after a rest during christmas of 2018, this blog holds the energy of my practice life and work during 2019.

2019 – a time for challenging my own perception of life and work, time to shake of mental shackles from previous years and to proudly put one foot in front of the other…

in reviewing 2018 i wrote

the energy i feel currently is one of a playful energy – not caring about what others think of what i’m doing.



i’m not quite at the point of fully being able to talk about what it was – all i can say is that it was something small that rapidly expanded and the existence of this continued to hamper my confidence for some years.



2019 – going for it.




there’s a hub bub of activity in the kitchen as pizza friday is in full swing – i’m waiting for the crowd to ebb before venturing in.

i feel in a very reflective mood tonight as earlier we all were present when we laid piglet the rat to rest in the garden.  it had rounded out a hugely emotional and life affirming week.

on tuesday i was involved in something that shook me to the core and it took a couple of other happenings in belper to keep my thing in perspective.

in belper there had been two massive accidents – an over turned car in a supermarket car park and a monumental water mains failure.

as details emerged of both i learnt that the water main was the result of a farmer’s interaction with the main while trying put up a new fence.  the car was being driven by an individual who had had a heart attack at the wheel and the vehicle hitting something so it cleared a wall and turned upside down in the car park.

on wednesday i watched the end of the 268 mile run won for the first time by a woman who beat both the men and women’s previous records.

this evening i’ve cried at the news about our rat.





i get easily drawn into the intensity of the situation and this week has had it’s fair share.  what i need to remember is balancing the external intensity with the what i do at home.  the week began with an order being placed for a new carpet in the house – this decision has launched the need to do some renovation of the skirting and to sort some wall paint out.  time to apply the intensity i’m capable of to improve our living environment.



something from earlier i forgot to include, formal qualities.  i think i missed the lecture or the memo that told me or taught me about the formal qualities.

i think i need some help understanding the formal qualities.  maybe just maybe if i can grasp what they are, why they are important and how to use them i might begin to feel i’m getting somewhere.

does getting somewhere have formal qualities ?

when i work at the dining room table?

there’s another thing i forgot to mention.  i went to an a-n event a few years ago and an artist  there was running a huge project in birmingham from her kitchen table.  she really inspired me that day because she was saying what i had been thinking – no matter what your situation if you need to create / make / express something there’s always a way.



this evening i’ve been moved to tears by the achievement tonight by jasmin paris





i begin writing while dinner preparation is happening in the kitchen.  i’ve been treated to an eclectic selection all with the low drone of the cooker hob extraction fan.  as i write i hear the inspirational voice of freddie mercury belting out a tune i really love yet can’t think what the title is – it’ll come to me … oh there it is someone to love – correction – somebody to love.

sounds of potato mashing.  i take a moment to save and prepare for dinner.



my plan for today didn’t involve what actually happened so this evening i’m feeling good and at one with the world.

today i’ve spoken with sue ball about the silk mill non linear project and the beginnings of the third tranche and contemplating what follows that.  can you contemplate something that is yet to happen ?

alongside this i’ve been doing a little more work on the next iteration of the snee snaw.  this one is much small than the previous two and a bit like the tour that followed pop mart by u2, it gives me somewhere to grow into.

this afternoon i started to figure out what this iteration might look like.  i looked for items around the house and eventually settled ( for now ) on a form that really pleases me.




there’s a lot of talk about work life balance and for me this also includes work practice balance.  i think at the end of 2018 i wrote something keeping hold of my own practice while doing work for others.  today has been a good day for this.

i take a moment to listen to our neighbours shouting, an unwelcome feature for over a year now.

the two projects i’ve spoken about have points in time associated with them.  i contemplate what this means for me.




it means a lot for my own self esteem and confidence in myself.  it means a lot for my thinking and my making.  writing these now they seem so naive and this awareness pulls against what i’ve just described.  i start to wonder why is this ?

i can’t actually answer that question because the question is related to a deep routed feeling and one that i work to manage.  i’ve mentioned recently the intervention in a project that affected me and again to some extent that feeling is amongst the other stuff.


  part of my coping strategy is music – this is what i’m listening to at the moment (19mins in).

i find the need to talk about or at least be honest about how i’m feeling when things get a little the wrong side of the line.  i feel at ease talking about this within the context of my own practice as there isn’t any immediate reliance place upon me by others.  i feel this is why it’s so difficult to talk about one’s current mental health state  in any workplace.

changes in feeling and mood are part of what it means to be alive.  i find it interesting how in our formative years those around us have such an impact.  is this why they are the formative years ?





i have to admit to you i’m really uncomfortable about something i wrote about myself in my previous post.  i did consider sitting with it all day and writing later. this was going to be too long before trying to address my concern.

last night i wrote something about myself relative to the a-n artist bursaries, the deadline for which is next monday.

with palms up and outstretched i can tell you i applied last year and was unsuccessful.  as the year rolled on and i got to see the blogs of those taking part it became clear to me why my idea hadn’t made in onto the must fund these pile.

i would like to read more blogs during the year rather than a big lump just before year end.

my comment about myself last night took me to quite a dark place this morning when i thought of what i’d said.

i note i’m way to quick to berate myself.  way to quick to put myself down.  no need to go into why i think i do this as it’s something i’m working on to improve.  i think it’s part of a coping with confidence – or lack – and a certain vulnerability.



being a bit reflective now it’s about a value system and me being present in that.  the very obvious, mainstream widely known about art value system is one that i feel able to access and be part of in only very small amountsm and in a very infrequent way.  i smile and realise that the exception to this is being part of this blogging community on a-n.


i’m feeling happy now.

i sip the nearly cold tea and tune into the washing machine spinning away in the kitchen, this mornings task before leaving the house to attend three meetings in the course of the day.



while i planned this post i recognised how the snee snaw starts to talk about balancing out the contrasts in my life – the light and dark, happy with sad.  each pairing intrinsically linked and when one is in ascendancy the other has to be quiet until – through time – it can be the present one.



while looking at the current setup next to me on the sofa i start to read how another person involved with my light, dark, happy,sad can bring forward an alteration in the current state.

as well as being very playful – i’m starting to read the profound in the snee snaw as well.




is a biscuit better dunked ?  i only ask as i had a biscuit and now i don’t.

surprisingly this opening line resonates with my ongoing enquiry into the energy of feeling,  so much of what i do is in the moment.

when the reminder email arrived about the week to professional development bursary deadline, i have to admit i shrugged and accepted that i don’t have anything currently on going or emerging as a line of enquiry that i could write something interesting enough to capture the imagination of the selection panel.  am i conceding i have nothing of intellectual worthy ness ?



today has been quite nice, i’ve been on a recce to some sites as a companion to another artist.  we ventured into staffordshire on a bright sunny day.  i did quite enjoy myself.  the highlight was the german military cemetry.


back at home the part i’ve been waiting for had arrived so my snee snaw for fore research can start to advance.  there’s a session at the end of the month that hopefully will not clash with possible work so i can go along and tryout where i’m at with it all.



i think in the coming weeks having a project i can dip into when i have slots of time to do so will hopefully have a positive impact as the paid work i’m involved with starts to ramp up again.