Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Gentle Footfall on the Forest Floor - and musings on hypochondria

Well hello there Bloggers,

sorry for the rather long absence - but there has been a sort of necessary stock-taking.

I have finished all my prints now for my exhibition. Today I even spread them out on the table and signed, titled and numbered them all. I haven't yet done a full print run. I will have to save that for when I am more settled. But have the first two or three of each edition ready to rock and roll.

This print is what I think is the best of the bunch - technically at least - and that is sort of part of the whole thrill of it isn't it. Mind you it was a real pain to handcolour. Still, I thought that I controlled the cutting well on the whole. I managed to create good tone, shade and highlight. I have come to the conclusion that the black and white prints are pretty cool too. They have that nice refreshing look about them. So I am doing a colour run and a black and white run of certain prints. Some of the prints work better in black and white too even though I had planned to colour them from the start. Oooh life! It is always a learning curve.

Anyway. The last week or so I have been doing quite a bit of stock-taking and packing and sorting stuff out. It is good too. Sometimes you have to draw your horns in and just spend some time thinking things through. Changing your habits is also refreshing and leads to new thoughts and ideas. As a matter of fact I couldn't sleep last night at all for some reason. My head was buzzing with all sorts of new ideas, especially for some new sculptures. I just haven't quite figured out how I am going to do them. I was thinking of handbuilding in a nice firm grogged clay but then you have size and weight to deal with and where will i take them to get them fired? I obviously still have to suss these things out. I also don't have a car anymore, and was not planning to get one, so how do i get my sculptures about?

There is another small issue on my mind - my body is not quite behaving the way it used to. I think it is called old age. But apart from a general weakening I have a rather serious issue with my right-hand shoulder. I know what it is, because I have self diagnosed from the internet. I also know the treatment - rather alarmingly I may need an operation - fine if it works, but it is one of those that is not always successful (because it involves the repair of torn tendons). The other thing that is on my mind is that you are supposed to seek help as soon as possible but because of our transient status here I am not going to get to a doctor until we get to Spain. In the meantime I am conscious of the irreparable damage being done.

The point is - if i don't have the strength in my arms, large scale sculpture will no longer be as possible as previously. Of course, there are still medals, paintings and other smaller and less physical media to work in so I am not too sad about it all.

By the way - did I ever tell you about my father who was a terrible hypochondriac?
Well he was. He used to come to ours for lunch on a Sunday and tell us all about his old-man ailments real and imagined - in glorious technicolour detail! And that all over the brussels sprouts and roast potatoes - really appetizing. His most thumbed text book was his ancient medical dictionary. And when I used to take him to the doctor for checkups etc he would get out his own diagnoses and thoughts on his illnesses and tell the doctor what to check for. I remember his last consultant very patiently telling him that he had checked for Diabetes, twice just to make him happy, but he really did not have it. Still, my father was not fully convinced.

I thought the grandest irony was that after he died - and he died rather suddenly so he needed to have an autopsy - it turned out that he actually had hemochromatosis! i will let you look that up yourself - but he had no idea which is such a pity as i know how much he would have enjoyed actually having something to blame for all the other bits that were falling off.

I spent years complaining about him but must admit that I too have inherited this small failing. Not the hemochromatosis but his hypochondria - so now I can have my own real and imagined ailments as I cruise gently into old age. Incidentally, I have kept his medical dictionary as a memento, but being a child of the modern age I prefer to surf the internet checking out all my symptoms as they occur.

It is very educational actually and in fact reassuring when you find out that really that particular ache is nothing to be worried about at all.

So on that positive note i will leave you now to enjoy my latest print.

talk soon

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