Elena and Rebekah (my hens) and I are bonding. I give them left over porridge for breakfast and veggie scraps for supper, and they give me one egg a day. Yesterday morning’s egg was still warm when I picked it up.
This new experience is pure joy.
Small pleasures make my heart sing.
Day 4 in the Happyhouse.
Day 5. This morning I wasn’t surprised to find two empty nests. Last night it rained heavily.
Shame I thought. Do the hens mind getting wet?
Then mid-morning - to my great surprise and delight- after making veggie soup and taking the scarps to the chucks ,my eye caught sight of three white eggs sitting on top of a pile of brown curly leaves. Three! Two eggs were still warm. Warm as a small child’s hand.
And soon after this moment of joy, an unexpected email arrived like a slap in the face, and a few hours of horrible ‘lost-ness’ followed.
My best medicine for these disruptive feelings is to change my location.
So I limped up the grassy track to my car, remembering to padlock the gate behind me. I carefully and slowly drove down our shared narrow lane avoiding the three yapping puppies and the bent old lady, and headed for the village.
The shared lane has 5 small whitewashed traditional houses on one side, and large vegetable plots and wild orchards on the other. Almost every piece of land around here has orange and lemon trees growing abundantly.
Old ceramic pots , black buckets full of purple freisias and mature green plants line our communal concrete track. Everything will soon be shaded by a leafy roof made from a spindly old grandfather vine.
And at the bottom, 50 yards or so from my gate, the lane meets another slightly wider lane, and it meanders delightfully into the village of Tablones, where once upon a time, many tin miners lived.
The day then became full of poignant and beautiful moments.
Somehow though, the upsetting email became an excuse for not making my first drawings in my new studio.
Instead, I re-researched (online) my favourite period in art history – The ( colourful) Favuves. How amazing to discover that what I need and long to do with my own art now, is what I started out to do, but got side-tracked and interrupted by life all those years ago by earning a living, and being a single mother .
Who were the Fauves? Besides Matisse other Favue artists included, Maurice de Vlaminck, Raoul Dufy, Georges Rouault, Kees van Dongen, all favourites of mine .
Their paintings were characterized by ‘seemingly wild brush work and strident colours, while their subject matter had a high degree of simplification and abstraction. Above all, Fauvism valued individual expression. The artist's direct experience of his subjects, his emotional response to nature, and his intuition were all more important than academic theory or elevated subject matter.’
These powerful influences in my first years of becoming an artist, would become silent companions on a lifelong healing art journey.