Well, this is a pretty intense still however I do not have the skills to edit this bit or jump 30 seconds to the right or left.
Last week I caught up with Kenris Macleod about Lockdown, making art and her exhibition that opened just before everything became closed to business. I hadn’t spoken to Kenris in weeks so this was great to see what she had been up to in the last month and a bit.
The Meadows. The Links. We live close to this glorious strip of green that weaves its way in between tenements and streets. To be in lockdown in Edinburgh feels somewhat lucky as we have these generous green spaces to escape to. These grassy knolls and treelined walkways connect one neighbourhood to the next. Get yourself on a bike and you’ll find you can connect all the way to Holyrood Park.
I’m pleased with how this one is turning out. A few more details here and there and that’s me done.
I’m starting to populate my website with these interesting treasures. They’re treasures to me as they show me the gift of time I’ve been given to make them. To find out more please hop along to see my brilliantly colourful Paintings.
Yesterday I caught up with Keith Paton. Talking with Keith is always such a wonderful experience. He has so many great ideas about his work, supporting other artists and has even helped me set up my website. Here we talk about what happened in Bloc Gallery right before life on Earth completely changed (aliens might as well land now, such is the extent of the weirdness).
This is also part of the Girl Interrupting Series. Stay tuned and find out more…
I’m not quite finished with this one. Tomorrow I’ll revisit it when the light is strong and I can see the true colours.
My painting professor at art college told me I was good at pulling things out of the fire. I don’t feel as if I’ve done this yet with any of my little paintings. They’re all huddled in my art room waiting their turn to be put on the wall and deemed worthy of that space. I’m still finding my way with painting. It’s been years since I’ve pursued this type of art making so am trying to be gentle with myself.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to start interviewing artists who I have been following on Instagram. I have seen how their work and their lives have been effected by Lockdown. These videos were created with the intention of sharing the creative process, how people have had to swerve with their careers to keep on keepin on, and to also give positive steps that can be taken to turn a day around if it’s not quite going your way.
My first interview was with Jenni Douglas. I’m such a fan girl. Please check out this video and then go see her work www.jennidouglas.co.uk
Every morning I am woken up by the tentative creaking open of my bedroom door. The subtle sound is the whisper before the energy of my six year old daughter comes bounding into the room. Every. Morning. How does she do this?! It’s a super power that I’m quite envious of.
I lift one eyelid open with great effort then plod my way to the kitchen. Kettle on. Breakfast sounds commence. After I make my cup of tea, I sit in the bay window and look out onto the waking world. This is my most favourite ritual of all, beginning with the opening of the door and ending with a cup of tea enjoyed beside the window.
When days do not begin like this, it throws me off kilter slightly and it takes a lot of effort to get back on track. I don’t know about you, but I’m finding my sacred little rituals more important now more than ever. Maybe it is because so much of life is out of our control, it’s nice to feel like you own something. This is my special bubble of time; please don’t pop it.
On a Sunday my ritual is extended slightly and boy does it ever feel indulgent. I follow up the cup of tea with a cup of coffee in my favourite mug. I put my phone to the side, grab a book, and read for many happy minutes whilst Teen Titans and whatever else said six year old is into, blares from the tv. Perhaps I should buy some ear defenders so that this can truly become a magnificent ritual indeed.
What about you guys? What are your small but significant rituals to keep you on an even keel.
And I don’t mean the person. ‘Joy has a sparkling personality, is afraid of snakes and likes taking photos of bees whilst walking along the canal.’ Although that Joy sounds endearing and I’d like to be her friend, I am obviously referring to the feeling.
Over the last many days my joy-o-meter has hit highs, plummeted into a chasm of despair, then bounced back up again. All the feelings seem so much closer to the surface and all of those nasty ways in which we measure ourselves seem even more difficult to control. ‘What?! No Likes?! What do you know, Twitterland. Oh wait…but this one has 35. I am now awesome again’. Guh. So tired of that game.
This week and next, I’m going to be redirecting my attention to those small moments where joy resides. I have found that although I do like the spontaneous moment of joy (and by part of its definition, there is a spontaneity about her) I need to ring-fence time to let it happen.
During lockdown, I have given myself permission to treat art like the fun activity I know it can be. It’s easy to get stuck in the notion that what I make HAS to be of worth to someone else. In order to make a living, I need people to buy my art. I have avenues for that (please feel free to visit my website and etsy page) however to grow as an artist, as a person, I need to let loose and experiment. My current series within a series – Lockdown Art Experiments – gives me just that. I have been painting in the alla prima style of painting and love it. This is when you create a painting in one sitting. There is a freedom to this as it intensely focuses my mind to solve this one problem right in front of me. I feel lighter, happier, more like myself, when I have put boundaries around this special time to create something just for me. Joy finds me here. She finds me when I put two colours next to each other and they just sing. She finds me when I paint a line that does what I was hoping it would do. She finds me at the end when I survey what I have done and think ‘it’s not perfect, but it is the direction I have been wanting to go for a long time.’
So, what is it that you do to allow Joy to find you? This week during my artist interviews, I will be asking artists this very question. You can find these interviews on my Instagram page starting from this Wednesday.