Today I have a cold.
I started the day by sketching the standing stones in the field of St Non’s Chapel.
A beautifully sunny autumnal day, the light at the birth place of St David was clear and bright and the shadows were sharp.
Many people were walking around the grounds of the Chapel and retreat centre.
Some of which were a group of Buddhist monks.
However fine the weather has been today the cold in the air has got into my system.
Today felt to me like a difficult day.
Feeling like I had immersed myself in the story of St Non and the place, I approached my canvases with some fear and nervousness. Perhaps it was the realisation I will be exhibiting the work I am making or that general fear of the uncertainty of my process.
Knowing that from here on whatever I add to the canvases might destroy what is already working, be it arbitrary or not, brings on nerves. Combined with a runny nose, and a feeling of pressure and anxiety, it was not a great painting day. However, it was ultimately productive.
It was a day whereby I wanted to draw, I wanted to almost lose myself in the narrative of St Non’s story and draw the things which have interested me about this story. I felt anxious about losing some of the delicacy of the minimalism of the first stains. And I also knew I was not feeling well. So more likely to do something I might regret.
I took myself away from the canvases and went back to paper, drawing what I wanted on top of the paper paintings.
Whilst I was doing this my artist friend Chase Valentin came to visit me and see how my work was coming on. It was just the right time for someone to give me some feedback. And also he brought with him some oil for me to experiment with.
We finished up the day oiling one of my finished paintings that was hanging in the tower, which was a delight to do and discuss. For a long time I have not incorporated much oil medium with my work, so this was a wonderful piece of sharing from a more established artist to one who is on a journey.
In my absorbtion in the discussion about different oils I forgot to photograph the work I did today. I will do so tomorrow when I get into the Tower.