I have not been attentive to my blog this last month and nor to my paintings and it is time I talked a little more candidly about why. It has been a challenging winter, far more than I would have expected on many levels – some beyond the art. Sometimes the weight of the world, our work and our personal struggles can take the spark out of us.
This series on historic houses and rooms and the pressure I put on myself to produce the best work I could to honour them has been emotionally and physically draining for me. I have such passion for the people and places this series has brought into my life and it was almost more than I could bear. What’s more, there has been a lot of loss in the last year. What I did, I felt was never good enough. For a couple of months, I could not face the work, the stories or the photos…The light and the energy was gone from me and I struggled with extreme exhaustion. There were more days than I care to count where I could barely convince myself to get out of bed. I could barely eat and slept poorly.
As the days grow longer, the sunlight has been slowly able to creep back into those abandoned corners of my Soul. My stories have waited patiently as I have slept and dreamed and as I try to heal my body. I am not by any means feeling myself yet, but, the desire to return to the easel is increasingly powerful. I am ready to work again, albeit slowly. I have finished the planning stages and started on the final leg of the series. This is not to say that I will not be painting the old buildings anymore – on the contrary! But I will be looking at things a little differently in order to not burn myself out again. I also want to tell a little more than one might just ‘see’. Their timber bones and peeling paint will always whisper to me and I will always be compelled to share their stories.
With the sun in force and Spring on the horizon, it seems that I need a kick to get going again and the best way to do that is to post a work in progress. I am ambivalent about posting the ‘ugly stage’ of a painting. As I know many of my readers are not necessarily artists, I wonder what they think? Either way, it does put a fire under my butt to finish a painting and get it posted. So here we go…
Crystals’ Room is another painting from the “Twilight” house. Tom Iddison told me that this room was his daughter Crystal’s favourite because of the comfortable bed that once was in it. When I visited, the room had a small wardrobe with a few articles of clothing and this chair with an old coat draped across it. Many of the objects that are outside the picture frame make it appear that someone came in to quickly change their clothes and left again. But the world and time has caught up. The house has since been sold and its future, uncertain.