Tuesday, May 8, 2012

London, Lucian, Light

Reading Man with a Blue Scarf in the evening light

Last night I got back from a packed weekend in London (a very generous early birthday present). This time it only took me a few hours to adapt to big city life, and while I am exhausted from the trip, I feel energised at the same time, and the tiredness is of the good kind that makes you feel nice and heavy in the morning when you wake up. In a recent article about anxiety the do-more approach was suggested as an antidote, which made me think I might be doing the right thing - I am certainly experiencing the benefits of doing a lot at the moment.

The trip was perfect timing because we got to see the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition (and didn't have to queue at all; while I try my best to make the most of queueing -mindfulness, reframing it, etc.-, it still triggers panic attacks sometimes). It was mind-blowing. I got Man with a Blue Scarf - On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud a few weeks ago and wanted to read it in preparation, but now I am glad I didn't get around to it - instead I can read it now with the memory of the exhibition. I was familiar with Freud's work, but had never read anything more substantial than the occasional newspaper article about him. Obviously with artists I know quite a lot about all that information is at the back of my mind when I see their work live and affects how I perceive it, but there is something refreshing about the directness and impact of seeing an artist's work in those cases where I don't have a lot of background knowledge.

As always, being away has given me a new perspective on things, and it helped so much with compartmentalising (something I struggle with) - I mostly managed to leave my worries, awareness of deadlines and the sense of structured weeks behind. I hope some of that carries over into the next few weeks.


  1. It's good to get away from it all sometimes isn't it? :-)

  2. I agree. I find it helpful applying alternatives to the things that could drag me down, like anxiety.

    It must have felt good viewing art created by others. Was it freeing, experiencing the art emotionally, without having your mind, and information about the artist, interfere with your interaction with it?

    I find it terrific just feeling, not relying so much upon my cognitive mind. I experience more vitality and am more in the moment.

    Have a great Wednesday!

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Pablo. Yes, sometimes too much knowledge about something can obstruct the pure feeling a bit. And you are so right about the latter helping us to stay in the moment.