At this time of year I get caught in a conflict. There’s the urge to hibernate. Bio-rhythms are low; I want to relax and switch off and consolidate. That’s probably the primitive brain at work. And there’s been so much rain… .
Then there’s the contrary impulse: to get on and plan and think of future ploys and schemes. Otherwise, when the future arrives there’ll be nothing much of interest in sight. (That’s the rational brain.) A fine day helps. We’ve had some beautiful skies lately.
Sunrise at Wolf at the Door
So an internal war rages… I try to avoid making worthy New Year resolutions, a source of shame and guilt within a week or two.
But recently I’ve set myself a general theme for each year. Last year, when I was still at the worst point of my insomnia, my theme was serendipity. It meant that, on good days, if I felt like doing something, making something or collaborating with someone, I just did it. Random things emerged, I met new people, chanced on new ideas. I even had a joint exhibition called Sense and Serendipity. The time wasn’t altogether wasted.
The key seems to be to vary the pace. it’s ok to lie fallow at times, as in traditional farm husbandry, then start again with new vigour. So: this year is my Year of Collaboration. Very little firmly in the diary, but lots of irons in the fire, ideas and projects in the making. What have I actually been doing? Tidying the studio, which was a shambles.
Preparing the line-up for our Artists’ Open House. Not till May, but the print deadline is insanely early. Going on courses: a splendid one with Julian Beatson-Sutherland at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne (where I did a five-minute pecha-kucha presentation before Christmas). One coming up this weekend in London with Kathryn Roberts, former doyenne of the Cork St Open Exhibition.
And I’ve been ordering materials, preparing and making new work. Pictures on here soon. I have one particularly exciting project in view. I’ve also been painting a reclaimed surfboard for a project called ‘Untangled’ for the World Cetacean Alliance.
Most of all, I’ve been hungering for colour and creating it in my own life where I can. I’m an obsessive cook and love making colourful food, just as I love growing brightly-coloured plants