Well Christmas has come and gone with the usual too much eating, too much drinking, too much sat around trying to make myself relax and not paint. That’s really hard for me I can tell you. I want to paint all the time. I think about it whilst doing the ironing, dusting, shopping at my local Tesco’s in Chesterfield. Shopping can be a very challenging prospect if I’ve got a painting I’m itching to do. It sort of takes over my brain, I zone out and go on auto pilot and all I see is the subject I’m going to do. I think up different backgrounds or shapes and sizes of the canvas I’ll use, as I push the trolley along. I then think about the colours I can pick out in the barn owls' feathers or the colour of the eyes of the spaniel I’ve been commissioned to paint. Would it go well with a cream background, or maybe grey blue would be better? Before I know it I’m in the Baby isle staring hard at all the nappies – my son is 12???
Then I’ll wander off again and try to focus on the task at hand. Mmmmm, sausages for tea? But then I’ll see the horse I’ve got to paint in my mind and start thinking about that. Once again I’m muttering to myself and have unexplicably found myself in the alcohol section, looking at the vast, complicated range of gin available (actually, ending up in this isle is usually not by accident. )
It’s a very quiet time at the craft centre where I’m based at Rowsley, the whole centre closes for a couple of weeks while we all tittivate our displays, do stock takes, building maintenance etc. I love it. It means I have an excuse to work in my home studio, toasty warm - January not being the warmest month for a craftsperson. I paint all day. The journey to my gallery takes me over the moors through Holymoorside, then up and up to Beeley moor and over Rowsley Bar. If there’s a dusting of snow at my house in Chesterfield then you can guarantee there’s at least 3 feet at Rowsley. Brrrrrrrrrrr
The painting I’m doing this week is huge. It’s of a totally beautiful boxer dog called Dutch who sadly died a year ago. His owner is a lovely lady who cries every time she comes in to talk about the painting and then I end up crying along with her. Next thing you know we’ve got other customers walking into the gallery, staring at 2 women looking like Alice Cooper (you know the rock star with a tendancy for black mascara running down his face?) I’d just like to add that she’s not crying at my rubbish painting she’s crying because she loves it. I feel like a bereavement counsellor sometimes but having lost beloved pets myself, I know what people are going through. If I can help people get through it with my painting then it gives me a warm glow inside (no, that glow is NOT from the gin - it’s genuine)
Sorry, the idea of blogging is supposed to be my happy thoughts not my melancholy ones!
I’m sure you’re waiting with baited breathe.......”What about last week’s painting of Goldie?” I hear you cry? Rosemary loved it – phew. She wore a yellow hat this week and she cried too. I often have this reaction with people........I must change my perfume.
Anyhow, the painting isn’t finished until next week but here’s a snippet of the work so far. I’ll show you next week the finished article. As Jeremy Clarkson would say, “and on that bombshell......”
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