Welcome to my blog recording my third trip away as part of my one-year project of twelve art road trips.
Day 1 Nottingham to Seahouses
A long but non-eventful drive, followed by a good seafood meal looking over the sea.
Day 2 – 3 Seahouses to Glenmore, Aviemore
4-hour drive, but worth it to be greeted by a smiling Julie at the gate.
Julie and Michael are friends from Beeston who are spending their summer working at the Glenmore campsite. I painted the picture of the trees surrounding my pitch before meeting Julie and Michael in the evening for a catchup and glass of wine.
I’ve tried to capture the light falling onto the leaves, and the ever-changing colours of the tree trunks. The process of layering acrylic paints and pastels over and over was very enjoyable.
I spent quite a bit of time over the next few days painting, drawing, chatting and drinking with Michael. Michael is a great example of the theme of the road trip “Acceptance, Adaptation and Ambition”. Suffering from a mystery virus and resulting pulmonary embolism during the Covid lockdown has caused Michael long-term ill health that he could never have expected. He had a long frustrating time of trying to get a diagnosis and then effective treatment and support. He went through a period of not wanting to see others for fear of comparison to his former self and having to explain himself. After the trauma of believing (and being told at one point) that he may die, he’s picked himself up, dusted himself down and has taken positive action to live the best life he can. With his wife Julie and their dog Tom, they’ve taken early retirement and moved to Aviemore for the Summer. Through working on a campsite, they are getting the chance to experience fresh air, mountain walks and a freedom they
I really appreciate Michael and Julie’s no-nonsense attitude to living in the present, trying not to worry about what is past and enjoying what they are able to do. I also appreciate Michael’s honesty about how he felt during his illness and now on his road to recovery. Michael has a great natural talent for sketching: Instagram: @mickandtrail_tom
Day 4 – Aviemore
A brilliant day started off with Parkrun and post run breakfast with Julie, and her friends Julie and Mark.
Joining another parkrun away from home reminded me that running and doing things for self-development is important. It’s not about competing with others, which from experience seems to less and less reward as we get older and suffer health setbacks.
Two exciting Saturday evening revelations (it’s a long evening in the woods):
- The shower in the van works – so I can have hot showers without leaving the van and the
- Revels – the raisons and chocolate disks always fall to the bottom of the bag.
Day 5 – Aviemore
Dog walk, run and painting.
Day 6 & 7 – Robin Hoods Bay
I finished this mixed media picture that was started in Aviemore and finished in Robin Hood’s Bay.
Named in honour of the opening line of Kate Bush’s, “Hounds of Love” who is at number 1 with one of my favourite records “Running Up That Hill.
I struggled with this, but I’m finally happy with the darkness and mystery I’ve achieved going back over it again and again.
This week has been a complete tonic for me. I’ve painted more prolifically and with more freedom.
I’ve had a tough time since my last road trip, so to clarify things in my own mind, and help explain what painting, art and this project means to me, I created this diagram.
This has been my most enjoyable stage of the road trip so far, probably for the following reasons:
- I’m having to accept that Parkinson’s is changing me and I need to ‘lean’ into it more and stop fighting it.
- I can relax more and put less pressure on myself.
- Painting and drawing continue to be a tool I use to make everything feel better.
- The more emotion I bring to my painting the richer in colour and depth it becomes.
- I can accept support from the right people without it being a weakness – this trip was made better by my friend Peter joining me for some of it.
Next stop Coventry……