Outside (first session).
I worried for a while that the muse had abandoned me. This has happened before. Despite inspiring classes and time, and motivation I found – when working as a graphic designer that at the end of the day there was nothing left. That all my creativity was sucked into producing work that was – well – disposable. And the art making – was not an imperative. I worried that not doing would lead to skills vanishing and that I would forget the difference between art and decoration.
The muse was – in fact very busy elsewhere with other people and had forgotten I was waiting for her to return. And it was – in retrospect selfish of me to expect her to hang around waiting until I had enough energy to avail myself of her blessings. She is – after all a busy woman.
Inside (Second session – still in progress).
I do think that certain activities naturally feed creativity, and others drain it. For me – having busy hands seems to work. Having an engaged brain, playing with textiles, exploring the craft zeitgeist and lateral extensions of that movement within the confines of my paid work seems to leave me with enough head-space left over to paint, and the muse – who took a brief holiday, seems to be happy with this time-share arrangement. Which is – frankly a huge relief. Not painting would have been an expensive trade-off soul-wise for financial assistance (necessary as that is).
Last Sunday was spent – outside, painting in the sun. Mapping out a new painting and thrilling at how naturally it was coming together. Sun on the back, companion painting (and also painting successfully), lunch with legs dangling over the edge of the terrace, a newspaper and good conversation. A good day and with the residual feeling of rightness about everything at the moment continuing strong and continuing to feed all aspects of life.
Painting inside the outside studio, while a different sensory experience (jumper, heater), and a challenge with artificial light sources is still successful and there is something enjoyable too – about that cloistering and containment, and about exiting into the real world with its chill and dark and relaxing in the house after a session painting in the studio outside it. In my last house there was a studio inside – where I could come and go any hour of the day – heated, comfortable, kids sleeping, but I did find that hard to turn off from. All consuming I would paint all day, and night and get up to check and mull things over in my sleep. Here – I give it my all when I can – which not as often as I would like, but better for my energy levels.
Thankfully it seems to be working.