Monday, 15 November 2010

Today Was A Good Day

Mondays.  I don't like them.  Tell me why...

Well - to be honest: i'm not that bothered about Mondays really: it's Tuesdays and Thursdays that tend to get to me.  Those extraneous days that merely mean there's one more day before you get properly close to the weekend.

But today was day five of an extended seven-day weekend and I'm finally getting to that point that happens just before you go back to work where you can wake up without screaming, aware that you can wake up when nature tells you to rather than when the alarm does and take things at a pace that you want to.

Our Kid recently text me and asked for the new Bon Jovi best-of for Christmas: so I ordered it from the interweb and decide to spend the day upstairs doing something I've done precious little of this year.

To whit: a painting.

My attempts at art this year have been a bit on and off: I did a one day course early in the year and haven't done a lot since - until recently when I signed up for a Naked Person course (aka "Life Drawing") with Mad Penguin Lady (my favourite eccentric art teacher).

To be honest I didn't really enjoy the course that much: it had been a while since I'd really tried to draw at all and I found myself trying hard just to remember anything I had ever learned: producing a series of pictures that would have added nicely to my modern art exhibition Demented Jelly Babies, but would have added little to the study of the human body - I got quite depressed about the whole thing.

But with a day to spare and a project in mind I picked out one of my canvases-in-waiting and began a painting (sadly I can't tell you about it at the moment, as it will be a christmas present for someone)

So, with a background of Bon Jovi on the stereo I sat and  spent the day painting, taking breaks from time to time to allow the acrylics to dry (acrylics tend to be my weapon of choice - watercolours are too wishy-washy and troublesome and much as I like the finished effect of oils I just don't have the patience to wait three weeks whilst each bit dries.

I spent about 4 hours painting in total inbetween washing up and making meals: then set off into town to meet a friend.

My friend, USM, is someone I've known on and off for about 6-7 years now and we've kept in touch even though we no longer work together.  We both have a love of sci-fi and we both pretend to be writers: him rather more efficiently than me.  The thing is that I struggle with writers block - somewhere along the way I kinda lost my belief in my ability.  I think this came because of two things: firstly I get stuck in endless re-writes and secondly I know that the finished result will only ever be read by a handful of people.  But also because sometimes the ideas just refuse to solidify.

I was telling him a few weeks back that I, like many writers, am likely to be distracted within a few seconds of starting to write: to turn on the TV, spend time staring at the cat and thinking "how cute" or finding any number of excuses to do anything other than write and he said, "well, why don't you come and meet me? I usually sit in a bar in town and write in the evenings: we can just sit opposite one another: break the tension when we get stuck etc etc etc'

And we meet.  And we chat.  And we write.  I get more done in one evening over a couple of cups of coffee than I've done in the last couple of months.  The lack of distractions and the change of scene does me good, as does the company.

So today was a good day for me: I did a lot of things that make me happy and for a change they went pretty well.  It would be nice to earn a living doing things one enjoys: but realistically very few people do. 

But still:  I think we all need days like these once in a while

8 comments:

The Bug said...

I'm glad you had a good day! I'm known as a bit of a mad penguin lady, but probably for different reasons than your lady :)

English Rider said...

Good for you. You give the rest of us hope.

Peter Goulding said...

Always envious of artistic people and feel it a terrible shame whenm their gift is not put to use.
(Incidentally, if you want to just send me the money, rather than the painting, I won't be offended)

Argent said...

This sounds ideal! I like the meeting of like minds. I'd be happy to have a write-in with you if you ever fancy it.You should not disparage your drawing ability so much. The demented jelly babies have become more and more recogniseable as huming beens over the years. Just keep practising. I'll never get paid for what I love to do either.

Lydia said...

That sounds like a marvelous day! I am so happy to hear you are painting ("weapon of choice"---that was funny) and it is the nicest kind of Christmas gift. And your friend's fantastic suggestion for you to join him is wonderful, with your actually having taken him up on the idea being truly stupendous! Now I am envisioning you guys writing together in public as Hemingway and Fitzgerald might have on the Left Bank long ago...

the watercats said...

reminded me of that robbie robertson song reading this... "today is a good day to die".. a native american quote I believe... love the idea of writing in a cafe, it's very bohemian! and there's no woriies when it comes to your writing ability, go do it, cos you're bleedin brilliant!
not sure about the Bon Jovi though
:-)

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

bug - would be interested to know why you're a mad penguin lady

English - ta

Peter - Shall i send it to Parochial House, Craggy Island?

Argent - my demented jelly babies vary. Some are approaching human beings, but i'm not sure where they're approaching from

Lydia - it was a good change for me, as most nights it's just me and the cats...though i think we'll sit somewhere better lit next time as i could barely see what i was writing

Watercats - i thought it was a klingon phrase? (he he). Nowt wrong with a bit of cheesy mainstream metal from time to time

Michael said...

So many of us think like this: "It would be nice to earn a living doing things one enjoys: but realistically very few people do." Why do we shoot ourselves down before we get off the ground?

When I was in my painting days, I would almost get into a trance and forget myself. It would be me and my painting and nothing else. Quite a trip. (do you think it was the turpentine fumes?) That is the reinforcement I seek and often receive when I let me self drop into my right brain for a bit of writing. The left brain with all its pessimistic chatter just drops away. I'm just starting back now after about 18 months of doing nothing by working, watching TV, and trying not to beat myself up.