Monday, October 22, 2012

Mid-Spring: thinking and doing

 Part 1: Mostly thinking

I've been managing an hour or so most days in the studio, and this allows me to keep things ticking over mentally, and a little practical progress to be made.

In contrast, I have occasionally cast my mind back to a happy time when I was preparing for my ceramics graduation exhibition, and I worked in part at the dining table in our open-plan unit. My clay buildings surrounded me, and were one of the first things I saw when I opened my eyes. The intensity of full immersion in the creative flow was such a pleasure, and I'm sure that the work benefited.

These days I am aiming for a different type of flow. I'm doing my best to appreciate what I do achieve (both in the studio and beyond) and the days do feel more spacious and less pressured (mostly!)

This year for the first time, I'm noticing the rhythm of my days and being more aware of how I structure my time. It's a schedule of sorts, but it has developed quite organically, rather than by my imposition.

As a result, I'm feeling more content despite not really having as much energy as I would like to have. The way I feel during the day "leads" me, and after observing this for a while, I can see that there is an internal pattern happening.

When I push to fit in more, whether in the studio or elsewhere, there is a tiny bit of give, but one step too far and I find myself in a crabby mood, my mind filled with negative thoughts and hopelessness lurking not far away.

The first iris of the year, and two frisky goldfish
Living in a subtropical city, it is quite possible for the seasons to cycle past with minimal impact. I've been trying to be more in step with the seasons over the last two or three years. Taking the time to pay more attention to the changes that do happen has surprised me with the amount of daily pleasure it gives.

I've started a project where each season I will gather some representative plant material and use it to make natural dyes and ecoprinted paper. This was kicked off by the pansies which my lovely house-sitting friend Louise planted for us, as a welcome home from our trip in winter. The dark purple pansies have been flowering madly and I have been snipping them off after a couple of days, and putting them to freeze until the plants are spent.

Meanwhile, I've been progressing with binding the wedding album I am making for a friend, and in my breaks from that, testing different materials and structures for my next BAO edition. So next post I'll share some of that.

Through the Blind


  1. Pushing myself even a single step too far also produces a crabby mood and hopelessness. When I stop pushing, things flow beautifully. I bet they appreciate the respect I show them.

    I am looking forward to your natural dye experiments, have fun!

  2. ahhhh there's no mistaking the change of the seasons down south..... although the calendar will try to tell us its mid-spring... i can tell you in mid october spring is only just starting to rev up..... its still too shilly to plant many of the things you associate with spring...

    love your pics btw - and your commentary (looking forward to peeks of the next BAO work... all in the fullness of time of course!)

  3. You too Ersi? It's probably the same for a lot of people - maybe it explains why there are so many angry people out there.

    Ronnie - I can remember when I lived in Melbourne that October would arrive and I would barely have shed one of my winter layers. I was used to feeling ready for a beach holiday in September up here, and I used to wonder whether winter would ever finish. I generally love the cold and wintertime, but by October I was over it!

  4. Love the photos through the blind Amanda. Hope everything keeps progressing ...slowly!

  5. Glad to hear you are not trying to push yourself too hard. Negative thoughts usually yield negative results.Love your spring-like blinds. You would be completely blown away by the number and range of wild flowers here in even this small corner Western Australia.As a fellow Brisbanite, I too have always missed the seasons you get in more temperate climes but then the warmer weather makes it easier to be optimistic.