If only I had time for it! But it’s busy busy this week…and tonight is probably the only moment to reflect. Our degree show at BGU opens this coming Friday (22nd May) at 5:30pm. If any of you happen to be anywhere near Lincoln (a long shot for quite a few of my occasional readers I know!) please drop by and say hello. So at the moment my work is taking a back seat…on a long bus! Though I was up at 5:50am today doing a bit of work on the Winter Cycle before I set off on my 52 mile journey! But I love this part of the art academic cycle…goodness knows what I’ll do when I’m finally pensioned off from it…
There is a quiet normality around here at the moment and not before time. So I’m beginning to round up the remainder of this project and think about moving onto newer work. It’s good to have at least an outline of what might come next well ahead of when you might start it. Not least to be sure that the right materials will be to hand when I do – in the past this has occasionally bedevilled projects to the point of failure! One thing I am sure of given my experiences over the past few weeks is that I’m leaving politics to others in the future…its a game for more robust and committed individuals…me I’ll stick to this business.
I know there’s no actual cuckoo in the painting…nor is there any real attempt to portray “ankles deep on fallen leaves” or “a forest dark, deep and mysterious’…but it isn’t portrayal I’m after as I go about the task of assigning titles from Reg Keeling’s ‘A Winter’s Journey’ for the panels that will make up my ‘Winter Cycle’. I was tempted to give this one the title of ‘Bright Eyes’, as an ironic nod to the nasty Conjunctivitis I’ve got in my left eye but I resisted. How I acquired this swollen, blotchy eye is an object lesson to other painters – its fairly certain it is the result of sanding back panels without protective gear – so take the H&S advice seriously from now on I’d suggest to you all…
And I was thinking that maybe winter was behind us…well before this sequence is completed. But the weather of the past few days suggests that whilst there is some sunshine there is also black skies, fierce cold winds and heavy rain about – often within a few minutes of one another. Still it means that the project has time yet.
We are strange creatures really – motivation is just one of those things hard to explain a lot of the time. Today I acquired the timber to construct the remainder of the panels needed for the series but I’m just not finding the energy to engage with them…maybe tomorrow.
Re-establishing a studio at home is hard going…not physically (though that’s a considerable task with the amount of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years) but psychologically – the adjustment to the routine, the environment and the ambiance isn’t to be under estimated. So here we are, nearly at the end of February and in terms of completed works I have these three modest panels (though there are fourteen more underway).
I need at this early stage to make an acknowledgement or two…this Winter Cycle takes Reg Keeling’s work – A Winter’s Journey as part of its inspiration as recorded by the remarkable Julian Broadhurst. You can listen to or better still purchase a copy here. Julian is an exceptionally creative individual, sometime visual artist and latterly fecund contemporary classical composer and performer. But here he has operated as entrepreneur bringing Reg’s poetry deservedly to a wider audience. I fell for these short haiku-like verses around mid January a short while after resurrecting these panels begun some time back and suddenly saw how the verses might bring the boards to life.
So I now have a form for the whole series…of which there will be twenty nine…twenty six comprising the Cycle plus three more, one for the Flute Interlude and one each for Reg and Julian…as grateful thanks for bringing shape and, hopefully, substance to this endeavour.