'Meh' day

Yesterday I had a completely 'meh' day - in artistic terms and otherwise - and came across my first 'daily painting' dilemma:  to post, or not to post, when you're not happy with what you've created?  I've decided my policy (for now) is not to post.  The key thing is to paint, right...?  That's how it seems to me.

Today I had to get away from the gouache and fruit and did some drawing instead.  I'm working my way through Betty Edwards' Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook, and this was Exercise #10, transferring a drawing of my hand from the picture plane on to paper.  I felt a bit rushed the whole time - worried perhaps that Nina would wake? - and I'm not thrilled with the result.


But what a good exercise for learning to see value.  I will return to it .  Even if I'd rather not.


Starting to see

Back to the pears today, and back to the gouache.  It's a funny medium.  I guess all new media feel strange.

Today I looked, and looked, and looked some more, and I think I'm finally starting to see some things more clearly.  I saw that the shadow was not one colour, but had a yellow edge and a blue edge, and one section close to the pear that was darker than the rest.  Step two is being able to transfer that to paper, but I guess that's my job I'm 'showing up' for here each day in my daily paintings.

This was a freehand sketch rather than something I intended to keep (hence the wrong turn on the right hand side) but I was most pleased with the shape and volume of this one. 


February 1

Directly inspired by Carol Marine's extraordinary oil paintings, I've set myself a goal of painting one painting a day in February.  15cm by 15cm.

Today I sat near the window and played with gouache.  It's a medium I'm only just beginning to experiment with, and so far I'm often frustrated (...disappointed...surprised...) by my results.  Of all of the pears I painted, this funny end-on view was the one that appealed to me the most.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present February 1.




This is what a clear kitchen bench looks like.

And this is an empty desk.

And THIS is what the carpet in the corner of a room looks like when it’s not covered in books.  (I confess that for a while there I may have forgotten.)

Aah.  Isn’t nothing a beautiful sight?

I’ve been decluttering.  With several new mantras in mind (“You are not your possessions”, “If you don’t love it and don’t need it, it’s clutter”, “Surfaces are not for storage!”) I have been making some sweeping (pun intended) changes to our household.

And what have I learned?  I’ve learned that having fewer things in my line of vision gives me thinking space.  I’ve learned that having fewer clothing options makes it EASIER to get dressed in the morning.  I’ve learned that you can’t appreciate something beautiful if it’s being crowded out.  I’ve learned that surfaces, when they’re not tied up for storage, leave you free to eat, play and improvise.

The more clutter moves out of our house, the more the things that remain are good, and true, and beautiful.  And the most precious of all these gifts has been pure, empty space.

A small book called Clutterfree ($2.99 on Amazon.com) started this process, and it led directly to what feels like a tectonic shift in my attitude towards the things I own.  It’s a slow process, reversing years of unhealthy - or at best mindless - spending and hoarding, but I can feel joy creeping in.


The REAL reason my washing isn't folded...

I'm delighted to introduce our little girl, Nina May.  Born on 31 March - three weeks and three days ago - she has completely turned our lives upside down.  Not that I'm complaining:  she's just the sweetest thing.  Especially when she's asleep (ha).

The world looks different from this vantage point (upside down!) but through the haze of sleep deprivation, and the deep fear of what will happen when our well-stocked freezer supplies dwindle, I can see that life will go on and the itch to create will continue to itch.  I'm looking forward to it.