Sleep on it!

Recently I’ve been a bit down in the dumps, mainly due to not being selected for a few exhibitions. Even being selected for others never really softens the blow. Why on earth do I put myself through this torture every year? Life had become a case of “A.B.A”, (anything but art), for weeks. But the cats got extra attention and I did do quite a lot in the garden, so the time wasn’t wasted. After a few weeks feeling a bit lost, an email arrived from the Graphic Studio.



They were sending out a call for people to make a print for a fundraiser called “Home” for Simon the charity for homeless people. Now I don’t really like making work with a specific theme, as I think it sometimes feels a bit like sitting the Leaving Cert exam and can be quite stressful! To add to the possible stress factor, the work had to be ready within a month which could be tricky. Anyhow it turns out it was just the kick start I needed to get back working. I drew a few ideas: a house, individual pieces of furniture, a tent, a caravan but decided not to select an image immediately and to sleep on it. I woke during the night (4.34 am, exactly!), with the image of a nest in my head.

I jotted it down, as I always have pencil and paper beside the bed, (I know, bonkers!) After this I could barely sleep as I couldn’t get the image out of my head. In the morning I went to the studio where I have a few nests I’ve found over the years and got to work. Within a few hours I had made a drawing and started the plate. It’s a drypoint and very simple. I’ve titled it “Sanctum” as I see a nest as a sanctuary or safe haven. I made 20 prints and they are currently drying. I don’t think I’ve ever completed anything so quickly, I just hope I still like it when it emerges from the blotters! Sometimes it’s good to sleep on an idea. Update: I’ve printed the entire edition since and the show opens and is also online from October 4th.