Friday, 22 July 2011

My notebook of loveliness


Here it is.  I have other note books: There’s one filled with to-do lists which tells me I should vacuum more often, there’s one filled with shopping lists which tells me I should buy more fresh fruit and there’s even one in which I’m supposed to keep a record of my finances...which tells me that I am rubbish at keeping a record of my finances and that even without all the figures available it is clear that I should spend less.  These are objects of necessity which stop my life disintegrating into chaos and which lecture me at regular intervals from their pages about how I should do better, be better...
But this little beauty is different.  

This little book is where I put my ideas as soon they introduce themselves to me.   (If I don’t jot them down immediately, they can wander off and get lost).  I tend to have it with me most of the time ready to make a quick note of a good exhibition, an artist I’ve not heard of before or a fluttering butterfly of an idea for a painting I’d like to explore.  It’s not all about artwork, but since it’s a record of joyful things I’d like to do at some point, it does often seem to be art related.  It is a bit tatty, rather disorganised, sometimes unreadable but it makes me smile every time I look through it’s pages at all the possibilities and potential it contains.

So today, I would like to thoroughly recommend the practice of keeping a little joyful notebook.   It is a wonderful thing and a perfect antidote for those of you who suffer, like me, from the occasional bout of task-list-burnout.  It doesn’t have to look like mine (sometimes it’s easier for me to draw rather than write my ideas down) but whatever it is that makes you happy, a list of things you’d like to do when you get the time could give you a never-ending source of inspiration.  Then, if you find yourself with a free hour, afternoon or week-end, you’ll be able to fish out your little book of loveliness and find something lovely to do.

Today is the last day of the school term.  My little boy goes to nursery a few afternoons a week, my big girl is at school all day and the time they spend eagerly learning and playing at their respective places of education, I have spent eagerly learning and playing in my studio ever since it was completed...but all that’s going to have to change.  I’ve now got 6 whole wonderful weeks to spend with my beautiful children uninterrupted by school runs, after school clubs...and without the opportunity to pop down to my studio with a cup of tea and a promising idea.

Instead, we’ll visit some galleries, wander around a few museums, take a couple of excursions and go inspiration hunting.  Eloise and Isaac are a constant source of joy to me so I think that I shall harness their unlimited interest in everything around them in order to make this summer break a time of ideas rather than a period of actual creation.  Oh, the chance to spend such quality time with my children who seem determined to grow and change and learn relentlessly is one I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time but it does mean less time in the studio...and I’m going to have to rely on this lovely notebook of mine to keep track everything.

So, when the school term begins again in September, having been inspired by my amazing children and our escapades, I shall wave them off with a smile on my face, my notebook in my back pocket and a long list of new and exciting projects to embark upon.    

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