Thoughts on the present discontent

The discontent is not the current Solitude.  It concerns the rediscovery of a Layflat Sketch Pad I bought a month or two after the publication of my book “The Bridges of Dee”, when I was feeling artistically rudderless.  I had been painting the bridges pictured therein for some years, a very strong focus, and now I had none.  Being somewhat circumscribed by caring responsibilities, I couldn’t go as far as thought might take me (my other river, the Tyne? more bridges? Chester?).

Inspired by a article in either “The Artist” or “Leisure Painter”, I decided to make a painterly record of the garden.    The advantage of the layflat layout is that you can paint/draw across the fold so a painting could grow sideways if necessary, and gardens do grow.  Unfortunately I hit a “only painting rubbish” phase and was inhibited by the acres of white paper, and the idea of a rubbish painting trapped in a book!  I’m no better off now either.  As soon as I saw it, the old doubts reappeared, even though my paintings, currently, are not rubbish.

What to do?  Displacement activity required.  How about starting with the title page – it is a book, after all?  What do I call it?  The Garden, My Garden, Garden, Gardening Notes, Flowers in my Garden, Heaven on Earth? (eek! I say,steady on). And what font?  and where to put the title?  Up high on the page with wisteria drooping from it? In the middle surrounded by a wreath of summer flowers? Bottom right, alone?

Some decisions have been made, title – My Garden;  font – my own handwriting, which isn’t neat but probably has a closer affinity to the garden than a more formal font.  I’m not an accomplished flower painter, so although I’m attracted to the wisteria idea (the crossbar of the pergola would be a good place to sign) I’m a lot nervous about launching into flowers on page one.   Come on, Steve! You’ve got to start somewhere!

Because I don’t like a post without a picture, I’ve included one from the book.  It’s the Old Dee Bridge on a misty morning.

One thought on “Thoughts on the present discontent”

Comments are closed.