I’m sitting here, in a freezing cold, partially converted warehouse, painting properly for the first time in months – about 7 months to be precise.
I’m huddled against a small heater which is really doing nothing apart from massively increasing my carbon footprint. In fact the cold is only one of the barriers to being here today – my daughter is out of school, the room costs money to hire and I really don’t have the time to be here (there is always so much else to do and since writing this post we got a puppy…which completely gobbled up any spare pockets of time…and I mean gobbled).
But at the risk of romanticizing this all as “the struggles of an artist”, I desperately need to be here today. My mental health has deteriorated in the last 6 months. A combination of factors have allowed this to occur – as many of you know, its never just one thing, but the hope is that today I will start to regain the hope, optimism, creativity and some energy that represents the “well” Jen.
So this post is about “trying” and how that is all that anyone can really do.
As I shiver, I am listening to one of my favourite albums by Frank Turner and this song “Eulogy” kinda sums up how I feel right now. You can hear it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXJoexZBMcA It’s very short…only 90 seconds, so I reckon you have time to listen to the lyrics, but the most important line for me is this one:
“But on the day I die
I’ll say, at least I fucking tried”
So I am still trying. I’m painting slowly, re-aquainting myself with work I started 7 or 8 months ago – I am slowly remembering where I was last spring, what I was doing and what was occurring to me about my painting journey back then. I am also battling an internal voice which is saying:
“Why are you doing this Jen? These big paintings will never sell. What’s the point?”
Well the point is that I have to try. Not try to sell them, I mean I just trying for trying sakes – the practice of doing the work, the work of painting for its own sake, because when I die, I want to be able to say “at least I fucking tried”