Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Summer is here - at last!

Lovely sunny weather outside - it's been bright and warm, birds tweeting, weeds growing like mad. The long, light days - although not always very warm and sometimes with a brisk wind - are very welcome. I've been pulling my garden back into a manageable state, slowly working through the tasks, and feeling nourished by spending time outdoors.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Still drawing

Pleased to report that I'm doing well so far, drawing pretty much every day, here and there. Carrying around a small sketchbook works well - I took it to London with me at the weekend and used it a lot. I've enjoyed the sense of space and time out that occurs during the process of drawing. Having my eyes and hands busy means my thoughts can become quite meditative, float and make connections. After my accident last week, I still feel freed up to draw without judgement. It feels different.

I received my membership card for 'Friends of the Hatton', and it turns out there is a group show coming up in June to which I can submit work. I am going to try to weave something for the May deadline. It would be a good boost to see some of my work on the wall again - its been a while. That's if they accept it. I read the terms and conditions again this morning - textiles are acceptable - so I'll do my best.

Friday, 16 April 2010

A sobering but motivating experience

I was driving along a busy dual carriageway on Wednesday night at 60mph when my bonnet suddenly flew open, blocking the windscreen. I couldn't see a thing, so all I could do was hit the brakes, keep driving in a straight line and hope for the best.

Luckily I was on the inside lane and not in the middle of a maneouvre in another part of the road. Luckily the lorry behind me reacted quickly and didn't drive into me. Luckily there was no collision and nobody was injured. I pulled over and assessed the damage, temporarily secured the bonnet catch and drove home slowly.

Now the shock of it has passed, it's been a sobering reminder to me that we just don't know how long we've got. One could go at any time in any number of unforeseen ways. Therefore, it feels even more important to act now, live in a way that means something to oneself, and do things that matter.

Reminder to self: watch that film 'The Bucket List'.

I may never earn a penny from making art, but it feeds my soul, soothes my mind and makes me feel better in myself, which has a knock on effect in the way I give back to the world in my own small ways. For these reasons I need to keep doing it.

Even the few times I have drawn this week, I've felt that familiar, sweet, expansive feeling coming back, the one that comes with I start engaging in creative activity. The feeling that I get when my thoughts start to soar, build, flow and mesh into ideas.

I realised, to paraphrase the artists block stuff I was reading, that it doesn't really matter what I draw, as long as I keep drawing. This is the main thing.

I felt freed up yesterday, when drawing in my lunch hour, from the expectations of passers-by. For once, I really didn't care less about whether they liked my drawing or not - it didn't interrupt or bother me at all - and that felt good. I just kept going.

I read 'Notes from an Exhibition' recently, a novel by Patrick Gale. The central character is Rachel, a painter with bipolar disorder. In it, Gale describes her as 'throwing off' a couple of drawings as her warm up exercise before she starts painting. I really like that expression..

..so yesterday, I also didn't care less whether *I* liked my drawing or not.

I just kept on drawing without judgement or self-criticism - that was a new feeling and a good one. It felt relaxing and freeing.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Getting going again

Getting going again is like pulling teeth - aargh! I feel sluggish and out of shape creatively.

I read up on Artists Block online. Essentially the reason is fear of failure and imperfection, and the remedy..? Just get on and do it anyway at regular intervals, and do things that feed your soul inbetween times.

I set a timer for 30 minutes before work this morning, upstairs in my studio (still in boxes and bits) and spent the time mainly drawing, followed by a little bit of organising and unpacking, so it's a start.

The other thing I've just done is to rejoin Friends of the Hatton Gallery, which means I can submit work for a group show in November. It would be good to have something on the wall.

Monday, 5 April 2010


Hello all - I'm still here! Finally Spring has tentatively begun to arrive after a long winter here in the UK and I feel a sense of renewal.The birds are tweeting and it is a joy to see nature's greenery and perky daffodils again. Hopefully you are starting to feel similarly recharged.

In my last entry I said that my desire to create seems to be influenced by the physical space around me. I am pleased to report that, as of this month, I have a dedicated studio space nearby which means I can finally start to work freely without having to tidy everything back into storage on a regular basis. I know lack of space is not an excuse for lack of creativity, but it doesn't help.

So now..some discipline, some spontaneity and let's see what happens next.