Birth of baby number 2 is fast (Although, ahem..not as fast as I would like....) approaching and in no time at all, he will be here, making constant demands for feeding and changing that will leave me exhausted and with time for very little else. Please don't assume that I dislike my own baby before he is even born, I will revel in our little marvel and as he grows to be a sticky, shouty, crazy little person, I will grow to love him more and more. However, newborns are bloody hard work and having been through it once and knowing what's ahead of me, I'm preparing to buckle up for the ride and accept the next 6 months of my life (err...at least... I'm hoping I'll start to emerge back to the world around May 2017...) will be a sleep deprived blur, covered in regurgitated breastmilk.
And so, this knowledge that the attempt to do anything else apart from survive, coupled with the fact the new boy is going to need some space of his own (even if it is just to put his clothes & nappies etc), means my studio is in temporary shutdown. Last time, I was able to work right up to the birth of the baby because we had the additional space. We also were going to move, so once packed up, my studio would be out of sight and reach for as long as it would take for us to buy a house (this took about a year). This time, my studio will be compressed into a corner of a room which our guests will have to share. Advance apologies if you come to stay with us and get poked by a wayward easel or a maverick canvas stretcher bar...
The plan is to build a new studio outside but planning regs, budgets and new baby will all take their toll on the timescale of this and so I don't know when I will be able to work again. It is super frustrating. For me, art is quite an immersive process so unless I can get a minimum of 3 hours clear to work, its not worth picking up a pencil. But all my stuff will be up there, teasing me. Knowing I won't be able to get 3 hours together for a long time. And even if I did, locating the stuff I need and dragging it out will significantly eat into that. Sigh. First world problems, I know. But as its something that I am literally driven to do, sort of like a compulsion, its a really difficult thing to get my head around. I think also as its something I have had to constantly push back and re-discover through my life, pushing it back again is quite a frustration. I'm hoping I will just be too tired and milk stained to care.
I'll leave it be for as long as possible but the reality is that at the beginning of October, I really am going to have to pack things up and call it a day, for a while at least *sad face*. Sorry for this lament. I am quite sad about it and every day brings me closer to the joy of meeting our new little man but also closer to having to put a bit of myself on hold. I'll still be taking commissions into the middle of September, but after that, I'll wrap up. I promise to have a massive big huge 'new-studio-I'm-back!' party once I have a new studio and I am back. There will be alcohol. And paintings. You are all invited and can fill me in on what i've missed in the first half of 2017.