So it’s really true. It’s the year 2015. Contrary to what we were led to believe when as youngsters we watched a science show called Towards 2000, we actually don’t swallow our meals in capsule form, our cars don’t hover above the surface of the road and we still have no comprehensive manual for raising a child. Instead we’ve got the Thermomix, Skylanders and sexting, none of which I’ve needed yet.
It’s nice to get a little introspective at the beginning of a new year. To think back over the previous year, successes and failures, wins, losses, and still-not-sures, a little self study; it’s an important armchair (or banana lounge) journey that needs to be taken. I’m a fairly contemplative person and I get this way about every half-hour, 365 days a year, so I like January when everyone else joins in.
We spent the first half of 2014 in a bit of domestic limbo. With a fairly spontaneous house purchase, we quickly swung into house selling mode. This was closely followed by packing mode, moving mode, live-out-of-suitcase-for-a-month mode, and finally unpacking mode. When I popped my head up to take a breath, June!! There’s nothing quite like a little self inflicted whirlwind to shake you out of the rut you didn’t know you were in.
Instead of painting (studio packed in boxes for four months), I did lots of drawing last year, a practise that I hadn’t given much time to recently. Within this drawing practise I rediscovered some materials I hadn’t used in years. Oh the joy of really great coloured pencils!! ...and the aggravation of bad ones!! I also found some new loves. How you doin’ ink brush/pen thingy ;)
Pastels, watercolours, pens, markers; yes it’s been an expensive year, but a year of learning and many firsts. I’ve spent many creative years successfully avoiding drawing faces. If we've hung around together on Facebook (and if we haven’t, please let’s FB) you'll know that last year I drew a buzillion faces. The fact that I'm even on facebook at all is a fairly big deal too. I’ve always been very careful (ok, fearful) about who saw my work and which finished piece they saw. I would never have shown you casual sketching or work in progress. Growth man!
Last year my art was about growth, experimentation, and finding a joyous rhythm to life now that my babies are both at school. I'm not sure I found the joyous rhythm, and that was probably not a realistic expectation, given we are living without a dishwasher. But the opportunities to experiment without pressure, and grow both creatively and personally, to lay my sketchbooks open for anyone who cares to look feels far less painful than I’d imagined. Actually, it feels really good.
So I am leaning in to 2015. I've got a new pretty diary and I'm ready for the next adventure. I'm ready to continue the experiment, to marvel at the ghastly explosions as well as the beautiful breakthroughs.
I have squandered many years, but I won’t waste this one.
.....when does school go back?