Barbara's approach seems wise to me -- especially the notion of building in some stock-taking time.-- after coming out of a weekend that included
- catching up, mornings and evenings, with a good friend who stayed with us while teaching a painting course in town
- our Saturday morning Italian class (for two and a half hours, our poor little brains straining to keep up)
- a couple of hours cycling to a favourite spot on Sunday morning ( little photo-story about that here if you're interested)
- a Stretch class late on Sunday afternoon. So good. . . .
I find this idea of stock-taking especially relevant right now as I've got my new workspace set up and have almost finished sorting a chaotic archaeology of personal and family artifacts. Too many ideas careening around my cranium. The ideas and I deserve some quiet time, I think, while I imagine credible ways they might take form. How will I find time for them amidst the French and Italian classes and the fitness time and the beloved grandkids time and the novel delight I've found in retirement of making time, once again, for friends?
Interestingly, I saw something on Instagram this morning that struck me as relevant to these questions. An artist had suffered a setback via a technological problem which meant that her plan for making prints available was now going to be more trouble than it was worth. She'd wisely resolved to stop fussing, let that series of prints (the first she'd planned to make available) go and look forward to digitizing her next series instead. All laudable, but what I was less sure about was the Aphorism scripted in one of those photogenic fonts in a pretty colour against a trendy-neutral background: "Don't Look Back; You're Not Going That Way." There was probably a very cute GIF as well. . . .
Obviously, this advice makes sense for the context (although I suspect that some looking back to say whether, and how, the technological problem could have been avoided might not be amiss). But these days, for me, are feeling very much about consolidation of my past as something like inspiration for, and guidance of, my future. Back to the Future, as it were. . .
Not sure if these musings make much sense to you or resonate at all. But going forward, I'm hoping to include some rear-mirror views.
For example (and to keep my Monday morning simpler by tucking in some ready-made content), here's something you've already seen, augmented by a new iteration. . .
Back in July, I showed you the (unpainted) sketch of a Citroën 2CV we'd seen a month or so earlier, parked against a stone wall on a very rainy day in St. Emilion.
And finally, I had the happy notion to incorporate some of the comments my readers made about this iconic French car. So I drew yet another car, not obviously better than its predecessors, but at some level the looking and assessing and mark-making is carving out neural pathways, no? May I hope?
For this version, I tried to mix my colours as close to those in the photo as possible, but I didn't bother with detail beyond that of the car. . .
And because you inspired me, I'm sharing all three pages as I consolidate my thoughts this Monday morning, digging back through my archives as I move forward.
Thoughts? Do you also turn to the past as inspiration for moving forward? Or do you tend to think there's too much danger of getting stuck? (And if you'd argue that it's hardly an either/or situation, I'll admit I'm with you).
Meanwhile, here today, it's as rainy a day as it was back in St. Emilion last May. A good day to stay inside, consolidate, relax. . . and read (I've just begun Elizabeth Gilbert's City of Girls, and so far it's very entertaining). Some French homework to do first, so I'd better sign off.
Your turn now -- the mic's open.