Last weekend, it was the Open Studios weekend at Redlees, where I have my studio space. It's interesting going in there at the moment because when people ask me what I've made lately, I just laugh and point at my six-month old daughter! I think she's quite an artistic achievement, but perhaps not something I'd want to sell at an open studios event.
I have been painting, and I'm really excited about the work I've been creating lately, but because I've not been in the studio so much I didn't want to show the new work because it didn't quite feel finished to me, it's still a puzzle I'm trying to put together.
There's some really good work at Redlees at the moment and I really enjoyed wandering around and chatting to the other artists with my daughter in her buggy and my interpreter sneaking along next to me.
It was quite funny being in my studio while the gospel choir were rehearsing there, I'm not sure if they wanted to be there because the space is bigger or because the artist is deaf, but my interpreter said they were good and my daughter slept happily throughout, so I assume it must be because they needed the space! Once they'd gone, I loved talking to people who popped in about my work, even if it is always a bit odd showing people older work and it gave me a lot to think about to see those paintings with a bit more perspective. When I'm making work it's a very personal and intuitive experience, so sometimes I can't really see what the work says until I've had some distance from it.
It made me think about how my working practice has changed, that before I would spend a much longer time on creating the actual pieces but now I spend a lot longer reflecting and thinking rather than planning out materials and just building and building on the works until I'm happy with them. It makes the pieces I finish look wonderfully layered and textured, but it doesn't make it easy to get lots of work done very quickly, especially when you've got a young baby.
I'm glad I could be at the opening evening for the weekend, I miss having time to talk to the other artists about their work and it does sometimes get frustrating that I need an interpreter with me to have a proper conversation at times, but mostly I wish I could paint more. I'm not complaining, though, it's good to be reminded about how important that feels to me, but I'm happy that my children are both incredible works of art!