This week I’ve been practising some self care. I minded a friend’s house when she was away, which was like a retreat to separate myself from the world and its noise for a short while. Nourishing my body and soul with time and space to recuperate after an extremely busy few months.
However I still kept making my daily collages. This meant turning up to the desk/table/laptop tray and making a small collage to reflect on the day’s events. I used papers I had found, maps and advertising brochures, even the yellow wrapping paper around the toilet paper!
These small daily offerings are an achievement of a sort, nothing major, nothing perfect, just a structure and a practise which has now become a routine. I don’t hold grand expectations of beauty or outcome, although each piece is resolved within a short time frame of under 10 minutes and each has a consistency of format for the year.
At the end of each year I think up new ways to keep the practice interesting and alive so I don’t get bored. One year I turned my collages into monthly accordion fold books. Last year I collaged onto shipping tags. This year it is envelopes. I thought of doing this on New Years Eve, quickly buying a packet of envelopes with the postcode boxes on them. This gave me a date structure and the envelope suggested including stamps. As I have enough stamps to last several years I might use stamps again next year (or maybe not).
Turning up to a daily practise even when you don’t feel like it is important. It shows yourself that you are committed and wiling to be less than perfect every day. You might call it personal training like athletes do, or as I like to see it, the muse might just strike one day and then I’ll be ready with tools, materials and a technique that will see me through another project.
I’m nearly half way through this year and I can see myself keeping on going, slowly and steadily. There will be ones I like more than others. Hopefully 13 of them which become become the images for my 2020 calendar. There are always 365 to choose from! And the upside is I have returned from my week’s retreat feeling refreshed and I have art made to add to my collection. A good week.