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The truth behind the Easel

Bernice Cooke Art Artwork Galway Artist Giclée Prints Inlove Old Buildings Pen and Watercolor prints Ruinlust Short story Writer

"Isn't it wonderful how you can spend your day creating as your job, that you got employment doing Art"  I can't think of how many times in numerous conversations that this statement has been made to me and what I do.

The beginning of a pen and watercolour Painting

Now, don't get me wrong or take me out of context! but I do love what I do, I get great satisfaction in using this gift of creativity that I have been given.  But make no mistake it is by far not the easiest of career choices.

But my passion will far out weight any downside and it is my passion and commitment to the love of my art that will keep me going.

It is a calling of self - employment, I submit my tax returns every year and I also apply for Artist exemption to aid with my returns.  In a dream world it would be that I sit at my easel all day every day, only breaking for food and sleep, but this is reality, and reality hits you to the core.

My day is I would think a standard day, and not always going to plan.  I like routine, but throw a spanner in the works like the dog is sick, or the bus never turned up, and it knocks me out of flow or kilter.  One step at a time is my daily mantra and so what, tomorrow is another day.

I awake at 6am possibly before depending on how I have slept, a certain stage of my life, and I am tormented with tossing and turning.  Once Pip (Our Dog) is brought out to the toilet I head off for my walk, I have been doing my morning walk religiously since the beginning of Covid.  I love the peacefulness of early mornings.  Once I am home, I change, make lunch and breakfast for my youngest, learn my Italian and get him out to the school bus on time.

Then I set up my studio which doubles as my gym for a thirty minute workout, be it hitt, Tabata, weights or kettlebells, I listen to my body and let it decide.  Some days it could just be a long hike in nature.  Showered and dressed, stretched and hydrated, I am ready to tune into my administration work.  Emails to answer, research to follow up on, phone calls to be made, website to be updated, social media to schedule, the list goes on, but you get what I mean when I say the dream would be to sit down all day every day and just paint.

But then who would do all the administration and mundane daily tasks.

Bernice Cooke Artist

Then there is the rejection.  I have learned to love getting rejections, an experience I have grown to understand and go with it.  Whether it is the rejection email of grant aid towards my research or next body of work or the radio silence after I have travelled to view a space for an exhibition, I have learned that it is all a learning experience and what is for you won't pass you.  I would lie if I said it didn't put a pin in my confidence as an Artist but I always say aloud, there's always the next time.  Some day, some place, some one will take that ultimate chance on me and what I do.

Usually before lunch each day I prep my studio for my art work.  There is always a piece waiting on my easel to cast my eye over and complete.  I am my own worst critic and if something doesn't look or feel right to my eyes it doesn't make the cut and it won't see the light of day.  I dust myself off and begin again.

Once I am in my zone, music on in the background, I am away in my own world, until the school bus arrives and parenting takes me back to the real world, often I work late into the evening or early night, until my bed and a good book beckons me around 9pm, then as they say rinse and repeat daily!.

Part of my research into old buildings has led me on a journey of creating a podcast, five minutes or even seven minutes in length, all depending on the research I manage to uncover.

Listen here if you would like to hear what I have to say https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/ypOKK2Z83yb


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