How does one keep a healthy mind, body and soul when everything seems so unreal in the pandemic? Well, I have asked myself this question over and over during the last 6 months!
As an artist, like all other self-employed, it has been difficult to stay positive and look forward. But the only way I can keep it together is to think about ways that I can use my time well whilst there are no exhibitions, no workshops and very little demand for new work.
How do I do it?
One way I keep busy is to research and learn new things in the creative field. I like being creative in many ways, not just painting. I enjoy looking at new ways to achieve something and really enjoy trying something new. This has been a real boost to keeping me up to date and enthusiastic.
Another thing I have been doing is de-cluttering!
It feels so good to go through clothes and books etc and passing on things I don't want or need anymore. The charity shops will benefit and the run to the local recycling centre is so satisfying!!
I'm taking advice from the lovely Marie Kondo which is to hold the item and decide whether that item brings you joy. If it doesn't then it's time for it to move on!
I also keep and sketchbook and my travel watercolour set handy for when I get new ideas. I have found that sometimes when your mind is thinking about other things, a new creative idea will appear, so it's important to make a note and even spend half an hour sketching it out.
It is also really important to me to keep enjoying nature and fresh air. I sometimes get ideas from something I see, but also going out walking with the dog helps with my health and well-being. I also love to gaze up at the stars at night, and this gives me perspective on my existence and the resilience I have with today's stressors.
We have been out in the caravan to Covid Safe sites in around Norfolk and Suffolk over the summer. We have kept ourselves to ourselves and really enjoyed the peace and quiet and it has refreshed my soul! The last trip we took was to Waxham on the Norfolk Coast where seals are always at the water's edge. They are very curious animals and as we walked along the beach with our dog they keep popping up their heads in the water to look at us. The beaches were largely empty in September too, so it felt very special. The stars were out, and I saw a few shooting stars. Living in a town only the largest and brightest stars are visible, but where there is no light pollution it really is something to behold.
Autumn is my favourite time of year. The golden sunlight, the warm days and cool nights. Watching the trees turn wonderful colours and watching the swallows and house martins line up on wires before they fly south. As the cooler days approach I feel a sense of comfort under my crocheted blankets with the dog snuggling up beside me. Rich smells of hearty dinners wafting through the house as my husband cooks up another tasty meal.
In these moments I feel lucky and grateful to be alive and experiencing these comforts.
And I remember that everyday is a creative day. xx