The Sweet Spot…
It’s a bit cold in the studio today.
(Although I have to say that of all the studios I’ve ever inhabited, this is the cosiest)
I haven’t been here for ages, so it’s chilled to its bones. So first thing, switch on the heater, leave my coat and hat on while I fill the kettle, then do a couple of swift circuits of the gallery while it boils and a little of the chill lifts. The General Office Gallery is being prepared and hung for an open exhibition that may never actually be open. The irony is not lost on us. But the work looks good – wide ranging in all ways as an open exhibition should be – and there is an online posting of work, and I think there will be a video tour when it’s completely done.
Next thing I do is cut a new piece of paper from the roll and soak it to flatten while I busy myself with the domestic and drink the tea. I quite enjoy these moments. The mechanics and arrangements of my room and my thoughts. The preparation and anticipation. I need to be a bit warmer before I start drawing. In the cold winter months, my arthritis spreads to my drawing fingers and they lock, seize up a bit, so they have to be warm, moisturised, and massaged, and wriggled about. Limbering up for the sedentary artist.
Up to now, I’ve had the Drawing Songs recordings all mixed up and playing while I draw, waiting for something to strike me. This morning as I listen, one particular song (incomplete, but the bones are there) lands… a particular line, a chord progression, over which the melody floats and dips. I decide that this will be today’s drawing music. Just this one track, on repeat.
It’s probably a good job I’m the only one in the building, because this would be really irritating for everyone else! I do wear headphones if people are about, but I don’t have bluetooth ones, so movement is a bit limited (flash of inspiration, I have funding, I could actually buy some!) But today I play it loud in the room, on repeat, while I draw.
There’s a sweet spot… a moment of complete stillness when everything just works. An almost out of body experience where my ears/brain/eyes/hand are connected… and something new emerges from the end of my nib… the ink starts to follow the words and the music seemingly without any interference from me. I know this, because I’m watching from a seat on top of the step ladder.