I am just home from a long weekend Artist Date trip to London. I went with good friends and fellow artists, Josie Beszant and Ian Scott Massie.
We travelled from our homes in north yorkshire, just a couple of hours by train, to London Kings Cross...arriving bubbling with excitement and plans!
Amid swirls of snow we explored Coal Drop Yard, behind Kings Cross, enjoyed the sensual pleasures of an indulgent lunch, before dropping our bags at the hotel near Shoreditch. In the evening, Josie and I headed out to a life drawing class. For me this was my first one in real life since covid and was with Adrian Dutton Life Drawing, where my journey with life drawing via zoom first started almost exactly two years ago! It was so good to finally meet Adrian in real life. There was much hugging!
The next day we headed, by bus so we could see more, across to Waterloo where we were staying in the very cool Ruby Lucy Hotel. The day was spent wandering along the Southbank, past theatres, to the Globe, exploring the Southbank Printmakers, Bankside Gallery, Gabriels Wharf, past the Globe theatre. We tried and failed to get into the Tate Modern, so ambled up by the Golden Hind ship and Southwark cathedral to Borough Market. Such a treasure trove and a feast for all the senses!
The next day I had arranged to meet with a dear friend, Jenn Schmitt, from Portland, Maine, USA, whom I have been life drawing with, via zoom, for a good 18 months. Again...much hugging and long talks over coffee in Tate Modern! Later I dived into the Collections there and found so many treasures and delights from a gorgeously tactile sculpture of a head, by Picasso, to vast, richly colourful abstracts by Cy Twombly and SO much more in between.
By the end of the day all three of us were shattered! Total sensory overload. It is not just that travelling is tiring, but that just walking along the concrete riverbank of the South Bank, all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes....all of the senses are bombarded ALL of the time! now THAT is exhausting!
So now I am home, exhausted but deeply happy and nourished on many levels. I know that all of the input, the experiences with spill out into my art in some way, somewhere, somehow. I know also that I have learnt a great deal from experiencing a great city and so much great art and delightful friendship. And I have also learnt the value of rest, quiet, stillness and hitting my inner reset button!
Watch this space for the shifts in my work that will result!