Home again, home again, clippety clop


God, has it really been three weeks since I last wrote anything here? So much for everyday mattering. Sorry for the absence. I have just come back from Los Angeles to find that the weather in New York is far more springular. It was pleasant to shed my layers of sweaters and prance about the daffodils in our garden (well, one daffodil so far).
I had a nice enough time in Los Angeles but a certain mechanical loneliness sets in after so many nights away from my family and my bed. Patti and Jack came and spent the last few days with me in Santa Monica and we drove about, visiting friends and being touristy.
I was shooting a new round of five commercials for Chase and your TV will probably be inundated with them in a few weeks. I am quite pleased with the new batch and it was nice to reunite with the same people I have shot and edited with several times before. It’s a pleasant, comfortable routine one falls into with people whom one spends every waking hour with for a month and then never see again for six. Jim, my director, just released a movie (Glory Road, a basketball flick) and the drawing habit I seeded in him last spring is still with him. He now feels comfortable drawing ideas for shots and for the sets he wants, something he’d never felt okay with, despite twenty years behind the camera. Our video assist guy, Ed, became completely hooked on drawing when I first gave him a first lesson almost a year ago and this month he pulled out some incredibly detailed drawings done painstakingly in pencil and most quite amazingly accurate. I’m so pleased he’s discovered the pleasures of drawing.
I find myself in a dubious place, mentally and spiritually, these days. On the one hand, I am in the midst of producing commercials which I have always enjoyed (I have three more shoots scheduled for the upcoming month); there’s nothing quite like spending millions of dollars to turn your flimsy, in-the-shower idea into something that runs over and over in people’s living rooms (or gets zapped by their Tivos). But whenever advertising work takes up too much of my life, replacing my family, my self, my journal, my leisure, even my blog, I start too feel melancholy and adrift. I start to question all of my priorities and the roads not taken. Even the free time I have becomes contaminated. I stop reading ( I have been on a long sequential jag of lovely Dicken’s novels, forsaken for trashy novels and magazines), I stop dreaming big thoughts about what I might do next, I stop talking to friends not involved in my current project, I become overly touchy about other people’s judgments, and I feel trapped, like a wild animal hunkered over his prey and now anxious some scavenger will pull it away. It’s not pretty.
In spite of all this melancholia, I have actually done (or should I say, forced myself to do) a fair amount of drawing in my new red book and I’ve had a couple of other drawing adventures I’ll share here in the next few days. I also have a couple of observations about the world and drawings place in it I’ll post soon.
So, please excuse my absence, and be patient with me as I get back on the horse.