We sat on the deck in the shade of an umbrella, sipping Emily’s homemade iced tea and munching on fresh baked cookies. I turned the pages of Emily’s sketchbook seeing the drawings in person for the first time. I’d seen many of them during our Zoom Video Chats but paging through the book, seeing them one after another, gave them context that I hadn’t experienced before.
It was like seeing an exhibit, drawings on a gallery wall, instead of reproductions in a book. The drawings were full of emotion, exquisite lines and texture. There is strength in their softness.
It’s been years since I’ve had a friend who is also an artist that I can talk to.
Our friendship grew during the pandemic with our weekly virtual studio visits. If life had been as usual this past year I don’t think we would have put the time into those talks the way we did. Like so many people we were hungry for connections to other people and found a way to do it that worked.
But the friendship also works because we’re similar in many ways.
Creativity is a driving force in both of our lives. We take it seriously and are dedicated to it. I get to do it full-time while Emily shares her creative time with her baking business and her family. But even at the height of the pandemic, homeschooling her daughter, she always made time for her art. Grabbing moments on her dining room table to put together a collage or coming up with a new way to sell her art.
At first, we kept to talking about our work. But I don’t know how to talk honestly about my art without also talking about my life. There is too much overlap.
Today our conversation moves freely around our lives and work.
Creative sisters is what Jon calls us. And that feels right to me. it’s a particular connection rooted in the need of self-expression, which is no longer a choice, but a necessity.
Driving home I knew I wouldn’t get into my studio today. But the time I spent with Emily nourished and inspired me, refueling me creatively so when I do get back to my studio, I feel like my art will come a little easier, will be a little lighter, less self-conscious.
I feel like I got just the creative boost I needed.