Last week I received a piece of post informing me that ‘Torness Power Station’ had been sold at the VAS open exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy. Mixed feelings ensued. I had been all geared up to retrieve the work during the weekend, when the show would be taken down and in need of everyone to collect.
So. It seems she’s gone to someone else. How do I feel about this? Like any of my artworks, I hope it is going to a good home. I also hope that one day whilst walking down the street, I won’t see it in the window of a charity shop. That would suck. ‘I once loved you, but now you do nothing for me.’ Poor little artwork, just sitting there minding its own business. It’s a tough world out there and I hope this sort of ending won’t happen.
Several years ago I remember a family member gleefully telling me “You know those three artworks you gave me? I took them out of their frames and used the frames for something else!” She was actually very pleased about her decision and didn’t think that perhaps, just perhaps, that was not a kind thing to do to me and my time and my creation.
Dear person that now owns ‘Torness Power Station’
Please look after her. Should you fall out of love with those bold colours and firm lines, please do not rip her out of the frame or chuck her in the direction of Save the Children. Please don’t decide she no longer works with your colour scheme and therefore hide her in the attic or a leaky basement. Instead, give her to a friend to enjoy until eventually they too tire. Pass her around. She needs to be seen.
*Should you wish to own a little print of this original, please visit my website*
The last couple of weeks have been intense. Well, not intense, just busy with all manner of random activities.
I finished up two commission pieces: one for a fund raiser for the Fox Theatre in McCook, Nebraska and one piece for Crawley WORDfest. The Fox Theatre vanished somewhere between here and there and has only just resurfaced. Thank goodness for that as there are plans to tour the work around the town, put it in the paper and make a bit of a deal about it. I’m not really sure why, but I’m thankful for the fuss. As for the Crawley WORDfest piece, it has been well received and is now decorating posters and flyers throughout the city. The original will be auctioned at the end of the event, however, prints will be available for purchase should you wish to have a piece of ‘Tell me a story’ for your very own.
I also completed a little Edinburgh Skyline in greys and purples and again, the recipient seemed pleased with the outcome.
This week I spent Monday and Tuesday teaching art lessons in a high school. Oh wow. I haven’t stood in front of a class for over three years and I tell you, it all came flooding back to me the minute I opened my mouth. Art is exciting! It’s fascinating! It’s fun and please, don’t just listen but let’s have a good chat about this thing I’m showing you. One lesson was a stretch from stained glass windows in St Giles Cathedral to the totem poles of the Northwest Coast of America. How are they similar? A: They both tell stories.
Devising these lessons then teaching them has taken up most of my week. And I found, to my dismay, that I had to completely set my work aside for way too many days. My hands want to work. My brain wants to think of ideas to turn into tactile objects. Today I am working in my studio space and feel very relieved about this.
Once the teaching opportunities start rolling in, I will struggle to keep up with the art practice. It’s going to be hard work, but work worth fighting for. I cannot just give it up as that would be like abandoning a very important part of myself. When I remember where I was just four years ago – creating nothing, not tapping into that thing that makes me me – I despair as that was not a very happy place for me to be.
But I’m now looking at my life (from up here on my shelf) and see that there are nothing but good things filling it. I have my friends and I have my work. It’s freeing and uncomplicated to think that this is all there is. For now. It’s focused. It’s a steady path forward. I feel very much in control of where things go from here and that is a wonderful feeling.