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Do what you do best

It’s been another frustating week. The house sale has been pushed back another couple of weeks. I stand the chance of losing the house I’m after and am having to placate vendors, purchasers, solicitors, estate agents and concerned friends and aquaintances. Whilst trying to carry on with my life whilst half of my posessions are packed away in boxes, and half are where they usually live, but collecting dust whilst the legal wrangling continues, and the (currently FIVE!) solicitors are knocking up their bills.

So, when a concerned friend, trying to be helpful, practical and positive, suggests by email:

“Perhaps you should use your art to take your mind off things?? Organise a couple of tutoring sessions, somewhere? It would give you an idea of the popularity any future regular courses would be and also what kind of revenue it would generate. More importantly, it would take your mind off everything else for a few hours and give you something positive to work on.”

I knew he was being helpful, and supportive. But my immediate response was – How on EARTH can I do THAT, when everything is so mixed up in my life, I’m stressed with legal wrangling, half my stuff is poised ready to be sent to the new house, I’ve not painted for weeks, I’ve not prepared anything for tutoring, I haven’t got a venue to work from, I don’t even know where I’d find pupils from, and I’m certainly not calm and relaxed, which would make for a far better teaching atmosphere for all concerned!!!!

So, I took a deep breath, and told him my thoughts. About why I couldn’t do what he suggested. And then went off to have another lenghtly phone call with the pushy estate agent, and the concerned vendor, and spent the night feeling despondent about my lack of action and ability to do anything much at the moment. Very very fustrating!!!!

But something must have sunk in. Something started off the seed of an idea……

And by the following morning, I’d made a decision.
Ok, I’m stuck with the situation I’m in. I am working on the best way to get out of it. And it will take time. Professionals are working on their part – the estate agents, solicitors (all of em!), Land Registry, the vendors and purchases all down the chain of properties are all doing their BEST to keep the sale. And until it gets to my turn, there is nothing else I can do. Except stay positive. And do whatever I can do, in the meantime. So, what makes me FEEL positive? What makes me FEEL good? What can I DO to help my self?

I can create. I can listen to upbeat music. I can talk in positive ways to the people I need to speak to. I can paint. I can make a piece of art.

And then today I got this email today from my concerned friend, he said

“Sounds like you need to take your mind off things a little though…..

It’s surprising how you can feel better about eveything if just one small thing goes your way. Everyday something good will have happened – you may have to look hard for it but it will be there. Just know that it is there if you search for it. Your whole day will be brighter when you find it.

So, the tutoring may be a bad idea – but you forgot everything else whilst you were thinking about it – even for just a few moments. Now you know that you are not ready to make that step so thats a positive decision – something good has come out of the day. See? It’s quite easy to build yourself up again if you look for it !!!!”

And he’s right. But he told me that AFTER I’d made my decision. What he said just added to the importance of it, and of acting on it.

So, this weekend, I shall be painting. A picture. One I actually started 10 months ago. It’s been sitting in my studio, leaning up against the wall, in all that time. I look at it daily. And it’s been at the back of my mind to finish it for a long time. So this weekend, I’ll continue work on it. Its a landscape, of a woodland scene, a place near to where I live. The late summer sunlight falls through the overhead canopy of leaves, falling golden on the dry soil below. There is a small stream, with eddies and brown depths, the sky reflected in its glassy surface as it goes along its way. But, just to make the picture “mine” I’ve hidden a couple within the picture. An erotic couple, embracing. They are within the bark of the trunk of a tree. The picture is in acrylics on canvas. It seemed the right medium at the time to paint it in. But, I’ve been thinking. I think the painting will be better in oils on the canvas. Oils are by far a better medium, they create a far softer atmosphere, and I love their buttery feel, their soft pungent smell, and the feel of the brush in my hands. I don’t need to start a picture, I don’t need to look for inspiration. It is before me. I just need to add to it. To build on it. To create. And the acrylics below will show me the way to use the oils on the surface.

That’s what I need, at the moment. To get lost in a painting………………….