365 DAY CHALLENGE WEEK 4 – SHOULD I GIVE UP?
365 day challenge – Should I give up. I am only in week 4 and already struggling.
On Day#22 We made the long journey back home from the Lakes. The week didn’t start well as after two days of drying out, I definitely knew my camera was dead. We had decided to go for a late afternoon walk a couple of days before from Watendlath to Dock Tarn. Watendlath is a very picturesque tiny hamlet at the end of a winding road that rises up from Derwent Water near Keswick. The path to Dock Tarn was well trodden, a usually sodden path, that was now bone dry from all the sunshine they had experienced in the last few weeks. It was comfortingly warm and I ventured out enjoying the feeling of freedom, with no children in tow, no heavy rucksack, a cagoule tied round my waist and my camera strapped around my shoulder, enjoying the stillness and space of the mountain valley. Maybe I was too comfortable, because some way into our walk we heard the odd rumble of thunder like a tease in the distance. Dock Tarn was also teasing us, promising to be just round the next bend or over the next hill. We eventually got a view of the Tarn, when the heavens opened. It then poured torrentially for the hour it took to get back to the car and despite hiding my camera under my cagoule, by the time we got back to the car, I was drenched through to my underwear and my camera had suffered. I retrieved this image when we got home from the undamaged card in the camera. It seems fitting somehow, like a marker on an unofficial grave.
On Day#23, we began the work/ school routine as if it had never stopped, except for the fact that it felt extra difficult to roll out of bed. I needed to deliver the works to the Elememtal Exhibition this coming weekend so it was important to fully refine and print the pieces that were accepted, so they have time to rest before being framed. One down, one to go.
Day#24 I wandered off task again and started working from my sketchbook to create another starting point for a picture.
Day#25 I find I can use rope in images, not only as a compositional device, but also to tie different elements of the image together (no pun intended). I like linking things together as I feel it makes everything feel integral to the whole image. I brought the sea in as a third element
Day#26 Back on task again and refining the second image accepted into the Elemental Ehibition at the Horsebridge Arts Centre. I brought more colour into the foreground and had to tweak the colours quite a lot as it printed out differently to how I saw it on screen.
Day#27 I have to admit I am really struggling now with this challenge. It’s not so much engaging with the work that is difficult, as this is something I want to do. It’s that when I do engage with it, I don’t always produce something worthy of sharing, I don’t always have something to say and maybe thinking I have to do so every day is unrealistic. My energy levels are really low and as much as I do not want to give up something I have only been doing for four weeks, I am finding it really tough to fit it onto the end of stressful days at work, and general household and family commitments.
Is it possible to make work in the cracks of time? Well I think I have made progress. I have created work that wouldn’t be there otherwise. I have found some interesting starting points and it has forced me to work in a different way, which has been refreshing. However, the pressure I have put myself under to share my progress on social media is both a blessing that encourages me and a curse because it is public. It also takes additional time on top of actually doing the work, and maybe even causes me to do things, just because I can create finished effects in the given time. I have realised that my process is under scrutiny, from myself more than anyone else, and it is not a pretty process. As I have long known the creative process is not a linear one and I jump about a lot from one thing to another. As someone who has taught Art, Design and Textiles for a long time, I would have thought I could have made more sense of my process. I think there is purpose in my jumping about, because I am approaching the work from many different directions, and maybe having many pieces on the go at once is a good thing. I realise that I need to start works and let them be for a while, until I have had time to reflect on them and know what needs doing. I am like a magpie and do whatever takes my fancy. I am certainly not a planner and indeed seem to work against any plans I make, but all the time my head is working towards these final pieces and there is intention.
I was quite relieved to be looking at something outside of my own work, when I visited Margate to collect frames and deliver work. I visited the Animals and Us Exhibition at Turner Contemporary and saw how others do it. I loved this big birds nest and the physicality of these sculpted monkeys, but some of the more intellectual approaches to making work were a bit dry and not really my cup of tea.
So what does this week bring? I am not sure yet if I will continue this challenge in terms of sharing every day what I have done. It has definitely installed a habit in me to engage with my work every day and I like this time to reflect at the end of the week, so maybe a blog will be a better option. Mustn’t plan though, as I will end up doing the opposite!
To read more about what inspired my to set myself this challenge, please read my blog post CREATING ART IN THE CRACKS
To see more of Claire Gill’s finished prints please click here SEASCAPE LIMITED EDITION PRINTS