You know by now I am all about patterns, cycles, circles, the loop, the infinite game we play and are part of in life. And having done a complete 360° cycle from West into North 2019 and at that same spot now… am I wiser for it? Better for it? Heaps...
I say that but I’m in another bout of insomnia and fatigued, but frankly, that’s to be expected this year. For that reason recent months in isolation have been spent doing online learning to my own schedule, meditating, contemplating, resting, re-evaluating, not pushing myself.
I’ve done practical stuff like sorting out an epic archive of artwork files – making sure my scans are the best they can be and recorded and filed as efficiently as possible. I’ve invested in a software upgrade and had a good declutter and reorganisation of my workspace. My own space crucially has to be clear and ergonomic.
I’ve learned and committed to stay as present as I can while the external goes into panic, fear mode and high level stress. That’s made me a lot wiser and a lot kinder, best of all to myself.
I’ve ironically gradually got less and less restricted as we’ve been more and more restricted as a collective. I’ve found my voice to stand my ground and challenge where necessary. Speaking my truth, one of my goals a year ago, has become reality.
In short, I’ve grown up.
In August I finally signed my works. The results are still awkward. The letters N and G don’t sit together well and I’ve done my usual rushing in and blobbed on ink using the wrong tool. But does it need to be perfect? As ever, there’s the visible and conscious conflict.
Back in school I went through a lengthy period testing styles of handwriting, similar to selecting different fonts, I suppose. I would watch others in class making big loops, widening their letters, using glyphs in their words, and tried it out for myself looking like several children using the same schoolbook. Until Dad gave me a book on calligraphic script (like his own hand) and then I turned into some weird child for the 1980’s – writing in medieval form as the outside world modernised fast.
Now my handwriting has evolved sadly my real signature, the one the banks and HMRC get to see, is the oddest flourish, a remnant of that time I can’t switch now without now being accused of fraud. The irony of that in 2020 is, well, marked.
My hand is still experimenting, still trying to find out who NG is, how to truly represent myself in simple black ink in two simple letters. But as the backs of my paintings reveal, in my pencil-marked title/date/artist signature the progress and gained confidence in a year is huge.
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