Focussing and a Random Thought

First, the random thought. This came up at my art group when the subject had turned to death and coffins, as a result of a programme a class member had watched about a young man dying of cancer. I remembered in Notes From An Exhibition (one of my favourite books about an artist who was mentally ill) there was a cardboard coffin, and the undertaker said there were instructions for the family to decorate it. I thought that was a fantastic idea - a lovely way to pay tribute to the person who's passed on. When someone dies there's such a feeling of emptiness and helplessness, as there's nothing more you can do for them. I wonder if having a coffin to decorate would give family and friends a way to express their emotions and memories, and feel they are doing something instead of feeling useless. I really like the thought of having something like this when I die, although it really depends on what those left behind want as it's really more about their needs at that point. Anyway...

The project I'm focussing on for the next year or so is a series of healing paintings based on water (including shells, waves, sea life etc). For a long time I've found myself draw to natural water sources - rivers, oceans, lochs. A recent experience on a short holiday made me choose water as my first healing series, as I'd had a few options I couldn't decide between. My partner, David, and I visited Elie Beach in Fife when it was almost completely dark. We walked across the wet sand, listening to the waves gently lapping and the sounds of birds gliding above the water. It was a very still, calm night and I felt so peaceful. We watched the nearby lighthouse flash off and on as we strolled towards it. I could have stayed on the beach for ages, just listening and feeling relaxed. Another evening we visited the same beach just as the sun was almost set, and the clouds around it were glowing. It was another peaceful, still evening and again I felt so calm inside. These experiences are what I want to convey in my paintings, especially for people who aren't able to experience it for themselves. I'm not making any plans about what I want the pieces to look like - I will experiment and work intuitively as that's how I work best. I'm aiming for a series of around 20 paintings at the moment and have set the goal of exhibiting them when they're finished.

That's about it for now. On the 21st of October we're aiming to visit Fife again where there is an art exhibition I want to see. It's at Kirkcaldy Museum & Art Gallery and is only on till the end of the month. We're also hoping to visit Burnt Island where I might just find more inspiration for my healing series.