Thursday, October 19, 2006

week off

I've struggled against believing it since getting married but after this current week I just have to face it. Creativity, the act itself, is a solitary pursuit by necessity. I've been off work for a week, doing the school run while Karen's on a full week full day course, which has meant I've had a certain amount of free time, by myself, that I wouldn't have otherwise had. I spent a percentage of that time trying to keep on top of the housework, cooking washing etc, but I had three or four hours each day to myself and found it to be a thing of wonder. In that time I've filled half a dozen or so pages in a sketch pad, done 1 and a 1/2 paintings (painting is kind of like pulling your own teeth without anaesthetic but is starting to feel less painful) and am 2/3's of the way through the best pen and ink drawing I've done in over a year. And that's with time wasting, surfing and playing with my brother in law's Napster, which is now on my PC since we have his old hard drive.

The wonderful Ray Fenwick and his Hall of Best Knowledge put it best in solitude. You'll have to follow this link if you want to know what I'm talking about.

Napster by the way has been a revelation. My tastes in music are fairly simple, I like clever/intelligent lyrics, simple acoustic arrangements and an interesting voice. The clever thing Napster does is attach a recommendation page to each artist you search for of people with a vaguely similar style. So Bob Dylan takes you to Nick Drake takes you to Billy Bragg takes you to Ben Folds takes you to Vashti Bunyan takes you to Gordon Lightfoot takes you to Grateful Dead. I've discovered more new artists I like this week then in the last four years. Nick Drake, particularly, is wonderful, kind of James Blunt with a soul which grossly undersells him and could even be an insult.

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