We’re back from our summer break, but how did it go? Do we feel refreshed and revived and ready for an autumn of art, or do we need another holiday?!

Here are the questions we pondered, and my responses. To find out what Gina got up to, you’ll have to listen!

How important is it for our art to take a break – whether a holiday, or just getting out of the studio?

I think it’s vital. We need to take it seriously, and make sure it’s a complete break. If we don’t change up our routine or environment occasionally, it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut – a rut in our practice and our thinking.

Do we use the time to reflect, or do we drop everything?

I needed the physical distance in order to see and feel the contrast in my mind and mood, and to experience the brain fog that descended when I opened the door to my studio on my return. That was an eye opener. I need time to reflect on this now, after the break – hard to do when I’m not actually in the situation I need to ponder.

I know despite the time away, I didn’t take a “proper” break: I tried to continue with some art, tried to follow an online course (madness), and so now I’m feeling like I need another holiday! Which makes me feel churlish and guilty – because a lot of people haven’t had the opportunity I did.

Did I waste my time? Were my expectations too high, for what I could do in the time and place? Did I really think I could relax completely while still creating? Isn’t creating supposed to be relaxing? Am I overthinking this?!

How about taking an art retreat, away or at home?

I need to get away – and out of my house. It’s a small house, so impossible to escape physical and mental clutter. It could just be an hour or a day, it doesn’t need to be a holiday to change my perspective – but longer time away makes for bigger shifts. If I stayed at home, I’d potter about doing the usual things – I don’t think I’d feel as refreshed, unless I planned my time more carefully. Even if I set aside a day or two at home just for art, I know I’d be interrupted – not necessarily by others, but by myself!

If we do go away, do we take art materials?

Yes!

Do we use them, or feel guilty if we don’t?

I end up using things partly because I want to, but mostly out of guilt for taking them and filling up valuable packing space. This is obviously madness – if I didn’t take them, I’d feel so much better. I don’t think anyone should feel guilty for not making art when on holiday.

How does art making on holiday – even just sketching time – fit in with companions or family?

My husband is happy doing his own thing (cycling, reading, snoozing) but my daughter likes to spend time with me. I found this a little tricky this summer – not because we don’t get on (we’re good friends) but because I really craved some alone time to “just be”.

Do we feel refreshed and raring to go?

Yes and no. I feel a lot clearer about some things, and I’ve already made some tricky but much-needed decisions, but physically I’m finding it hard. Nothing can really replicate swimming in the sea or the very active and physical business of camping. Even getting in and out of bed: when it’s on the floor it takes more energy and flexibility! I’m continuing with morning cold showers for as long as I can bear it, but I’m shocked at how much my home environment affects my mental state. I hadn’t noticed until I had the contrast of not being here.

Mentioned in this episode:

Henry Moore Foundation https://www.henry-moore.org/

Kettle’s Yard https://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/

Circe by Madeleine Miller
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35959740-circe

Stranger Things
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334/

Games from the Tiny Green Caravan

http://tansyhargan.bigcartel.com/product/games-from-the-tiny-green-caravan-online-course

You can find us at:

Gina Ferrari https://www.ginaferrari-art.co.uk/

Izzy Moore https://isobelmoore.co.uk/

The music is Dear Autumn by Ikson and you can find it at https://soundcloud.com/ikson

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