This composite oil painting (2000 x 1005MM) is about as close as I get these days to marking days, weeks or months on a calendar. Titled Encounters with Waterfalls it's a visual logbook of a voyage through Western Fiordland on board the conservation yacht, Breaksea Girl. I started and completed this painting in 2008. It tells of hours and days at sea during which time I experienced dazzle and squall and everything in between (life in a nutshell/a pea-green boat?).
I'm posting this painting here today because it's the first day of August and I want to remind myself of my intentions for the coming month. See, August is my birthday month. I've spent too little uninterrupted time in my studio this past year. In twenty one days time I'll be fifty years old, which is quite a thought; a big, daunting, joyful, empowering thought. I'd like to paint my way into my fifty-first year and to celebrate this point of arrival in the company of friends, family and a forest of candles.
There's a fair bit of unchartered ground to cross between now and then, though. The old familiar landscape is shuddering again, arching its back and remonstrating. . . Ah yes, more change is afoot. It seems to me there are times in our lives when a thorough dismantling has to take place in order for some new order to grow up in its place. I know it's going to be helpful for me to create some kind of a map as I re-orientate myself and navigate my way into an entirely new landscape. I don't know who or what will be there when I eventually step into the clearing. I think painting every day is going to be an essential part of this process. As will standing on my head! And walking.
Tomorrow I'm getting up early to gesso boards and prepare a stash of paper for paintings. (I love the sound of that. . .)
Thank you for continuing to visit my blog even when I'm away from it, sometimes for days at a time. I've been slack this past while, not answering comments or saying an awful lot... I returned home from my week in Wellington this evening and will catch up with things soon. I also have some quirky photos to show you. For now, I just want to say Hello and to name this pact I'm making with myself; I am going to paint every day this month (or as close as damn-it).
Here's to an august August.
Here's to you.
Here's to me.
Here's to us all.