drawing other people's images, I'd rather draw from a photo I have the rights to instead of one I found online. I then realized I have an extremely similar photo of Raven and me going over a cross country jump in very similar steeplechase form.
So I printed it out and began drawing.
The finished piece 18x24" and looks like this:
Other pieces I've worked on this week are this 8x10 of a front legs and jumping boots:
this 5x7 of a racehorse:
this 8x10 of Sam, my friend Joan's OTTB free jumping:
And this one was done months ago but I don't think I ever posted it online. This is Bridger, my friend Kate's quarter horse gelding.
These drawings make me so happy. I wanted so badly to be able to draw as a kid, and even into high school and college I took classes trying desperately to draw well. Despite all the effort, mostly I produced cartoon-ish images so I gave it up.
Years later , after the head injury resulting in brain damage, I decided to try again and discovered I can draw now. Every time there's a large time gap between drawings I wonder if I can still do it, and it's so utterly satisfying to rediscover that I still can!
This is Simon the corgi, who belongs to my friends Connie and Mike in Washington State.
This is Orzo, Jasi's little grey barn cat.
This is a commissioned piece I did for a childhood friend in Massachusetts a couple years ago.
This is a commissioned piece I did for the woman who won the silent auction with her bid on a custom drawing at the Black Dog Animal Rescue fundraiser last year.
I am taking orders again this year for drawings as gifts for the holidays. Pricing starts at $200 for an 8x10, and I can do up to 3'x4'. Drawings can be picked up in person or mailed to you rolled up safely in a cardboard shipping tube.