Sunday, 5 July 2009

A fresh start

So far this summer I've looked out of my kitchen window every day and my eyes have rested on this magnificent foxglove in the back garden. It's the softest lilac with pale green at the top of each bell, and deep purple splotches inside. In a storm last week it was so laden with raindrops that it was bent over at right angles, so I've had to stake it up to protect it. Fingers crossed it'll self seed and come again in two years time.
I love this box of watercolours, and should take it with me everywhere I go, as when I pick it up it just begs to be used. I've been very remiss these last few months with little or no art in my days. In fact I lost momentum last year around August, with a burst of activity in November, and not much since. So I've kind of had a year's sabbatical I suppose.

Not that I've come back with any strong sense of direction. Maybe that's what I was waiting for all that time. But it never came. I felt lost in my art work, with no strong subject to get my teeth into. Often I've stood in my studio, getting filled up with junk from the house which needed storing out of the way. I can't blame my lack of work on a messy studio. More like the mess was a symptom of my apathy. No, apathy is wrong, because I've yearned to paint and draw, but I've had a block. A fear of failing. I suppose it's good that I felt my art had been improving for a long time, and after a pause I was scared to back-peddle. But when I started this blog, after a very long sabattical indeed (look back to my beginnings and you'll see) I had no strong direction then. Just an itch to pick up a mark-making impliment of some kind and make a start, after a very long block.

This morning I woke up with that itch again. So here I am. I make no promises to you guys, or even to myself. I just have a hope - that I'll be here in a week's time, and that there'll be a couple of things I'd like to show you all.


Melanie Rimmer said...

Why did Cezanne paint a still life with apples? Because he had something profound to share with posterity about how he felt about apples? No. Because it was raining that day and he couldn't get out of the house and he happened to have some apples on the table.

Don't wait until you are ready to create a world-changing masterpiece before you pick up your brush. Paint every day. Paint apples. Paint your own reflection. Paint the kids' toys all over the floor. Paint the laundry waiting to be done.

If you went back in a time machine and bumped into Vincent Van Gogh and he told you he couldn't paint that day because he had to wash the windows, wouldn't you want to tell him "Fuck the windows, Vince. Go and do a few more paintings!"

Paint, woman! Paint!

Yellow said...

Yeah, and some 'bloke' said that Leonardo Da Vinci had the same number of hours in his day as the rest of us do - but look what he achieved in that time! I say, he didn't have a mortgage, and a day job, and laundery to do, and school runs, and packed lunches. And I get tired and emotional when I've only had three hours of sleep...........
But yes. I know what you mean. And I will, only because you're such a bully. But I won't pretend that I'm enjoying it, you know.
Hey, let's book a joint exhibition in 6 months time and then we can both....... Noooo! Only kidding.

Brian McGurgan said...

I really like the softness of this watercolor, Steph, and the muted colors. This is a very nice fresh start, indeed. Sometimes those unproductive periods of "stewing" produce nice results when you finally jump back into your art. Looking forward to seeing more!

Yellow said...

Thanks Brian. It's good to be back drawing and painting.

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