Too early for a Sunday

Wild Clematis
Image: Old Man’s Beard (detail) by Chris Hawes [cc]

Woke up at 6.30am today filled full of anxiety and sadness, chest tight, heart sore. Didn’t sleep well at all. Dreams of watching an ex- get married. Ugh.

Really interesting session at college yesterday – lots of thinking and discussion about what we want, what our work’s about, the practicalities behind being an artist; the head of the Fine Art department at the university came to talk to us, exercise our brains, make us think very carefully. We went on a group silent walk out beyond campus into fields of Skylarks displaying, blanketed horses munching hay, ragged puffballs of wild Clematis dotting hedges and trees, gently trickling streams. Drew verrry slowly to continue the sense of calm back in the studio.

We then had to write about our first memory of creativity and share with another – I wrote about when I was three or four years old I found an eviscerated bird in the back garden, how it was one of my earliest memories, and the first memory I have of something being aesthetically beautiful. How adult disapproval at my interest removed me from it, how a sense of shame seems to hang over a lot of my life. Hard going.

I still find it quite uncomfortable to talk about my work, share details with my coursemates, even though I am getting better. We shared what space we had to make work in, areas we could demarcate for art, and I felt unpleasant bitterness bubble up inside of me to hear that everyone lives in houses/flats where they have spare rooms and tables to work, gardens to have sheds in or schools where they have space and equipment. Suggestions were offered and batted away – I have none of those things. I felt rather emotionally drained by the end of the day, and I wonder if that experience followed me to bed.

To do today: make work, think about optimistic cynicism. “Pessimist by policy, optimist by temperament.”

To do this week: say “I am an artist” whenever I shower.

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