Monday 14 May 2012


Spring.  Everything new, fresh, filled with possibilities and potential.

I was looking forward to this Spring even more than I usually do, since I'd decided to take the plunge and rent myself a studio space as of April 1st.  The room I'd been using in our flat was too small and I have so far, two upcoming shows to get ready for - one next month, and a big one next Spring.

It's a pleasant half-hour bike ride to get into town to the studio.  The route passes a pond with ducks, geese, and a pair of swans before becoming truly urban.

Unfortunately by the end of April, I'd handed in my (three months') notice.  (It's a partially shared space and there are "irreconcilable differences" between me and my studio mate, whom I'm subletting from.)

Like every cat I've ever lived with, when things are up in the air regarding my living or working space, I tend to want to hide under the sofa until things settle down.  I've been doing the creative equivalent of that lately.  My great plans for a new series for my June show have amounted - so far - only to one small finished painting, two almost finished large ones, and four incomplete smaller ones.

Small, finished painting.  80 x 80 cm.  Oil on canvas.

This was my second attempt at renting a studio here in Munich.  (There aren't many available, and rents are insane.)  At what point do you start to it's me? 

What I must make a point of doing when nothing productive is coming out of my studio time - rather than sitting there with a knot in my chest, wondering whether at 42 it's not too late to take up accounting or taxi driving - is to get out into nature.  I know this, but don't do it nearly as often as I should.

The other day, however, I took heed and climbed a hill in the forest just south of here.  The air was fairly clear and The Alps were just visible on the horizon.

Horizon.  Perspective.  Two smack-you-upside-the-head lessons from nature right there.

I returned home from that outing with some queen anne's lace, forget-me-nots, and buttercups.  Some of my favourite flowers.

Something beautiful to look at, to think about.  A pinch of nature.  Tossed into the brew.


  1. Forests and wild flowers! Nothing like getting out into the countryside,especially in Bavaria.


  2. Getting the space we need can become a full-time-life job. I have almost taken over our living room with the recent move of my biggest (of two) work tables (done this past w'end with permission.) I just couldn't stretch out enough before. Now I can stand and look over my assorted debris and still have enough room to piddle. Tom is still stuck in the tight - tight for him - squeeze aka garage. Nothing daunts his output ... nothing.

    I love the painting you shared here*. Love it! And am sorry to hear that your alternate (studio) space will be disappearing soon. And with that it seems that you have enough personal conflict to make one want to run for the hills ... and yet the hill you climbed afforded you some inspiration, and a view of the Alps. Good for you Lynn!

    The photos you share are great ... especially love the flowers you collected and put in vases. Spring indeed! :D

    *I believe that you will rally ... just keep breathing my friend!

  3. Hurray for nature escapes! They do have a way of putting things into perspective, in the most beautiful way.

    Sorry to hear of the studio dilemna. Having a space of your own is important and it's a shame finding one is so difficult. Hopefully something suitable will turn-up soonest.

    The painting you posted above is gorgeous! Does it have a name?

  4. It is beautiful, Ruby, though I must confess that my heart lies more with the landscapes of Britain - the Bavarian landscape, though beautiful, doesn't stir me in the same deep way. Strange. There was talk in an earlier post about the land of one's ancestors singing in one's blood. I feel that strongly whenever I'm in England or Scotland. (Haven't yet made it to day.)

    Thanks, Jan! It is tricky, isn't it, finding the space for creative work. It's great that you and Tom can accommodate each other in that way. You really need to be able to spread out and have an overview. It's also a pain when you have to clean up when your in the middle of a project in order to clear off the dinner table or whatever...It's good that Tom's not daunted by the cramped space in the garage - a it heated? Can he use it year round?

    Yes, Donna, nature escapes! The good they do us is profound. Thank you for your kind words about the painting. No, it doesn't have a name yet - I want to give each painting in this new series a name, but will wait for a while to do that, as I want them to sort of tie in together a bit's a lot to do with memory and things of the past.

  5. Lick your wounds and move on! You have a gift of art that must endure. Obviously that studio space was wrong for you, you may never know why, but the universe knows, and is pushing you along to your own personal destiniy. You can make art anywhere until that perfect spot comes along. Surround yourself with nature as that will heal and inspire you. Good luck!

  6. Thank you, Judy. It's so true - often these things which look like huge pain-in-the-butt obstacles turn out to be the best thing for us. Fingers crossed.

  7. I hate conflict, too. I don't think I will ever handle it well. On the outside I get quiet, and all the pain and anxiety is on the inside.

    I can't relate with your studio space situation, but I can relate to not having the right atmosphere for creative work. After having nearly two years (for the first time in my life) of more time to write and dream than ever before, it evaporated like so much dew in the hot sun. The reasons are good ones, for the rest of my family. I have two children moving on to professional schools (one in law and one in dance), and I can't help them unless I'm pulling in enough dough. Which means, writing is on the back burner again. As a mother, I'm happy, but as a writer, I'm in a lot of spiritual/creative/psychic turmoil. This is just my long winded way of saying that I'm going to pray to the goddess of women's creativity (I hope there is one:)) that you and I and all the women like us will prevail, and that our creations will be born in due time.

    Hang in there. Your work is beautiful and inspirational, and it's only the beginning.

  8. Thanks for your comment, Cathrin.

    That is a huge sacrifice, one which you are obviously very willing to make, yet it is still a sacrifice. I wish I could offer some concrete suggestions to help with your situation, but I can't. Writing is not just about finding scraps of time in which to do it - though there are some writers who can work this way, I'm certainly not one of them - it's about being in the right head-space for that to work. Fatigue, frustration, stress are counter productive to the creative process.

    Hopefully you will be able in time to settle into a routine which allows for a bit of regular writing/creative recharging time. I wish you and your kids all the best. It's exciting to see them starting out, yet I can totally understand the frustration.

    Do you follow Terri Windling's blog? I've found it an incredible source of inspiration, and she often addresses exactly these issues. More times than I can count, she's posted on a topic that's been timely for me (and many others) in an almost uncanny way - and some great "discussions" have come out of them.

    (I smiled at what you said about conflict. I'm exactly the same. It's my Canadian-Waspy background, what can I say?)

    Let's hope that Goddess is listening.

  9. Hi Lynn
    The painting pictured is lovely. Sorry to hear that renting is high in Munich and it sounds a bit cramped.
    I can't offer you Britain but if you fancied coming to France you are most welcome, I can only offer basic for a break. I paint here on our fermette. Perhaps you could bring your family. When I felt closed in I always appreciated options.

  10. Hi Jane,
    Thank you for your comment. I'm touched by your offer! You live in a beautiful part of the world. The idea of a visit to France is very appealing - and it's really so close to Germany (relatively speaking.) I will certainly consider your offer. (And you're right about options - just knowing that there are options can make all the difference.) It would be lovely to meet you!