My metaphors for describing my creative process are deeply rooted in nature. And at this time of year, nature teaches us to grow. Since becoming a parent twelve years ago, life has been grounded and domestic. My garden has been a safe place of solace and there I find a connection to an essential part of me that has always found gardening enticing and enervating. Nature has listened to my troubles, guided me with a steady hand and helped me find a pace for my dreams and aspirations. She has shown me how to entwine my creative and nurturing roles.
There is a motivational quote:
and I have used this to remind me to embrace where I am both geographically and in my life phase as a parent to two young boys. It has eased my frustrations when I feel my wings twitching and I want to fly away.
Where do I dream of flying to? When the pace of the year slows and the sunshine is muted and pale, I dream of summer days and vibrant sun. I feel disloyal to nature's beat but I want other places, other people, other cultures. Before I had my family I travelled widely. With children that became much harder. But this year, I knew that in order to grow I needed sunshine and water and soul food. I needed Menorca!
Menorca ticked the boxes of sunshine and water but also so much more. It is a beautiful island whose beaches and coves are lapped by clear turquoise water. In the towns and cities, there was so much to appeal to my love of texture, colour and pattern.
Being fast forwarded from a cold Spring into warm, balmy days, I felt awakened and refreshed, fed on wholesome food, delightful tapas and local chamomile tea. It was wonderful to be in different place, different sensory experiences, the taste of the food, the taste of the sea, the smell of Spanish coffee and best of all the feeling of sun on my face.
We spent our time drawing. My children have learnt to bring their sketchbooks along otherwise it gets boring waiting for Mum and Dad whilst they draw. So days were spent pottering between beaches and towns. And with a sketchbook in hand it slows you down. You have to make decisions about what marks you put on the page, what it is that interests you and that you wish to capture.
So, on returning, I feel renewed. I have had my sunshine and water, my starry nights and come back ink-stained and moon-stained. I'm ready to be back at home, grounded in my creative and nurturing roles, busy with allotment and garden - but dreaming of where we might go next.
What is it that you need to do to grow?
Useful links for Menorca: