Making a Convincing Retreat

IMG_4480A good start on a new painting

I’m retreating. Not retreat like the forced withdrawal of troops. Retreat like refuge. Five days of clear studio time. No jobs, no community responsibilities, no promises to keep.

It’s been the best day. A little extra sleep, brunch with a newspaper, good studio time and a good start on a new painting, a friend over for coffee,  cuddles with the cat, birds singing in my garden, some work on a course I’m taking. Even a very welcome small rainfall in late afternoon.

And more of the same tomorrow. Work, rest, companionship. I feel more relaxed than in weeks.

But as cartoon character Eloise would say, here’s the thing of it. This is not usual. Like everyone, I meet responsibilities and deadlines that have nothing to do with this. It can be really hard, convincing the world and yourself that making art is what you actually do.

Convincing the world. Convincing yourself. Maybe it’s the latter that’s important. For these five days, making art is what I do. Who knows whom I will end up convincing?

*   *   *

This blog is a series of posts from one artist’s life. To receive updates, just put your email in the box on the right. Your email address will never be shared.


4 Responses to Making a Convincing Retreat

  1. Lindsay Arnold June 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Good for you! It can be so difficult to carve out sacred time. I have been feeling the need to retreat too. Perhaps your blog post will inspire me to commit to it.

    • Laureen June 26, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

      If you do make your own retreat, please let get back in touch. More inspiration for everyone! We can all use it.

  2. Eve Barbeau June 27, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    This retirement thing still has me flailing. I have been getting more time in the studio, but I keep feeling as though I’m not accomplishing much. Good for you in seeing a retreat time. Maybe that’s what I need to do.

  3. Laureen June 27, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    I think what we all have in common is vast expectations of what we should be accomplishing. One of the best mantras I ever ran into was “any amount counts”. It really does. Think long term. Think possible. Think transition and change and energy. You are achieving everything you can. I have no doubt. You don’t need to either.

    With lots of love and faith,