a new way of being
Sitting now in the middle of isolation, it’s sometimes difficult to connect with life before necessary constraints took over.
I miss my family and worry for them with physical achings.
Human need for physical and emotional contact is universal after all.
But I have my husband and youngest daughter here with me.
I am so grateful and count myself lucky.
These important things given, I miss painting in my studio.
A short bus ride away to that place of dreams (and I don’t say this lightly) which now may as well be on the other side of the world.
Just as we were going into self imposed isolation we carried out a frantic gathering of materials from the studio; useful drawing and mark making stuff which didn’t include any oil painting paraphernalia.
Paints and wax and boards and easel and palette and knives and squeegees and gougers and scrapers were “studio” things.
At home I might do some sketching, exploring and playing, but that wouldn’t be proper work.
For in my studio I felt I was becoming a painter.
Bold, assertive, expressive sweeps of paint in nuanced layers that I had been craving forever and that secretly thrilled me.
A few days after that, the whole country was in lockdown and my studio off limits, dreams of real painting work diminished.
After a few days I decided to recreate my sewing table as a place to lay out sketchbooks and to mull over what ifs and maybes.
Slowly I was able to settle enough to fill some pages.
Then I marked on single sheets of handmade paper that I had bought for their textured allure years ago.
Tentatively I sent for a handful of watercolours in my favoured colours.
Payne’s Grey, Indigo, Indian Yellow, Ultramarine.
Moving colour and water around connected me to earlier bits of self.
Tearing papers and glueing was doing the same.
A little child making pictures for Mummy and Daddy.
Teenage posters that proclaimed who I was in all my self conscious individuality.
A middle aged woman urgently needing to find herself.
And now being here and grey haired.
Being me wherever that is.
Physically constrained but free to express.
Today I reshaped our living room to incorporate a much bigger table to work on with a view to the garden and the sky above...