Thursday, 2 February 2017

Run of the Mill Memories

Dearest Emily,
Seeing as Grumpa's encouragement of me to carry on painting, has translated into an upcoming exhibition at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice this August, I've been catching up for lost time after a year's hiatus on my hobby. I've also been giving myself a bit of a talking to, in order to send feelings of being a bit of an imposter artist into the distance, and instead apply myself with some thought to a pastime that I thoroughly enjoy.
In attempting to do this- something a bit wacky happened whilst I was engaged in painting the last offering, which I can't properly explain- other than that it is similar in feeling to when the creative process began whilst I was designing fashion collections in the past.
The creative process just seems to take over, and it felt as though the painting was just 'being done' and that I didn't really have much to do with that- other than to carry it out.
I know, it does sound wacky, but that's the way it is.
And in this process, I'm somehow able to remove some of my own blocks to the process, and even sometimes feel happy at what is emerging.
Anyhow- it's probably I should imagine, how it is for you and your 'junk-modelling'- you'll have to let me know next time we speak.
So, on to the next one we go, and as I've decided to censor some early pieces from this exhibition, I'm going to have to play serious catch-up, in order to get enough of a body of work together for my brief- which I've called- 'My Freshwater'. It's a personal perspective on views of the local landscape painted throughout the year, throughout the different lenses of the seasons, so often blessed with the clarity of our beautiful West-Wight light.
Except not this week, and not for a recent painting of the Fog over School Green at Christmas, and the milky January sunshine over the spectacular Freshwater Bay last month.
This week it's bleak weather, so, now what? I thought as I considered that I could start another one...
This was turning over in my mind as I set off to Yarmouth nearby where we used to live, and as I drew up to park, I was looking out over the marshland where I used to walk Marley when we first moved here five years ago.
The bike shop was closed, so I set off for a walk retracing old steps, memories seeming to spring up from the earth I was trampling beneath my feet. Here, we came when we first swapped Metropolitan life- following Grumpa's first diagnosis, for a rural, and by the sea existence, building a new simpler life together.
I turned a corner, and came across the view across the Mill pond, where we used to 'walk' our imaginary dog Hendrix together (a Springer, actually Em- who was only replaced by a real dog, following Grumpa and I having an actual argument about who left the imaginary dog behind- yes Em, I know it wasn't the dog who was 'barking, was it!)
I sat down revelling in the memories of that time, full of promise, full of simple enjoyment of our new life.
As I looked up and out over the familiar view, I noticed anew its beauty.
There was no beautiful light from the sun, shrouded in cloud and fine drizzle, and I remembered a day out with you Em, when you were just eight months old.
It was Easter and the day of the Yarmouth Duck Race. It was a similar day weather-wise, and we all stood, wrapped up in scarves and gloves, as the mass of little yellow ducks were ready for their race.
But with no wind- not much was happening.
The announcer over the tannoy, tried hard to commentate about the wait, making cheesy jokes, and comments whilst the tannoy screeched annoying feedback, and we all felt slightly grumpy after a while.
Mummy turned away from the ducks and wandered across the common, we followed.
We stood and looked over the Mill creek- the same view in front of me now.
Mummy said how much she loved it, and how it reminded her of Kent- and in particular, it evoked in her a Dickensian kind of Kent.
I liked that, so my inspiration had arrived.

I've got too used to the quality of the light here Em, thanks to Mummy's observation, and my memory of it, I can see the beauty of a view on an otherwise dull looking day!
So, when I next see you we shall discuss the joys of Junk modelling- and don't forget you still have to reverse the spell you cast on me at Florence's Christening. Don't tell anyone, but I'm still the Secret Fire Breathing Dragon!
Lot's of love from your ever-loving Grandmother,
GiGi xxx

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