There was a good feeling in the air today. I do not know if it was the promise of sunshine rather than rain, or the fact that the kids got dressed and out the door on time without too many asks, or maybe it was just heading off into town to meet people I love spending time with, knowing I would return home inspired made me smile.
My morning was spent with Sue Kreitzman at Spitalfields Market in East London. Sue is one of the most colourful, creative characters I know. She is a prolific artist and is in fact a walking work of art, always dressed up like a glorious painting, you can see heads turn to take her in. She is also one of the most supportive and generous of friends and I find her one of the most uplifting people to hang out with. When we meet, our animated conversation always revolves around art, whether it is a project we are collaborating on, an exhibition we have seen or some other thing.
Sue lives, breathes, wakes and sleeps art. Her home is crowded with a rich combination of her own paintings and sculptures mixed in with those she has collected over a long period. An obsessive collector and compulsive creator, Sue has a style which is joyfully, playfully kitsch.
I have wanted to interview artists for a long time, but for some reason, have never quite got round to making it happen, so I took the opportunity today to speak to Sue about her art. It was fascinating to hear her talking about her transformation from cookery writer to artist and how, being so abundantly creative, she finds at times that it is difficult to turn off the inspiration and just be.
There is something very powerful about being in the presence of such a strong creative force and whilst some of us are struggling to find time in the day and space in the house to draw/paint/sculpt, it is encouraging to see what really is possible given time and space and with materials close at hand.
This afternoon, I met with Lynne at the Royal Festival Hall. Lynne and I have been working on the Step Up 3 research project at Pallant House Gallery for almost a year now. We usually meet at the gallery, working in the library or studio there, but chose a change of location for our meeting today. There is something very refreshing about working in a public place, getting away from your normal workspace and immersing yourself in the life of the city whilst you work. Lynne is putting together a workshop pack on Jean Dubuffet and we discussed in detail, some of his methods as well as those of the Art Brut artists whose work he collected. We excitedly explored the possibilities of a number of ideas for practical workshops, talking about how different artists have created great works of art without using any traditional art materials and how it really is possible to create all manner of wonderful art from found objects and untraditional materials. Sue herself, makes her memory jugs from found and collected items and gives new life to old objects and Lynne was bursting with ideas to try on her upcoming visit to the Lake District, where she intends to travel without her art kit and make fresh work from the things she finds there.
So, as I pursue this mission to be creative daily, posting my first ever video interview on YouTube as my achievement today, I realise that if creativity is important to us, we can/will/must make room for it in our lives. There are no excuses for not doing something as opportunities to create and engage with our environment are all around us and no matter how small an amount of time we dedicate to our art at the moment, there will come a time, with practice, patience and perseverance, that we will do more.