GPP Crusade No 14 – who is your Muse?

Michelle Ward asked “who is your Muse?”. Hmm, I didn’t know, wasn’t sure I even had one… I have been thinking on this for days.

In the end the answer was easy, so easy I kept discarding it. My Muse is my husband Tony. We’ve been together for 15 years, married for 10. I was not really doing any art when we met but over the years it has come to occupy more and more of my time (okay, and the spare spaces in our house!). And he’s always been cool with it.

Sometimes he does not ‘get’ what I make, does not understand why I like it, or what I could possibly do with it. But he never fusses about all the hours, all the products, all the mess. How cool is that?

The photo is of Tony with my Mum. We live with Mum as her caregivers; he is patient and caring. Life’s good.
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Work in progess, mess in action



I have a few paintings underway at the moment, in various states of “done-ness“. And a large blob of Naples Yellow acrylic paint on the carpet…

As you can see, the desk beside my easel is a bit of a muddle at the moment. I always clean it up, at least a bit, before I finish for the day. Otherwise chaos reigns, and I find that counter-productive. Some mess and noise is good, too much is awful 😉

Finding time for your art

Do you ever stop and think and what your responsibilities are? And how best to juggle your time so you get things done and still have “art time” or “me time”. It’s a topic I often come back to.
I work full time as a librarian, study art by distance learning, publish a monthly community newspaper and Tony and I are Mum’s caregivers. Am I going to gripe about how busy I am? No way. I think that is one of the things we do wrong. People seem to play “I’m busier than you are” like it is some sort of game, and I think all it does it drain your energy. Accept you are busy and get on with it.
So how do I get art time? Well, for starters…I employ a housekeeper for 3 hours a week, someone comes and does the lawns once a fortnight, and someone else tames the gardens from time to time.
Due to serious health issues, the medical system provides a breakfast helper, lunchtime helper, and home delivered midday meal for Mum on weekdays. That way I can go to work and not be worrying about whether she is okay, out of bed, had her breakfast and meds etc. Night time is my responsibility. Two days a week a rest home collects her for day care so she has some other company, and I pick her up on the way home from work. Weekends the care is up to Tony and I. So, we are getting a good level of help with Mum. Even though it can be really tiring, I am very grateful that we still have her with us; not everyone is so fortunate.
So, what else? I forgo television. Yep, that’s right. Mum and Tony watch it – I head for my art room. I try to do other jobs in batches, like paying bills etc, rather than fluffing round endlessly with that sort of task. I try and relax about the state of the place; whilst clean enough and tidy enough, this is no show home.
In the end is comes down to – what would I rather do with this moment, these moments? This, that, or art. Unless my family wants or needs me, art wins most of the time. For me, it’s about knowing what my passion is and going for it heart and soul.
What do you choose most days?

Not a lot to show for it

But I have been working hard all weekend. All the usual of course – Mum, washing, housework – but painting up a storm too.
I have made a really good start on 3 more paintings towards my next exhibition. I only stopped because I was getting tempted to fiddle round on top of wet paint. Patience is NOT my best virtue!

My husband Tony and I hardly ever go anywhere together. So last night we decided to leave Mum set up, and head to the stock car champs in Stratford – approx an hour away. By the time we got there it was drizzling; by the time we had seen five races it was really raining. We gave up and were back home by 9pm. So much for our big night out LOL