Artist diary: Madge Gill Co-Commission, part eight

Julia Oak reveals how her drawing challenge, cooking and flirting with paper are keeping the creativity magic alive.

Week  9 ¾

Over the past few weeks since the postponement of the exhibition my emotions have been up and down, not like a rollercoaster, more like gentle swing to and fro. Now is the time to jump of that swing and take a tip from Harry Potter.

I have decided to spend my days in a magical place, one that focusses on all sorts of creativity.

At 11:30 each day I stop whatever it is I am doing and continue with my #justdraweveryday challenge. This keeps me grounded and connected to the Madge Gill co-commission.

Lockdown Challenge 2021, Day 015

Today, I was joined for lunch by the wild birds in my garden. They were very busy eating the bird food I leave out whilst I ate my sandwich. It was lovely watching them flit back and forth between the safety of the hedge and the birdfeeders. Will I draw them, probably not, instead we will have lunch together each day.

In this magical space where my exhibition programme stands still nature is moving on, the Wood Pigeons have started flirting with their prospective mates, the starlings continue to entertain with their antics and the crocus will soon be in bud.

I am three parts the way through knitting a cardigan for my grandson. He is oblivious to exhibition programmes and pandemics and is growing at a rate of knots. I must finish the cardigan before he out grows it.

Work in Progress, Grandson’s Cardigan

Since I last wrote I have been cooking.

My son asked for another Christmas cake as the previous one didn’t last long enough! I cured some fish and made blinis, little Russian pancakes. And as I write I have just cooked a whole bag of potatoes to mash, which I will freeze in portion sizes. So, when the exhibition is back on track, I won’t have to spend time peeling potatoes.

Next. I will be cooking and pickling beetroot as I ate the last of my pickled beetroots with the blinis.

This evening I will do some drawing on different coloured paper, I get very excited when I find a new paper. This one is gorgeous. Most things are taking second place until this flirtatious stage of my love affair between pen and paper has settled.

Falling in Love with Paper

But who knows, in the morning, whilst dreams are still echoing around my bed, I might write a haiku or two.

But who said I have to wait until the morning? Dreams are always with me.

Until crocus bloom
And beetroot seeds are planted.
Just draw every day.

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