Wednesday 6 September 2017

Transitions in wood

Busy-ness growing your business is fine to a point.

A pause for breath is sometimes necessary, although not always possible. Events and opportunities come along at uncontrollable times, and decision making becomes intense, quick and harsh.

The last few months have seen me become busier and more challenged than usual.

Dreaming about a potential goal, and then taking action to fulfill it, makes your perspective change radically. Everything can suddenly appear either a help or a hurdle to that goal...if we let it.

However, having listened to a lot of people over the years, I have begun to change that mindset. A massive paradigm shift to my belief system. The growing awareness that everything helps you to your goal once you begin that journey,and once you truly commit to the goal that you know, deep, deep inside is yours. Because you will stop at nothing to realise it. And your emotional responses can be trusted,to enable you to act in such a way to keep you on your path. I suppose the trick is to realise what your goal truly is.

The goal of becoming an artist is very close to me. The past few years have seen that develop. Finding a balance between my artistic life and my family and social life has always created a tension. It's difficult to get that balance right, and I often struggle. This summer, with having to balance nurturing my art business with friends and family and with working ad-hoq in temporary work situations for various employers to help finance the venture hasn't always resulted in an easy-osey flow!

One success of note though was my chance to combine things. Spending time with my nephew, Daniel before he left home for University and I left for my next six month art venture in Australia and New Zealand resulted in a joint art project. Taking old items to be thrown away or discarded helped us both be creative, and helped me guide Daniel in the creative process, and helped me spend good family time. And Mother got a garden picture in the bargain!

Dragonfly close-up

Installation in situ


Daniel in action

Fun painting in the sun
Another nice interlude was gaining the company of dogs in my life by dog sitting. This year has seen me look after Juno and Toby and so couple my Wandering Artist work with house-sitting. Two lovely dogs to look after and such great fun to be around. I have really enjoyed the walks and the cuddles.

Me and Toby...a shared happy pant

Juno, ready to play

And house-sitting gave me time to develop new artwork, and this time to change the medium. To use wood as my canvas. Small pieces of ply-wood, that would otherwise have been used for firewood, I have been going through a research and development phase to get them to a canvas I can use in various ways.

Scottish Terrier on wooden block

Scottish Croft on wooden block

New Cosy Croft range

Working with wood has become more and more of my medium of choice lately. Finding wood that would otherwise go to scrap or be burned or generally left unused is a growing fascination.

And again, I have been able to combine this with temporary work as well as pursuit in art and craft. This time working for a wood pallet company. My daily tasks...sort and stack various wooden pallets. Various sizes, weights and condition. Who knew there were so many pallets! Standards, Standard Longs, CP2s, CP3s, EPALs, medium Euros, heavy Euros, Sevens, Nearlies, Blocks...the list goes on...and either good or bad all this plays to my need for order by sorting and stacking into relevant piles. A mindful day's work and one almighty workout! Hopefully my muscles may soon appear!

New uniform - safety first!

To make this work though meant giving up Maude!

Yes, the time had come to wander on without my motorhome and switch to a more work efficient van...called Red.

Farewell to Maude...a year's adventure...hope you have many more!
It was a bit of a wrench when she was driven up the road. We'd had many adventures together and it has been a fantastic year of transition...good and bad times. And for a while, she was my home and haven.

I recommend motorhoming to anyone considering it. To look at the horizon. To wonder what's over the hill and go there...without having to pack.

So during this phase of various work and artistic pursuits, what is my goal?

Part of me believes that I know it, but I also have a very intuitive side to my nature so a lot that drives me is perhaps unconscious.

I know there are a number of drivers in my life. To help people. To be creative. To improve myself and learn. These things happen no matter what I do or where I am (though learning is sometimes slow). But there does come a moment when things just click. When circumstances happen and your ability to choose becomes easier...where it no longer feels like a choice, but a necessity.

I have wanted to be many things in my life. A biologist, an artist, a graphic designer, an actor, a friend, a husband. These are all goals, but at the same time they could be described as the same higher goal. To succeed.

Now of course, being older, I also know that it includes not succeeding. But again, only if I keep the same mindset in place that restricts things to being separate. Or rather an either/or. To succeed or fail at something is pure illusion.

You are either something or you are not. Once you've decided to begin, you are simply on the journey, and so are already there. You are that thing.

So that old adage is true for me. The only true mistake is not to do it.

Or in a much more fun and new age way of quoting:

 'Do, or Do Not. There is no Try.' Yoda, A Galaxy, Far Far Away.

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