I thought I'd start sharing some of the things that have inspired me in the online world and beyond. Just two weeks into my social media detox and I find myself exploring videos and websites that really do align more with my own values and that fill me with hope rather than despair. I've been reading more, sitting down for hours at a time to explore the pages of good books. Currently I'm reading "Naked in the Woods: My Unexpected Years in a Hippie Commune" by Margaret Grundstein and it's so good. I've always been enchanted by the idea of going to live off grid in the woods somewhere but this book makes me realise that I really don't have the constitution, patience, tolerance or work ethic for it - Hah!
I've been searching out interesting characters and bohemian souls online to fill me with inspiration. I get so bored by popular culture and am always digging to try and find the rebels in order to reassure myself that wild, unique and unselfconscious creativity still exists in the world. This video by Green Renaissance on YouTube gave me ALL the feels:
I blubbered watching this, especially when the kittens came along. And she was right, it was incredibly cathartic. ❤️ I've mentioned Green Renaissance 's channel in a previous newsletter, but I feel it's worth pointing out again how life affirming their films are.
After Christmas I ordered a copy of Jung's The Red Book on a whim and though I haven't read a word I've been poring over the illustrations ever since I received it. They are beautifully painted in rich watercolours and contain intriguing symbolism and shapes. I really love them and have been inspired to integrate some of the imagery into my own work. I've been so taken with all kinds of archetypal and alchemical imagery of late and these works swim in that lane of esotericism.
In other news I'm drawing every day, spending hours with a pen and paper making marks. Without the distraction of social media I find myself being far more productive and I've completed 6 works in the past two weeks, all with a level of detail that is entirely new for me. I feel like my drawing has improved a hundred fold over the past several years and it's so rewarding to see how a dedicated practice leads to improvement. Ever so slowly I've chipped away at it, cultivating patience and skill. For me, skill has never come naturally and as such I've had to work hard to improve my talents. It is only now, in the beginnings of middle age, that I feel a level of confidence I've always wished I had. It's liberating to believe in my own ideas and it feels comforting to be able to bring my inner world to the page. I'm also incredibly grateful that I have been gifted the time to do it.
So, all is well and cruising along nicely in my fanciful world. I really love this time of year as summer ends and the days get cooler and a new year work routine has well and truly set in. It's been a revelation for me that routine is essential to a calm, productive and happy workspace. I used to create in such a haphazard, spontaneous way and my mind was always chaotic and chasing numerous disparate threads of thought. Now things are much calmer, and I work consistently. How lovely the mundane life can be! And paradoxically, how freeing the routined life can be! Ahhh, I love that I'm still learning so much about how best to exist in this world - this life is so endlessly curious.
I'll leave you with a few snapshots from the past few days. Till next time. xo