A few days ago a friend loaned my a book that she'd enjoyed - "The Hut Builder"by Laurence Fearnley. I settled down to read it and quickly realised that the setting was Aoraki/Mt.Cook .The story is about a young man from Fairlie who is struggling to become someone other than his fathers butchery apprentice (among other things). He finds himself helping build a climbing hut on the mountain , and begins to see that there is more to life than making sausages :) BUT, what really caught my imagination was that he spent his time looking across to Mt. Sefton (between Aoraki and the Hermitage. I've painted Sefton several times, it's a wildly beautiful mountain with glacial shelves angling down it's face. So I had to put down the book and pick up my brushes....and here it comes.
Usually at this time of year my studio is a quiet spot. For me, winter is a time to regroup , when I reflect on work done, successes and failures , ideas for new paintings . Today it's chilly outside, so I have my studio woodburner cheerfully warming the room, Rolling Stones playing ( meaning occasional bursts of crazy dancing). I'm having a big spring clean , getting rid of dried up tubes of paint, long dead brushes, frames which I'll no longer use. I'm putting together a box of art supplies which I no longer need to send off to a local art group. I find this cleaning catharsis is good for my soul - as I clear away things I no longer use or want I find that I'm beginning to think of new paintings. In itself, just the act of passing on materials for someone else to use makes you feel good :)
Whatever your creative niche , I think that its important to pause sometimes to check that you're still going in the right direction.
Every now and then I need to go through this process of resetting my compass.
As a working artist it's easy to forget the enjoyment of painting when faced with the pressure to produce. So, hopefully things are back in balance now some of the distractions have gone!
keep warm , Jan
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