Today found me tired with my sore leg propped up on a stool at TBay Surf Center down at the beach. It was grey and cold, Autumn making itself felt in the north-west wind that was speeding kite surfers over indifferent and messy waves. It’s a time of year I like though and I enjoyed allowing my mind to meander, allowing myself, yet again, to do nothing. But I can’t let myself be. Even though it was sitting here that gave birth to two solo shows and a group show, I continue to beat myself up for doing nothing. In reality I am constantly on the move, writing, cleaning the house, planning, cycling, swimming. And sitting having tea, staring at the sea. This is life.
I really thought starting a painting log would get me painting again. It seems to have had the opposite effect and this sketch is one of the few things I have achieved this month. I have excuses, some health problems which have exhausted me, some extra (real life)work but they are just that:excuses.
There are many who would think me lazy I suppose, I know I do. I remember one time being introduced to an older, sophisticated lady in Geoffs Bar in Waterford. She asked me about my painting practice. I self-deprecatingly said that if I ever get down to painting, a three-hour work day is my limit and laughed. This sophisticate did not find that at all amusing and embarked upon a rant about her beloved grandmother who painted 6 hours a day, 6 days a week until she died at a hundred and eleventy two or some such age. I was a bit taken aback by the vehemence of her speech but my overriding thought was that her grandmother must have been a terrible bore. In the genes I guess. And her paintings can’t have been a lot better.
Yes, painting and all the other arts require discipline which I am lacking in for sure but the arts also require that we live too, and look and engage and feed our creativity. I often shudder when I hear of painters who paint morning, noon and night. I just can’t identify with that…obviously :)Life is about many things, not one, and it’s never good to get caught up in a cycle we don’t particularly want to be in.
For all that, there are things in the pipeline. In October The Colman Doyle Gallery invited me to show some pictures during the Wexford Festival Opera. The Imagine Festival in Waterford has come up with the brilliant scheme of giving out free metal plates and scribes to anyone wanting to make a drypoint print at a free workshop by Anne McDonnell of Kite Studios and I have just scribed my plate with two images today. The prints will be shown at the Greyfriars Gallery in Waterford during the festival at the end of October. There is also the possibility of a group show looming in the spring along with a solo show next year so, really, I need to get my finger out eh?
I am happier when I am painting and so I will continue to strive after some sort of practise but I am aware there are many different ways of expressing oneself, from earning a living, keeping fit, writing to changing the furniture around, writing a card to a friend, having a cup of tea and a chat and looking at the sea. The different elements of our lives advance and recede like the tide or the seasons of the moon, inexorable and unstoppable.
That’s my excuse anyway…. 😉