Wednesday 6 April 2011

Tea At Gertrude Stein's Is On Hold. A Bognor Update Instead. for my website for the Jesus on the Tube website and story for the A Graceful Death exhibition, paintings from the end of life

Tea With Gertrude Has Been Postponed.  In The Meantime -
Gertude phoned and asked if we could come another time, when she has more time.  Her message went something like this

"There is not enough time and time is not being here; the being of time here is that there is not enough of it and there is not enough time."

I said OK Gertrude.  

In the meantime a very quick update on Art and Life in Bognor.  I am busy and have found that much of my time is spent not painting.  I have paintings to do and I have an invitation to design but I am so very full of creating and furthering the A Graceful Death exhibition and projects that I am compelled to do that instead.  Monday was set aside to paint, last week.  It was very difficult to do because I had to force myself to re-enter the world of making the art.  My head is full of words and connections and ideas, there is not much space for painting and for images.  I had to tear myself away from the computer and make myself focus my eyes on paint, easel, drawing.  I lit a scented candle and made some tea.  I put the heating on in the studio an hour before I went in to paint and I wore my old painting boiler suit.  I did not turn on the computer in the office through which I have to pass to get to the studio.  I am a painter, and it was hard to get back into that space.

I put this Monday aside too for painting.  It was lovely, and I am aware that I must find a way to lay all the AGD stuff down and get back to these portraits.  Once they are done, I will paint my new AGD portraits.  I am very fortunate to work with a new sitter for AGD and she will be painted as a Goddess;  she has survived two operations for cancer and is mid chemo treatment, and is present and living, she will be a beautiful portrait for the exhibition.  I cannot wait to start painting her.  

So what has been happening here?  All the usual stuff - the house needs cleaning the food needs cooking.  The children need beating and the car needs petrol.  What has been occupying me has been my exhaustion.  It is constant and it seems to come from my very bones.  I don't like it, and it makes me feel that all my plans are slipping further from my grasp.  I do have such plans.  There was a time that I felt that I had energy but no real plans - this is a right old turnaround to have plans at last and no goddamn energy.  I think that what is happening is that I have too much to do and cannot manage all of it to the level that I would like to achieve. So some if it gets done and some of it gets half done and some of it remains in my head, going round and round and not coming to any conclusion.  I have found that it takes such a long time to make the next stage in any given project successful.  And even then it may not be successful, but the time has to be spent and the risk taken, because if it is not, then nothing will happen.  It would be so satisfying to have the idea and set aside a day to make it work, to spend that day putting everything in place with ease.  By the evening it is all done and the project is up and running, everyone loves it, all the support is there and so, on to the next one. 

Today, I am going to London again.  I will see an old friend and then I will go to a book launch.  Tomorrow I pick up 14 Year Old Son's new hearing aid, he managed to smash his first and now can't hear me say anything that isn't food related.  He breaks up from school too tomorrow.  Friday I go to an Elvis night, Saturday I go to a 50th dinner party in London and Sunday I gather my energies so that Monday, I paint.  And stay put. Time to go back to the creative stuff.  Time to finish Rocking Rev Rachel Mann's portrait.  Tuesday I go with the Cosmic Gardner to buy plants for the garden, and Wednesday I paint.  And Thursday and Friday.  And until the portrait is finished I wear my boiler suit and stick a paintbrush behind my ear, so that no one (myself included) can mistake me for anything but a painter.

And tea with Gertrude Stein is still on the cards.  This week I am the embodiment of tired and overwhelmed Artist, I am the living example of how exhausting doing something like painting, creating a loving but controversial exhibition, writing, having a large family (in that the kids are huge not that there are hundreds of them) and trying to be nice, is. 

You may like to know that as I write this, I am in bed.  14 Year Old Visigoth Son suggested I not get up this morning, that he will get himself up and fed and off to school.  And what is more, he will run a hot bath and leave it to get cool so that when I wake, it will be ready for me.  How about that.  And he did.  What a wonder boy.  And for Mothers Day he got his whole year to sign his card, so that I looked famous.  Oh wow.  I got hugs and kisses from 14 year old lads who I have never met nor know of, and they all have been checking with Son as to whether I liked the card or not.  I do like it!  It has cheered me up no end.

Oh well.  Back to today.  Once I get to London it will be fine. It is a two hour journey there, and a two hour journey back.  Oh if only I had a private helicopter.  If only I could feel less tired.  If only everything I did worked the first time I did it, and everything was easy and straightforward.  Perhaps it all is, I just need to change my thinking.  Monday.  Monday I will be back to my roots so to speak.  Painting large oil portraits and loving it.  Hiding from the world in the studio, and breathing again. 

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