Making Art Everyday
This morning I woke up with a full, tired, head. Thoughts swirling round and dragging me down. I also woke up wanting to make, wanting to walk, wanting to feel I’d achieved something in the time between dropping my boy at preschool and picking him up again after lunch.
When my head feels full and heavy, writing often helps. In the manner of The Artist’s Way morning pages I just write whatever comes into my mind, gradually moving from preoccupations and worries to hopes and plans.
This morning I wanted to be in my garden, and had only last week decided to start making more use of my garden and gardening in my artwork, so I popped outside with my phone, took some photos of all the flowers currently in bloom, then popped back inside to print off a couple, as the backdrop to my morning pages.
I liked the fact that I couldn’t read what I’d written afterwards, I liked the fact that it wasn’t writing to read but writing to write, and I enjoyed the layering of image and text, and the bleeding of the ink when I splashed it with pond water and laid it on a garden chair to dry.
Once I felt clearer and more positive I grabbed a poo bag and dog lead, called to Moshi and we set off up the road to the nearest track which leads across the fields.
On the road there was a stripe of hay where the tarmac meets the grass verge. A tractor and trailer had passed by before us and the pale green, softly spiky dryness of the hay called out to be picked up and scrunched between my fingers. Farther still and long grasses swayed in the breeze and tickled my legs. Some snapped as I wound them round the hay whilst others held and started to form a rudimentary walking bundle. I make these bundles quite often when I walk. I find the practice of noticing, picking, winding and tying very grounding and connecting.
As we continued on our way an elder bush’s blossom was opening. A soft warm, pale yellow and surprisingly sweetly smelling (not the cat’s wee smell I expected), and I thanked the bush as I picked one clump and added it to the bundle.
Lastly, I spotted long slender plantain leaves craning and stretching up through the long grass, competing for the light. The ridged underside told of the strong fibres inside, that held the bundle together as the flesh on top cracked and split.
So now I am back home again, and feel satisfied, calm, happy. The printed, written sheets and small graspable bundle sit well together. As I walked this morning I thought of one of the countless conversations I had with my friend Chris Seeley about art and the value of artful ways of working and living, where she shared her own personal revelation that art need not be made every day, but needed to become everyday, to seep into everyday life in order for us to reconnect both with our environment and within ourselves.