I love Mondays now. Because I sold some work at the John Russell exhibition, and some other pieces over the Christmas period, I decided that the income from those would be enough to cover having every Monday 'off'. When I say 'off' I mean having a day off from the 'day job' and having a whole day to just concentrate on painting. It makes such a difference knowing that there will always be at least one full day each week for painting...not just having to squeeze it in around other things. That one day a week seems to bring more benefits than I would have imagined. Not only of having the extra time, it has had the effect of bringing it home to me that this is now 'what I do', and 'who I am'. When people used to ask what I did for a living I never used to say that I was a painter, being sort of 'embarrassed' to bring it up because I didn't want others to think of my painting as a 'hobby', because to me it has always felt like my 'vocation', and I've always believed that one day it will be a full time career. I never liked the idea of anyone not taking me seriously as a painter, so I tended to not mention it. I should have been stronger and not worried about anyone else's opinions. But I did often wonder why I felt not quite 'right' when I didn't mention it when asked 'what I did'; almost as if I was not being honest. I don't think it is that I have sold enough work to now have Mondays as a painting day that has given me confidence, but the fact that I'm spending that time each week doing something that really makes me feel like myself. It is the thing of being true to yourself that brings the confidence.
In his work 'Being and Nothingness', Jean Paul Sartre talks about the difference in acting out a role and 'being' that role. He says that an onlooker may not notice the difference, between 'being' and 'acting'. "An individual can 'act' or perform a role, the 'act' and the 'actor' remaining separated. The antithesis of this is to 'be' the role, the individual and their actions becoming one". This is the best way that I can describe the difference I feel between doing my day job and doing my painting. I can very adequately do my day job as a baker, but the job and my self will always be separate. However when I paint it feels like the thing that I am doing and myself are very firmly connected.
The picture above is the completed version of 'houses, Brazil, 3'.