It’s been a while since we caught up. I'm a little bit behind these days but who isn't, considering the current times.
I'd like to share some of my reflections with you.
We find ourselves living in a time in which the usual F L O W of life has been disrupted, free movement restricted and existing routines changed and adapted.
The rhythm and pace of most of our lives has been slowed, and even momentarily paused in some cases.
I have stopped counting how many days it’s been since I last left the house, choosing instead to embrace time, and this new pace of life.
However, it has taken a while to adjust to working and creating from home.
With London currently in ‘lock-down’, (albeit with slightly relaxed rules) and being personally advised by the NHS to avoid leaving the house and public transport where possible, I am unable to travel to my studio. While I miss my larger space and friends at Textiles Hub London, I am grateful for my small creative corner at home and the restrictions are definitely serving as a creative challenge and forcing me to embrace the change and new rhythm of creating.
Living and creating in lock-down has inspired improvisation and allowed me to reflect on how elements of my practice feed into my approach to this current time.
Improvisation is something I have inadvertently been doing consistently in my current body of work:
F L O W.
A painting, for me, is never just a painting.
It is the process of letting go, of relinquishing control and allowing the paint, the ink, the surface, water, and tools to control the outcome of each piece.
Painting without a preconceived, fixed idea of how the painting should turn out, embracing the joy of not knowing how it will look in the end and not preventing or manipulating the natural movement of whatever material I have chosen to explore.
All of this allows for going with the F L O W in the moment.
Discovered techniques, the inherent properties of the material, and initial colour combinations which develop into more complex colour stories as the paints, the inks, the media intermingle on the page, on the canvas.
Reflecting on this process of painting, I realise it is something that filters into other aspects of life. This state of F L O W isn’t an isolated thing that happens when I am in the studio (or in my creative corner as the case may be), it’s a value that can be applied to various aspects of life, especially now.
Life isn’t always straightforward and sometimes we have little choice but to go with the flow and to adapt with the flow.
To postpone and change plans, and goals.
To rediscover what is important, to be more intentional with time (especially as many of us find ourselves with more of it).
Like the majority of people around the world, this period of time has affected myself and my family immensely and some days are harder than others but I’m reminding myself (almost daily) to take things one day at a time and do the things and have the conversations that help me come away feeling encouraged.
My A Painting a Day series has definitely helped provide some consistency and creativity, even just for a moment to focus.
You can see the journey so far here and follow my daily painting time-lapses that I share in my stories over on Instagram.
We are all still adapting, still finding our way.
Sending you and your loved ones love and I pray that you stay safe and well.
Be encouraged, this time is not forever.
Be gentle with yourself.
Morgan Harper Nichols