As I start university and go back to a more structured life, I have been reflecting on what I have achieved over the last nine months. On the face of it, my brain often dismisses this time as ‘wasted’ and I find a voice in my head berating myself for not spending it more wisely.
Sure, there is more I could have done! I never did get to walk every day, loose weight or do yoga / pilates daily 😦
And I still have a huge pile of books to read 😦
- But I did establish myself as a street and mindful photographer (having never owned a decent camera before)
- I launched two websites showcasing my work (reflecting-gosport and peppermintsea)
- I kept up with this blog, which is where I really see my progress
- I nurtured my creative urges until they became artistic practice, with me painting, drawing and photographing daily.
- I started as an out of work business analyst and now I am an artist
- I have exhibited three times and sold some work
- I have learned to use several new media, including acrylics which I love painting with my figures!
- I have participated in Free Art Friday for several months now and find it an enriching experience
- I remodeled our garden, established a veggie patch and grew much of our veg this summer
- I have learnt the value of seeing as much art as possible and trying to emulate what you love and take it further
- I have entered several open calls (result still unknown)
- I’ve explored my synaesthesia and how it affects my art
- I have learned a lot about social media and what to pay attention to and what to ignore
- I have produced a book of some of my darker photography combined with my poetry entitled “The Art of Loneliness”
- I have started taking life drawing classes – to help me abstract the human body for a series I am doing
- I have received unending support from friends and family
- I learnt how to practice mindfulness and incorporate a deeper understanding of my psyche into my life
- I have unraveled mentally from the stressed person I was in January, to a much happier, chilled out person now.
And because of all of the above I have started a Masters in Fine Art, something I never could have anticipated in January – so reading this list I can see that the last nine months were in fact extremely fruitful and extraordinarily well spent.
Well, I am not sure how it happened but the uni have accepted me to study an MA Fine Arts in September.
I am still in shock about it. When I was made redundant in January and decided to take a few months to find my creative side (see the beginning of this blog) I had NO idea that this is where I would be a mere 5 months later.
So, now I have to accept that I am an artist.
And do some art.
Real art, meaningful art, art that moves me.
Yup, still in shock…….
I have been off work for over two months now and I finally feel like I am making the most of my time at home. My creativity has been flowing – in photography and art and I have some exciting projects underway.
I have continued painting with the acrylics and have had a lot of fun with that. I especially like painting with my fingers, it feels very real and authentic.
I am thinking of wording to go above them, but of course they could also be greetings cards….
On thursday I was discussing how I see pictures with my husband – I have synesthesia (which I will blog about soon) and that might be affecting how I see the world – but I “see” photographs all around me and this has given me an idea of a photographic project – this is very exciting and I am enthused about what I am doing.
It is interesting that it has taken me so long to hit this vein of creativity. I am a creative person but having a full time job, relationships, children, etc etc etc – real life – gets in the way and freezes the creative juices to such an extent that nothing happens. I know that many prolific artists hold down full time jobs AND create, and I have done that at times in the past, but the last few years have been particularly dry.
Anyway, I am enjoying hitting my stride!
I feel torn creatively now, obviously I am excited about my photography and all my ideas of what I can do with it, but now I have the painting ideas too! I was so absorbed in painting today, it was a while before I picked up my camera. The sun was just peaking through the window (on what was otherwise a pretty drab day) and the tulips looked gorgeous. So here you are!
I took this time from work so that I could exercise my creativity muscle and it is certainly working so far!
Did I mention I am also upholstering two chairs at the moment?! Maybe some pics of them soon too.
No-one has taken my free art friday pic yet! Not sure if I am pleased it is still there or sad that no-one has claimed it!
No sunshine today, I was on Skype with my daughter who lives in South America and was caught by a glass bowl on my dining table that was reflecting the light beautifully. Obviously I waited until my conversation was over before taking the picture!
I loved the way the light causes squirls across the coloured glass.
I even dreamed that I could only take one picture a day last night!
I’ve been at home a month now and I have achieved a lot. I have caught up with many of those jobs that just never seem to get ticked off the To Do list and I have started some exciting creative projects;
- My photography is really rewarding – I am learning to feel pictures before I take them, to sit with a place and wait to “receive” a picture before taking it. It’s not easy! I still have a tendency to snap too quickly and too often. I’ve finished the course* now, which I am sad about, it gave me some structure every week because I had an assignment to perform. You can see results in my Flickr stream on the left.
- I did some sewing last week, I made a shopper bag from some old curtains for my daughter – it’s been a while since I sewed for fun, I have always done mending but that’s hardly the same! And now that I have room to have my sewing things out all the time, I hope I will play with the machine more often. I was surprised how relaxing I found it.
- The weather has finally improved enough for me to start looking at my new garden. My jobs for the next few days are:
- Paint the fences
- Lay a base of concrete slabs for a new shed arriving next week
- Redesign the lawn and cut out the new shape – adding compost and soil to enrich the existing beds
- weed the front driveway
- Start to sew some seeds in the greenhouse!
That lot will keep me busy for a while, not sure I will have much time left for other creative pursuits. I haven’t even had time to waste time! Unless you call Twitter and Facebook wasting time (and you’d have a good point) in which case I have.
One thing I haven’t had time / inspiration for is painting. I used to paint all the time and I thought when I was home 24/7 that it would come back to me, but I have not found the impetus to do any, which saddens me.
I guess I can’t do it all! Even if I am not working.
*You can find out more about the Mindful Photography course I took online here: http://www.photential.co.uk/mindful-photographer/ – highly recommended to kick start some creativity.
Tomorrow is my last day at work – I’ve worked there for ten years and I loved it. I will be leaving some good friends – obviously I will stay in touch with some of them, but others will turn out to be “work friends” and I probably won’t see them again.
I am very sad about this and I will be glad when tomorrow is over.
On the plus side, I started my mindful photography course at the weekend and am loving it. No matter how good you are at a hobby (and I am fairly new at photography) it is always good discipline to be taken out of your comfort zone and to complete assignments where someone else has set the parameters. I might never take pictures like some of these again, but I have learnt something from everyone. And getting feedback from a group, and seeing their work is always rewarding. It’s very exciting.
I can feel myself unwinding and relaxing. It’s good.