‘Ah, the desert… since it only takes one passion to justify an existence. But that’s just it – it was passion for emptiness.’
– Jean Bauldrillard
As nature awakes to embrace the spring and the birdsongs are bringing hope and solace to the soul, I’ve been listing in my mind the things I’m grateful for and trying to forget I miss being in the outside world. Living here you always try to make the most any remotely sunny day as you never know if it’s not going to be the last for a while before the rain takes over again. Although I’ve now learned to love the rain, especially on a quiet night where you observe the little drops turn to gold on the window glass touched by the light of the lightbulb in the room.
Anyway, I mentioned in my previous post I was having sleep problems, lots of racing thoughts and weird short dreams. If you are experiencing the same, there is some advice on the NHS website on constructive suggestions how to potentially tackle sleep problems. Some teas, such as chamomile, are known to help people have a better sleep and if you don’t hate the flavour as much as I do you should try it, haha.
I’ve decided to do a few things in the house I was putting off for a while and finally managed to frame three paintings and put them up. The first one was a mixed media painting (with some bright watercolours) which I bought from a miniature town in the middle of nowhere near Dead Valley. We were travelling through the desert and by the road we saw a hand-drawn sign ‘Art Fair today in Shoshone’ and I remember thinking ‘Gosh, that sign must have been there forever, probably from an event that happened years ago’ but then it turned out in this little place that pretty much consisted of a petrol station and a tea-house/diner there was an actual art fair! There was a country band playing, some bikers hanging around and lots and lots of stalls with colourful displays – glass, clay, knitting, paintings. So I saw this lady who was selling paintings of the desert and I was instantly drawn to them. I chose this painting of the Mojave desert – I loved the yellow and orange hues, the mountains in the distance. The painting itself is painted on the back of a frozen food dish packaging which I think makes it even more amazing and unique. Owen (that’s the name of the lady) had long grey hair and there was this strength and feeling of tranquility surrounding her aura. She used watercolours (similar to the ones I use on my paintings), then bic pen and some sharpie marker and on top some pastels. It has all come together perfectly.
The second painting was of a bumble bee (those who know me would know I’m a bit crazy about those, haha). It was bought from the seaside in England, cannot really recall the name of the town though. I only remember we were by the coast and it started raining so we sought shelter in this church building and it turned out on the second floor there was a fair by local artists. And that’s where the bee was so it was meant to beeeee, haha : )
The third painting is my whale with a Christmas hat painting which I did last winter for a postcard design. I like the idea I can hang a whole whale on the wall (serious)…
Meanwhile my friend Maria has started making something pretty and practical at the same time. As you know she’s a one-woman-army and running her own business so the lockdown is impacting her orders hugely. So she’s started hand-crafting face masks with some funky designs and you can see for yourself how imaginative and stylish they are by visiting her profile on Etsy.
I’ve also found a distraction to keep me busy in the lunch-breaks or weekends when I’m not working – it’s a challenge called Covistyle. A group of neighbours have found a way to make the quarantine entertaining by presenting themselves dressed in a different style every day. They set the topic in the morning sharing their examples and then everyone is free to join showing their fashion interpretation of it.
I’ve drawn a rainbow and put it on the window for the locals to enjoy when on heir daily walk or run. It’s been amazing to see how the community comes together to help and support the vulnerable. The Thursday evening clapping for the NHS is such a nice gesture, there is all this surreal atmosphere of it where you can hear the whole area is a wave of clapping. After all, no matter what, these people are out there, risking their lives every single day for us.
So that’s it from me for now, I hope you stay strong, enjoy the Easter break even though it’s an unusual one, and stay strong. I hope you find a silver lining even in the darkest hour and I’m sending you good thoughts and hugs.