I should have visitors at least once a month – when I am in the “creative zone” because everything else gets ignored. Today I found ants under the dining room floor, and white fly on the basil. And possibly most surprising lettuce seed in the bathroom cabinet – I wondered where it had vanished to!
However I rushed around, picking sweet peas for guest room, beetroot and salad for supper, and gave everything a quick once over.
I thought about my (grown up) children and their partner’s – then remembered I had spoken to one of them yesterday – and with the other two – no news is good news.
I am an all or nothing person – and when I am in the studio and working well – the days fly by and nothing else gets a look in. When my kids were little and I was doing a City and Guilds course, their birthdays always fell the same week as our end of year shows; although it was only for 4 years – they were extremely good about postponing their birthday celebrations for a day or two! I know that this week I have started to say things to my partner and then not remembered what I was going to say – or just stop mid sentence. I find myself going around muttering lists of things to do, “go to the loo, make tea, download photos”, otherwise I forget what I came out of my studio for. It is because I am so immersed in the piece that nothing else really matters, and shopping, cooking and cleaning are just to trivial to deal with.
Compare this to the fallow times, when displacement activity is all encompassing – surfing the web for random information that I don’t really need. Getting fed up because there are so many talented and creative people “out there” who make beautiful things and sell them. I will iron socks, knickers and tea towels. Make long lists of everything and anything as long as it is not art related. Read books about artists block and then ignore the good advice – oh and of course lets not forget shopping! Not the best displacement activity on an artists income.
But in creatively lean times it feels better to be doing anything rather than face the blank page of the sketchbook – or a pile of fabrics and threads.
I am learning though – that often it is in these creatively difficult times – that things are bubbling and connecting – that I have to sit with it – I will come out the other side – and my work will develop and grow again.