My days of late have been a weaving of workings in paint and pencil, selling of wares, woodland wanders and the occasional foray to meet with friends. This lovely thrum of low-key but consistent activity is making the days fly by and I can hardly believe that’s it is already June.
There is a saying that the days are long but the years are short and I can certainly feel the truth in this as I wonder where the last year has gone. Even so, I walk through my days slowly, not measuring the minutes but doing what needs to be done. I am finding that the more deliberate and less hurried I am, the more time there is for what’s important.
You need not suppose that I am in a constant hurry of business. Although my engagements have now so much increased that I scarcely know how to get through them, yet I have accustomed myself to preserve a certain quietness of mind among them all. I take up one thing in order after another. I try to fix my whole thoughts upon the one thing that lies before me, as if I had nothing else to attend to. In this way I get on very well; what is done is done systematically; my mind remains clear, and does not feel oppressed by a multitude of claims on its attention.
I am far from perfect in this, however, being an easily distracted creature. I’m often diverted from what I’m doing by the birds that come to my studio window, each named and familiar. These feathered acquaintances chirp their greetings and before long I’m gazing out the window, lost in thought.
Sometimes I get preoccupied with the need not to waste my days, which is in some ways ironic as I often have to think about what day it is and usually have no clue as to the time. But I know now that the answer to this concern isn’t to try and cram more activity into each hour and it certainly is not to watch the clock more. Rather it’s to do less but with greater purpose, and only giving my attention to what is worthwhile. And this includes taking the time to stop and listen to the birds.
Time is indeed a sacred gift, and each day is a little life.
About the Artwork…
Illustration has always been my favourite form of artwork, which is probably why my creatures are often described as being illustrative in style. So, it was only a matter of time before I found myself returning to illustrating tales, both well-known and not yet told. As I said in last week’s post on The Art of Children’s Illustrated Books I am working on a little monochrome series of illustrations, but there will also be some colour versions as well, such as the artwork featured on this post. The White Rabbit from Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland is a painting I have been working on, on and off, for a little while now and only finished this weekend, but he seemed particularly apt for the subject of time.
The hurrier I go,
the behinder I get.
The White Rabbit
In other News…
As mentioned before, a selection of my prints and cards are on sale at the beautiful Mount Stuart House, here on the Isle of Bute, but from this week some of my original work will also be on display in the courtyard until the end of October. So if you are visiting the Island do stop in to say hello to my creatures and enjoy some tea and scones.