Reasons to be cheerful….day 3

Sitting here in my studio in the Festival I feel on show. My work feels decorative, to be glanced at silently, without comment or conversation. Am I decorative too ? I want to be out walking, connecting with the streets, the people. Instead I feel awkward, silently dismayed as people come in and say ‘What a lovely view’, as they look out of my window and then leave. A fish out of water. Oh, to disappear in my duffel coat and wellies – even in August and march over the landscape with my sketchbook in my pocket. I really am trying, but I fear this is not for me. To be fair, I have had some good comments and chat about walking, drawing and conversation but I am struggling to find a way of making this process feel comfortable and enjoyable. There is also the difficulty of strangers in my house, in my studio. My studio is ‘my space’, a space in which my thoughts and actions are born. To have others walk through, makes me feel vulnerable in a curious way. I have attempted to organise and beautify the space, perhaps another attempt at being decorative.. I have removed all the paint and ink from the walls, given it a coat of new, fresh, white paint, the process of my work eradicated. Why ? Why did I do that ? I think I need to claim back my space. I am going to get my painting dungarees on and make some work. Go on an imaginary walk down to the shoreline with my black, sticky ink. Picture to follow….I hope.


5 Replies to “Reasons to be cheerful….day 3”

  1. lovely words Dominique, I understand how you feel. yes, just start creating and the festival goers will come and go…


  2. Hi Dominique, I don’t know what the Festival is but it sounds like for you it involves the dreaded open studios! My sympathies to you. Although I have participated in these events in the past I’ve decided it is not something I want to do again. I am taking part in Bridport Open Studios later this month, but I’ll be exhibiting in a gallery not opening up my studio, which is about whole different thing.

    There’s something really intrusive about people visiting your home or workplace as if it is a tourist attraction, it can feel as if you have become a commodity. Visitors can treat you without the sensitivity and courtesy they would have were it a personal invitation and not a public event.

    I do quite enjoy the interaction with people viewing my work but the intensity of the situation, the intrusive nature of the event and protracted time when you can’t work properly means open studios are more trouble than they are worth.

    I would love to see your work in the flesh. I would certainly not be able to glance at it “silently, without comment or conversation”. I suspect that you’d be pleased to get shot of me after a long period of enthusiastic ranting about how exciting and moving I find your work! I know what you mean about being “decorative” (and I didn’t repaint the wall last time I did open!) but I believe you know your work is not decorative in the way you hint at. Yes your work is attractive, beautiful and visually accessible, but it also has that rare thing in work that is landscape-based that it is haunted by the essence of place! When I see your work as a tiny Twitter image on my phone I’m always delighted, enlarging it as much as technology allows, and often caused to visit your blog for the added depth your personal accounts give to that precious sense of place.

    Don’t be dismayed that not everyone can find words to show their appreciation and not everyone will be able to appreciate your work! Continue to be strong and true to yourself. Your work is inspiring: believe it! It’s not your problem if the best some people can manage is “that’s nice”.


  3. What a beautiful mind its very much like a decorative Tardis – small with ideas on the outside but massive and bursting with imagination on the inside – excellent Dominique : )


  4. Having seen your work this afternoon, I loved listening to you describe the process behind it, the ideas, layers of thought pushing and pulling each bold statement. Yes, the view is lovely, but what you are doing is why I came through the door into your private space. We are so exposed during the Open Studios/Festival that it feels very intrusive. It takes courage to have so many people enter your world but thank you for allow us in. Love your work. Wonderful and atmospheric as well as some fantastic drawing.


  5. Thankyou Sarah. So lovely of you, and for taking the time to listen to my explanations ! Tomorrow is the final day and I have taken so many impressions away from the last 10 days – some funny, tedious, rude, emotional, some supportive to name a few. And if only a few understand why I do what I do then thats probably just fine, I can’t expect much more. But I appreciate your sensitivity, and your comments on my work. And to everyone who visited,thanks .


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