feeling free

 

Another large project (day job)  has at last come to fruition and with that comes the release of feeling I can breathe again, no pressure……..  and even closer to  my goal of giving it all up for good.

today in my studio I tried out mono printing for the first time.    What a great way to work, I love it and cannot wait to get back down there again today.  Experimenting with inks, acrylics, alcohol, cutting stencils and the excitement of pulling the print, revealing such unexpected results.  I am ,looking out for some good printmaking weekend courses, if anyone knows of any please let me know.

I am also working on a large piece, acrylic underpainting and now layering in oils.  Intertwined shapes, at first large and as each subsequent layer they are becoming smaller and more defined, colours changing all the time.  Sometimes clashing  and full of vigour, sometimes much quieter and more sombre.  Almost like a weather gauge of emotions.   A journey I am enjoying

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A fruitful day

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Or should I say a vegetable day?  my desire to keep painting seems strong at the moment.  Am I enjoying it, Yes, absolutely.   Am I pleased with the results, absolutely not !!  this is the perfectionist in me, its such a hard task master to have this running all the time.  Never ever feels good enough.  For years, nearly 30 years I have been an interior designer and its only been in last 2-3 years that I can say I am interior designer and not feel a fraud.  My creativity has taken many forms over the years, from drawing and watercolour sketches, to making things with my hands, cutting paper, clay work, collage, oil pastels, dry pastels, oil paint sticks but when it comes to painting, there is a lot of doubt that comes up.  Not Good Enough, is the foremost one and most times it hampers the start, so recently with the urge to pick up my paintbrushes, oil paint and so on and  keep painting is rather new to me.  Its normally paint one or two, dont like them and put paints away for a few months.

Painting is a great teacher, it brings up so much for me that I can now sit and watch and see exactly what is happening as it unfolds.  self doubt, conversations on size, whether to make it abstract or representational.  Then there is the conversation about the cost of oil paint these days, absolutely ridiculous prices and like everything else now we have these small artisan workshops making specialist paints that are even more costly.  One thing that has changed my painting though is Rosemary’s handmade brushes.  I had never heard of an Egbert brush before, but these together with large long flats are helping me obtain the brushstrokes that I desire.  To know they are handmade in Yorkshire make using them feel even better !

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Klimt, Kaffe und Kuchen

Klimt, Kaffe und Kuchen in that order.  This is how my long weekend in Vienna panned out.  The city made a great impact on my senses, although very humid and hot my daughter and I walked to all the shrines to the master painter Gustav Klimt.  I have seen many of his works ten years ago at the Tate Liverpool exhibition, but seeing the Beethoven frieze in situ within the Secession building in Vienna gave me goosebumps.  I think it’s not only the works of art, it’s the history, the art nouveau period, the lifestyle, the history of some of the paintings belonging to wealthy jewish families and then stolen by the Nazis.

The Kiss, or at least a copy of it was bought for me on the occasion of my second wedding anniversary, I fell in love it as did thousands of others at the time 1971.  I vowed then that one day I would visit Vienna, but I never though it would take me this long !!!  Seeing the Kiss in the flesh, I cannot say it was a disappointment far from it, but because I have seen it everywhere for years it had slightly lost its allure, it still was amazing to see his mark making up close, it was not as fine as I had imagined but standing back from it, exquisite, they all were, including some landscapes, especially those at the Leopold Museum.  This museum had a wondrous collection that we walked around for a long time, Picasso, Richter, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Munch and a small amount of Klimt’s sketches.  From what I understand a lot of them are being prepared for and exhibition in london later this year.

The Vienna Riding school and the amazing arena setting, tall ceilings, huge tall columns and chandeliers.  Horse and riders are so elegant.  The large parks and squares, large wide streets along with interesting winding lanes, the winter palace with its splendid arches and sculptures, this is a city to remember, I would love to go back

After all the walking, 1300 steps each day I felt I deserved a treat so it was a trip to a Viennese coffee-house for Kaffe und Kuchen and it didn’t fail to delight

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self doubt

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SELF DOUBT, oh how I know these words so well.  Today I watched someone talk about their fears, their face showed so much pain and as the conversation went on this person crumbled before my eyes and all because that crippling self-doubt reared its ugly head.  There are two schools of thought here, one to FIGHT against it, drive through it, beat it with your will and battle through triumphantly.  this may work in the moment but long-term it never allows us to understand what is behind it and accept that sometimes we cannot change things.   The other way is to sit with it, watch the feelings develop and at the point where is becomes too painful don’t run, don’t find away to run away from the feelings, feel what its like and let it take us to a place of darkness where those rich seams of gold exist, Its only allowing ourselves to really feel what is going on that we realise that perhaps there is nothing to fear after all?

I have learnt to manage these feelings in most areas  and over the years my real sense of self-worth has escalated, but now and again those feeling of self-doubt  still trips me up  and about a month ago it reared up again big time.  I was attending the opening launch of a project I completed back in the winter  it took over 3 years to come to fruition and for  my client it has been great success.  I felt very proud of what my company had achieved. The night before I struggled with what to wear, struggled with the feeling of not wanting to be surrounded by people and  somehow felt a fraud.  Spent a sleepless night trying to think up all manner of reasons I could put forward for not attending.  Even walking on Paddington station to catch the train to Bristol I was still in flight mode, but I smiled and chatted with other attendees and once I entered the building I managed to get through it, but I felt really uncomfortable,  all because I had really strong feelings of not being good enough.  I imagine nobody had any inkling of what was going though my head as they all complimented me on the designs, kissed me on the cheek and have me hugs.  Think this has been the story of my life really, the real me for the most part  had been hidden.

Do these feelings resonate?  Is it something to do with  creative people, are we extra sensitive?

feeling irked

Trying to change my wordpress theme and chose ORVIS, do not like it but cannot seem to revert back to  my old one, so frustrating.  I thought the portfolio section where you can showcase different projects was a good idea but cannot get that to work either.   Feeling rather irked even though I am chilled, holidaying in Greece and still another week to go.

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Woolf works

img_6476I have seen many ballets within this rich tapestry called life, a aficionado of dance, not by any means but the thrill that music and movement can instil is unforgettable.  I have seen the proud somewhat arrogant Nureyev bring the audience into a frenzy to the graceful elegance of the long limbed Sylvie Guillem but nothing in all these years has moved me so much as Wayne McGregors’s  Woolf Works.  Plus it was a live screened performance from The Royal Opera House, sitting in a cinema !

A ballet triptych describes three books, which takes you through life from an ageing perspective,  looking back at the vibrant memories of 1920’s  England in Mrs Dalloway, to the energetic, fast moving dynamism of youth in Orlando, then finally to death with The Waves. By the end I had been through so many emotions, my heart had been pulled this way and that and at times felt it would leap from my chest.  I felt expanded, exhilarated, as if my body had filled the auditorium.

I watched mesmerised as the dancers moved with such grace and ease, their limbs, muscles, tendons showing the strength needed to perform such a strenuous ballet, especially in Orlando.  So many avenues of thought and feelings erupted

Then came the rhythmic hypnotic swelling of the waves, not only in the music of Max Richter but the dancers and the compelling back drop of raging foaming seas in  in slow motion as you watch and hear life ebbing away.  Actress Gillian Anderson reads Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter written to her husband before she drowned herself in the River Ouze,  the words  so moving in themselves.

I have now listened to this so many times since seeing the ballet, downloaded from the trusty itunes.  Its stunning, moving , haunting and magnificent and so much more.  This week sees the start of my week in Totnes and this mornings playing produces these quick impromptu sketches  and I can see this is going to inspire the senses in many ways as the days,weeks and months roll on.

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