There are times, despite the length of the never-ending to-do list and whatever level of chaos in cottage or studio, art calls, persistent and loud. Some time ago I had drawn up this little guy on a lino block, but that was as far as I got. The idea was for a bookmark that might appeal to kids. Yes, I know reading books is largely out of fashion (not trending!) in the younger generations, but it does still hold appeal for some.
With the weather decidedly nippy, and wanting to be in by the fire doing something creative, with the tellie in the background, I assembled some bits and pieces – an off-cut of matt board, thick-ish paper, knife, scissors, embossing tool, seamstress’s pattern cutting wheel, glue and shellac.
The next day, when the block was dry, and the studio above freezing, it was time to try it out. With no rolling press, but a solid cast iron book press and blanket remnants, the results of printing anything intaglio (drawing ink from inside the cut marks onto dampened paper) are always hit-and-miss. But, that’s part of the mystery and adventure! The different effects and various versions fascinated. Some I was pleased with, others not. The main thing was that I had a bit of fun and fed my creative need.
So often, the ‘shoulds’ take precedence over the wants (and needs), the soul-food that aids balance and health in mind and spirit, and therefore body. There is nothing like a bit of arty playtime to give me a renewed enthusiasm for the mundane things. Even if I’m actually bribing myself with more studio time. If there is one thing I’ve learned, especially over the past year, it is that our time is finite. Allowing time for joyful experiences, in whatever form they take for each individual, is more important than wearing ourselves ragged in crossing off ‘shoulds’.