Starting Over

Looking back through the faltering false starts of a dozen ill-conceived blog posts, I realise that the last time I wrote with any regularity about my work, and about my life as an artist, was the first and only time in my post-art-school career that art was – briefly – all I did.

When, two years ago, I stopped doing the day job that I had worked at, in various guises, for 20 years, I had a wonderfully productive summer working from the back of my camper van in Epping Forest. I wrote about it here.


Mobile Studio


My daily commute was a bike ride through the forest to Chingford, where my van was waiting, ready for a day of sun-soaked creativity. When it rained I would sit, as I do now, in my favourite local café pondering the most interesting way to describe the aspects of my work that I hoped others might find enlightening; my attachment to particular paintings, my forthcoming show, the plans for my garden studio, and, at some length, the delicate balance of an artistic career with life as a stay-at-home dad.


Studio planning (with unknown intruder)


At the time, my children were two and four; school was just beginning for the eldest one and still a long way off for the other. But that was then.

The café in question currently has 15 of my paintings on its freshly painted walls and the children are both at school, halfway through their first term back after a summer of adventure and travel.


Lego in Bali


The sun is still shining, but the mornings are darker and the leaves are turning brown. The now-completed studio in my garden is bathed in autumn light as I work, finishing the paintings that will soon be delivered to a client in the city.


My place of work


It has been a happy and unusual few weeks as I grow accustomed to this new routine. My morning commute (once the school-run bike ride has been completed) is to the end of the garden, where my paintings slowly change, sometimes with my help, sometimes on their own, and where my daily life is now based.

I’ll write more, or I’ll try to, and I’ll keep working, working, working.

Half term will be here soon.