I now live in an RV, beside a ditch, under the pylons, in a suburb of the city. It is very romantic.
We are back in Christchurch for the last year of Caleb’s degree. So hopefully I’ll only be living in a city until November and then we will be out of here, but where we don’t know yet. Wherever there is work for Caleb. I am so blessed to be able to take my work with me wherever I go.
We have found a place to live nearby the university and that is within our budget and promises to be warm and cozy for the winter with Baby. It’s an American style caravan. Small as far as typical living quarters go but very livable for us and insulated and warm! We have a little creek running past under our windows with ducks paddling up and down and visiting us for a nibble of bread. We also have our own tiny lawn and have already put box garden beds in. It is on a property with no other residence so it is quite private and we have already made friends with our lovely neighbours over the hedge.
My studio space is at a desk we now share. Caleb works during the day at the university and uses the desk in the early mornings or evenings, so I think it will work out well, and we will learn to keep things tidy as the desk is not our own to leave stuff all over!
I got back to work the day Caleb started uni again. I have finished one tiny painting, which I will write about soon,and have planned a larger painting which has been in my head to paint for a while now. I set up my idea and managed to control the light enough with blinds and dark towels. These flowers have since wilted as I couldn’t start until my prepared canvas was dry. This week I plan to get most of the painting done on the piece, but first I need to buy new brushes!
I’m planning to get lots of paintings done before April when baby is due, then I’ll be taking a few months official break, though I will still be drawing and writing here occasionally. We are getting excited now to meet our baby soon!
When I was 17 I somewhere discovered a passion for the violin. I had never even picked one up before but I wanted to learn. I spent hours on the internet researching them, watching videos on how to play and dreaming of buying my own. Then for my 18th birthday my Nan, who has always been incredible supportive of any musical inclining in her grandchildren, bought me the most beautiful instrument. I was so happy and immediately I started to learn. At first I didn’t even know how to get a sound out of it, but with the help of a neighbor friend who played I managed to begin to learn to play it.
I played for about a year or so regularly. At the same time I was becoming more and more passionate about art about learning painting and drawing skills. I found myself drawing or painting my violin more than I was playing it. I still loved it, I loved looking at it, I loved listening to violin music, but I practiced less and less as I concentrated more on painting.
At one point I thought I could do everything. I could paint and draw, ride my horse, play violin and piano, write, do archery, and keep up a social life. And then I started working for my first exhibition and I realized that I would have to prioritize some time and concentrate on the things that I wanted to really master. I actually do think it is possible for me to do all of those things if I wanted, I believe we are all capable of a lot more than we think we are. But I knew what I wanted most to do was to get really good at painting and drawing and that that would take hours of practice.
So I made a decision to let the violin go and just use it as a model for my paintings. It has always been a sad decision for me and I often have the feeling that that will become one of the things I will regret most about my life. There have been times that I think I will give myself another chance to learn again, but it doesn’t quite happen. It’s a bitter sweet treasure of mine, my violin. I love it’s beauty and the sound it can create, I think it is one of the most romantic and beautiful of instruments. Maybe one day I will begin to play again, but just now it will remain in my dreams, unheard…
This summer I wanted to pick it up and play again, but I ended up being more inspired to paint it which is what I did and here is my latest painting in progress and finished:
This is today’s drawing from my 365 days of drawing challenge. It is from a painting by old master Jean Leon Gerome. In the last few days I have had a little more time to spend on my drawing. We are staying our last week in Northland at my parents and so I have been working in my old room for the last few days which is nice and quite nostalgic and yet seems so normal. I only got married and left here a year ago.
This Sunday we head away to the South Island and to find a home for the year in Christchurch. We are officially homeless at the moment. But I’m not worried that we will find a place soon after we get down there. I am looking forward to settling down into a place of our own for the rest of the year and sorting out a little studio area and preparing for our April baby.
I am hoping to get as much painting as I can before mid April and I’m feeling surprisingly inspired and excited to get to work. I was scared that I might loose some interest in my art with having a baby and just spend all my time thinking about that. It seemed like I was going that way in the early stages of the pregnancy when the whole idea seemed to be turning my world inside out. But I have righted up again and found I am still myself and that there is room in my heart for both baby and art together.
Here is a drawing I did of Caleb’s baby doll from when he was a tot. It is the most realistic baby doll I have seen with so much detail in the features and hands and feet.