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August - strength

Art is a way of life, a calling, and as such it is a lifestyle. Much of our lives have been shaped around the ideas of linear accomplishment, studying, doing things in the right order to achieve a set goal. Art scuppers those ideas. It's less tangible, and although we can find ways of creating in certain ways, it doesn't really have a beginning, a middle and an end. It can be exhausting when the urge to create hits and you have to fulfil that call. and there is a duty to serve that calling, to eat well, sleep, and go see the world and bottle up the inspiration.

Summer is my season, when I feel most myself. I love the energy and freedom of longer days. I'm fortunate to have a teacher for a husband so we have time to explore and dream. This summer we went to Snowdonia for a week of feeling the elements. We wanted to be outside, to feel life.

Summers of my childhood were spent in mid Wales and as soon as we were in Snowdon, I was taken back to the soundtrack of those holidays, the rush of water, the bleet of sheep. Mr H is more of a walker than I am but inspired by the YHA magazine we decided that the children were old enough to climb Snowdon and the challenge began! I didn't really think they could do it, or that I could, to be frank. but in four hours we had reached the top, basked in cloud. The sense of achievement was amazing!

The view from Snowdon

I realised that I had the strength to do it. The scenery was breathtaking, the senses enlivened, the legs ached! In the run up to the summer I had felt life revolved around the computer and dreamed of the magic of mossy glades and waterfalls, the atmosphere of fairy grottoes. I found all that in Wales.

Me on Snowdon

In reaching the summit I realised that I had answered a longing. I also respected my own abilities and that I had set a goal and accomplished it. Instead of saying, 'I can't' I said 'I CAN'. And what I brought down the mountain, was a plan to walk more, to leave the computer behind more, to escape and explore more. But also to be bolder, to believe in myself.

There are still some places available on my Landscape Sketchbook workshop on Friday 20th October in Barlow, Dronfield near Chesterfield.

Some sensory inspiration from my summer:

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