Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On the easel, outside the window


The storm slashed open our poly tunnel, and our shed has a hole in the roof. The flooding on the roads got so bad the cars in front of me hesitated that little bit longer in front of the lake that had formed. But just as we regretted not having moved to the Sunny South-East, the West got a day of picture perfect sunshine. Then, one morning, we awoke to two new neighbours - horses just a few metres away from our window (I took the second photo through the window). Every morning I sit and watch the birds at the bird feeder and the horses and the sea - the view just keeps getting better.

Maybe I am running out of ideas, because these days I seem to keep copying myself - this is the third time (in five years, though, and in different colours!) I have painted this figure-in-bird. A more likely explanation is that the books I am illustrating still take up most of my free time and headspace, but apart from some computer-related frustrations this is a wonderful place to be in. And at least I am painting again. Like half the internet I am reading Big Magic, with its delightful mixture of encouragement and reality check. The important thing is to keep doing the work, regardless of the outcome, and it is of course true that most of the enjoyment is in the process, not the afterwards. Big Magic's "central paradox" of "art is absolutely meaningless. It is, however, also deeply meaningful" and the reason why it is vital to live both parts is a good reminder.

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