ANTONIA ROLLS ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE NEWS. An account of an Artist and Mother in Bognor Regis. Worthwhile, but exhausting, so pour the tea and make yourself comfortable...(this painting is a family portrait, about 2'x 3', oil on wood. It is the Ross Family, each family member with items that describe them best. And at the front, on the grass on the right hand side, is a photo of Grandma, sadly missed.)
Saturday, 1 January 2011
Ho Hum. At A Loose End. 10.29 am Jan 1 2011 And Nothing's Happened Yet.
What's Next? Done Christmas And New Year, What's Next?
Today I am determined to stay in bed. Not to wander, should I have to get up, too far from my lovely big welcoming bed. I start work tomorrow in my newly hoovered studio; tomorrow I get back to Normal and no more trying to spend the day on the sofa or in bed.
This must have been the best Christmas and New Year I can remember. There was no stress, and there was no worry. As nothing is completely straightforward, this Best Ever Christmas and New Year has had moments of realisation that everything in my life begins and ends with me. Being alone this year, first time for a good five years, I have to think for myself and make myself get up, get my glad rags on and go go go. Alone. And do you know, it is not so bad. Each time I talked sternly to myself to get out of the chair and blinking well get out there, I have been rewarded by real Fun Times. I tried to dress down for the New Years Eve party 14 Year Old Son and I went to last night. I thought, "It won't matter if I wear grey and black, as long as I feel comfortable. (Sigh and gaze at the ceiling). Then at 12.01 I can lope off into the night, back home and eat sweets alone in my bed." But I knew that if I did wear gloomy dark comfy old jumpers and wellies, that my conversation would adjust itself accordingly and I would not only not be able to finish my sentences but the tone of my voice would change to a dreary monotone and that, along with slightly downcast unfocussed eyes, would mean that there would be a kind of exclusion zone around me. Only those who needed to practice their social skills would go and try and liven up the grey, rather sad dribbling artist in the corner, eating Pringles and dropping crumbs onto the carpet.
So I dressed in red and black, wore shiny high heeled boots, put on makeup and jewellery and had an absolute ball. It made me realise that I can do it, I can rise from inertia and jolly well go out there and kick ass. Alone. And I was fine. With my boots on I was at least 6' tall, and felt very powerful. Inspired by the people I met, and thought, "I can do this too," while talking to folk who have been there, done that, got the teeshirt.
Oh what a lesson there is there. Make The Effort sums it up. And this is the lesson that I carry into the excitement of 2011. Make The Effort. Put your boots on girl, and go make it happen.
Until then, I am in bed and wearing red and white spotty pyjamas. It is now 11.29am and still nothing has happened. "Oh Antonia!" I say to myself with the fervour of the newly aware, "it is up to you to make stuff happen! Remember, oh you who must always talk yourself out of lying on the sofa with a cup of tea, remember the Make the Effort lesson, the you-can-do-this-too, of last night! And further more, your mother is coming for lunch at one, so enough of the philosphising, and make some soup."
One more day of sitting around then, and tomorrow, like a coiled spring, I will ping myself into the studio and begin 2011 with all the projects that I put into place in 2010. One more day, I tell myself, of glorious inertia, then into the real world tomorrow and wham. Or Wham - ish. I may be so lazy and used to indolence, that I will have to go into the house and put on my shiny boots in order to pick up a paintbrush. Hey ho. Whatever it takes. Watch this space. Now. Can I entertain my mother in my pyjamas?