Guest blog #1 Writer and artist Jay Fortune explains how he works during lockdown when he’s not confined to his straightjacket…
Potter & Fondle. Lockdown. Stay home. Well, let me say that I’m an artist (not THAT kind!) and I’m used to staying home. Us arty types work more-or-less in isolation. My day begins around 6:30am. I get up when the sun gets up (and to let it dry the sheets – the other uncontrollable reason I rise early). Then it’s into the art studio. Bright and early. Not to actually do any work though; more to look at yesterday’s efforts and try to quieten the perfectionist in me that has awoken overnight and realises that what looked totally brilliant last night isn’t quite so stunning in the full glare of day (and without the alcohol flowing freely).
Me and my perfection go downstairs to breakfast (rule one; never, ever take your perfectionist self into the bathroom at this early stage; you will suffer when ‘it’ sees your natural born glory reflected in the full length bathroom mirror). Radio goes on. As does the ‘Porrange’. This unique breakfast concept is my own creation. (Note to self; look into trade-marking ‘Porrange’. Make sure this note is removed before sending this to the blog as guest writer. Wouldn’t want anyone nicking the concept.) Porrange is porridge with an orange. Simples. Breakfast done and I’m back in the studio. How is Mr. Perfection now feeling? Is he a) still being bloody judgemental about everything or b) quieter now he is full up on Porrange. If ‘a’ then it’s into the bathroom to turn the mirror around against the wall, shower, shave and allow the internal judgment to continue. If ‘b’ then it’s into the bathroom. Shower. Shave. Simples. (Perhaps even a quick glance in the mirror pre-steam. Lookin’ good! The more steam, the more I like the reflection.)
Daily Duties taken care of and I’m back in the studio again. More self-loathing, inner turmoil and frustration. I potter around like an ageing gardener forever fondling his pansies. And, like gardening, the art world has its fair share of pansies. And fondling. Few hours later and it’s lunch. Often I’ll try to be social and go meet a friend. But not at the moment. Staying 2m away makes what is usually a close friendship into more of a stand-off conversation. Think pre-virus when you would be in a rush to catch a bus and a friend wants to stop and say Hi. You can’t stop, so stay a good distance from them so you can socially get away to catch the bus before they can get too close and chatty. That’s how these lunch meetings now feel. Like one of us is in a rush. Usually me.
The studio always beckons. Lunch. Back in the studio yet again. More pottering. I get adventurous and squeeze some paint onto the palette. I even dip a brush in and let the paint dry to a crust while looking at yesterday’s efforts. It’s dried to a nasty crust so I can take great delight in washing the brush thoroughly. A proper scrub. I sing ‘happy birthday’ twice. Cleaned it goes back into its holder. Afternoon tea-time. I’m feeling quite exhausted what with the demands of being an artist. A nap is called for. This takes place over a short period of no more than 3 hours. Nothing major. I wake sluggish. It’s getting dark. Another 5 hour power-nap. Too long. There’s not enough time left to do anything worthwhile now, apart from grab a bottle of lager and retreat to the lounge. Bung a tray-dinner into the microwave. I forget to pierce the film again and the resulting ‘pop’ after a few minutes adds a surprise highlight to the day.
And now it’s time for bed. The sun is going down. I’m aware of a huge smile on my face as I realise I get to do it all over again tomorrow. Potter and fondle. NOTE: All of the above is not true. Except for the fact I am an artist. And the sun dries the sheets. And Porrange. Jay Fortune spends his time as a professional artist and part-time writer and on rare occasions is slightly comical. But only on rare occasions. This isn’t one of them. www.jayfortune.co.uk
Thanks to Jay for that. It’s no wonder he only produces one piece of work every twelve years!
*Join me next time dear readers, I’ll have the chocolate digestives open and displayed provocatively for your pleasure…