Back in Brisbane I had a lovely big studio to work in with a storeroom off to the side where all my materials were stored. It had a view out over our pool and towards the hills beyond. I'd often sit and paint at the window and look up to see water dragons swimming in the pool or a flock of cockatoos screeching as they flew towards rain-forested mountains behind our house. For some reason (a reason that has become blurrier as the months progress) I wanted to leave that place and start anew. It had something to do with wanting to live by the sea, the city becoming busier, the hills slowly filling with cookie-cutter estates, extremes in weather cycles, the traffic, the new flight path that went straight over our house, the constant yard work on our large garden, the cost, time and maintenance of owning a large footprint of land and a sprawling home....oh yes, it's all coming back to me now! So, with that in mind, we moved all the way to the other side of the country to a regular sized home on a tiny block within walking distance of the beach. We wanted to purchase a home that was finished and ready to move into, but alas, being close to the sea means extraordinary house prices, so we settled on something that needed a little bit of work to get it up to scratch. Mostly, it just needed a paint-job, carpet removal and some garden love, but you bet we totally underestimated the effort required for these changes. Anyway, all of this has meant that I've been without a studio for several months now - almost 9 to be precise - and it has really thrown me for a loop, both creatively and psychologically. I had become so dependant on having my own space to cocoon in and make my work and I felt a bit bereft without it! I really had to work on letting go of the idea of needing a designated working space of my own. After all, a studio is a luxury that not everyone can afford. I never had my own space before living in that home and I worked perfectly well in the years we lived in small apartments, so it seemed irrational and silly that I couldn't work without one. Truth be told I think I really needed a break from constant studio time anyway - my work felt stale to me, like I was stuck in a rut making the same old stuff. So, I just kinda let go of the idea of making stuff for a while, gave myself a whole heap of grace and directed my creative energies to other places like our new garden.
Ok, this has become a long story, but to get to the point, this week work started on our new flooring throughout the house and yesterday the last floorboard was installed in my new studio space! Yippeeeee!!!!! I am so ready to get cracking in the studio again. Actually, I'm almost desperate for it! Look, there are still ways to go until it's done - a good 3 or 4 weeks to sand and seal and set the space up as I want it, but the finish line is within reach now and I'm overjoyed about it. O V E R J O Y E D !!!! Haha. Soon I will be sitting in my dinky studio near the sea with all my creative tools around me, a new floor underfoot, a sleepy kitty by my side and the beginnings of a beautiful garden surrounding me. I can't wait, well, I can, but I don't want to is the point. In any case it's so close now and I can feel it in my creative bones!
I've no idea where this year will take me creatively. I've no plan to speak of, but I know that I do want to start connecting with other creatives in the Perth area so I might do a few short courses and workshops offered by local artists. I'm thinking of joining the local pottery studio once things are finished around the house too. I suppose that this year will be about finding my footing here and seeing what results from that. I'm really going to just 'go with the flow' you know, because what else is there to do? If there's anything that living near the sea is teaching me, it's to slow my roll! Haha. And in that spirit, I'm outta here to go tend to my flowers. Peace out!
Oh, but before I go, here are a couple of pieces I've finished in the past weeks. A crocodile which has been sent off to live in the top end, and a couple of psychedelic giant cuttlefish.