Spring is coming

I have a full day in the studio today – without any distractions – Keith took time away from work to make sure the kids were happy and getting on with school work. I have been painting since first thing this morning, my head is feeling a bit fuzzy and my arm aches due to the amount of brush strokes I have made. A feeling I forget I miss so much when I feel it.

Like everyone, my working routine has changed and life is (still) a bit of a juggle. During the first lockdown, I took part in the Artist Profile Series — Pier Arts Centre and thought, for those interested, it would be good to give a short update on how things are going.

One of the main things I missed during the first lockdown was the freedom to walk. Thankfully, this time I am walking to make up for time lost. Finding areas of the Orkney Coast that I hadn’t walked, paths I didn’t know led to places of interest and visiting bits of the landscape that I had always wanted to. Of course, I have revisited my favourite walks and due to the recent spell of good weather I haven’t been disappointed. The light has been amazing, the season is changing.

I got back to Soulisquoy Printmaking studio for a couple of months and got to know the presses and inks. I made a series of prints that I am happy with and experimented with new images, marks and techniques.

Hill. Relief Print on Leather, 2020

I have been lucky to receive a VACMA (Visual Arts and Craft makers Award) Bursary – supported by Orkney Island Council, HIE and Creative Scotland. This support is very welcomed and will hopefully result in me becoming more virtually present to compliment where we are at the moment. click here to read more

Plans for real life exhibition(s) are still on hold – this is what I miss the most, seeing artwork on a screen is just not the same, although it is better than not seeing it at all. I will keep you up to date with plans when they become clearer.

Unlike the last time my studio has stayed my own, only being shared now and again with my kids. Although I loved having them in the studio to learn and be creative, it resulted in me not. I didn’t mind then. This time, the focus has slightly shifted. They have both moved up a year in school, George is now in Secondary School and Rosa in Primary 6 – school work and online learning has become more streamlined. They have become familiar to what needs to be done which is allowing (a little) time for me to work.

Throughout this weird old time I have had a few thoughts and feelings about my practice: “what am I doing?” being the one that seems to pop up the most. (To be fair, I think everyone is asking that question!) A few things have happened that have answered it for me but the main one happened just this morning:

Rosa said to her dad “It is good you are home today dad. I feel bad when I have to ask mum for help when she is working” For a moment I felt a bit of mum guilt. Then I put my artist hat on and thought how wonderful she knows that my work is important. Sometimes it is the unexpected, small things that cause the lightbulb moments.

Hopefully next time I post here it will be when we are in a place more like the place we want to be in.

Changing Place, Changing Time, Changing Thoughts, Changing Future – artwork by Maurizio Nannucci (2003) photo taken in The Guggenheim, Venice

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