Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Blessing of my Sketchbook

Today was my art day and I woke up full of enthusiasm for it. I was expecting a delivery from an art mail order company of some new paint and a new watercolour block on which to begin some new landscape works that I have recently been thinking about.

The delivery never arrived...so I half heartedly dug out a small canvas and decided to set to work on a piece for the kitchen...I pondered, chewing on the end of my brush...cupcakes? something French themed perhaps...? Yes, that was it, some wording, like 'Patisserie Vianne'...something like that (can you tell Im a fan of Chocolat?). So I set to work, and ten minutes later I scrubbed the lot off and started again. This time I thought, maybe something more country style...birds, hearts...a bit whimsical and vintage...I wandered off to get some lunch all the while knowing in my heart that although this was my art day, it wasn't physically going to be anything of the kind.

After my sandwich I went back to the canvas, I drew an outline of a bird, painted it blue...scribbled into it with crayon and stood back. I hated it.

If you are an arty or creative type, Im guessing you will empathise with me and completely understand that some days, even with the best intention in the world, its just no good...its better to put the paint away and let it be.

For me, this causes a frisson of mild annoyance, in that I only get one daughter free day a week to work on my art, and as the fates would have it, today was a write off from the start. There are a couple of reasons for this. Number one, my fiance is working away all week, as he did last week so there is an element of lonliness creeping in (which is hard to shake off when one is also tired). Secondly, the plans we had made to visit family in Wales are now scrapped thanks to the disorganisation of the company my fiance is freelancing for, so I feel a little disappointed today as well that exciting plans and a break away have been cancelled.

But life does this, some people handle it better than others, for some these kind of situations enhance the creative work they are doing - its easier to lose yourself in a piece of art than to acknowledge that all around you (albeit temporarily) is on a downward slide.

I decided to get out my sketch journal, to remind myself that not every time is like this, that I am still a good artist even though today I didnt meet my own expectations. There will be other days to paint and work on my next series of work, in the mean time I can sit wrapped in my own company, browsing my old journal with a hot mug of coffee and a plate of lebkuchen by my side, Bing Crosby is on the stereo, the sun is shining and my head is filled with sudden ideas and the promise of future successful art days.

I allow myself to squander time today, I allow myself to feel a little lonely...its ok, Im meeting with friends tonight, and right now its easier to 'play' at being an artist in the comfort of my weary mind. There is only one person writing the rules here, and its me...no need to impose 'should haves' and 'could haves' on myself which would only serve to make me feel worse. Best to throw up my hands and admit defeat today - it feels wonderful, a relief.

Theres always next time...


  1. Wow I love that boat! Hope you have a great time tonight, can't wait to hear all about it. Niki xxx

  2. this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL darling... i hear hear hear you! somedays, the creating just doesn't happen on the physical plane... i reckon it's doing its magic on the inner plane though... percolating, stewing, seeding :)

    BIG LOVE to you fair judge of self!


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