“I have of late – wherefore I know not – lost all my mirth…”
And it’s easily done, as my dear brother was fond of saying. Since the clocks changed, I’ve been sleeping densely but not really waking up refreshed; there’s been a weight on my heart, a heaviness that I couldn’t identify.
Then yesterday, sitting in the garden with my first cup of coffee, I realised: oh yeah. I’ve not been making time for art.
So I need to tell you: It’s not frivolous to make art. It’s nourishment, a vitamin shot, a life force. And for me, I see, a return to balance. Without doing anything expressive or creative for a few days (and sometimes, regrettably, it can be more than that), life starts to cloud over and everything seems a bit greyer. If you make art professionally I guess there will be a whole other dynamic but for me, doing a variety of other things as my day job, it has taken a terrifyingly long time for the penny to drop.
The funny thing was that I had enrolled in an online drawing course a few weeks ago and had got really into it for about five days and then, erm…to paraphrase Dorothy Parker, once I’d put my sketchbook down I couldn’t pick it up again.*
Why? Because it was too controlled, just too pernickety and kind of finite. Where was the random element, the playfulness, the fun? I realised that what my creative soul was really missing was just playing. Exploring possibility. Making a mess! And so I’ve gone back to one of my favourite things and started a scrapbook / junk journal for autumn, and just like that, choosing some goldy-reddy papers from my collection of scrap materials did the trick. It reset something that was out of whack, lifted my sad mood instantly and got my creative mojo rolling again.
Art. Who knew? And why do we let ourselves get caught up in adult life and forget this important stuff? We all need permission to play. Just like my first-thing-in-the-morning-coffee-in-the garden sit in the same spot through all weathers, it’s become a daily meditation.
- Quality content, huh? Shakespeare, Dorothy Parker and The Kinks in the space of a few paragraphs!