The new term started on Monday so things are very different now. I’m not the only one at Harry’s Inn anymore. It’s nice to other people around. The place isn’t full however, there are quite a few rooms empty, but it’s certainly much more sociable now. There’s Jo a 17 year-old lad who’s half Cypriot half Palestinian. He’s interested in Manga illustration and has an enormous talent for drawing for such a young age. Lois is lovely; she’s also 17. She arrived with her mother Leslie a couple of days ago. From what I hear she’s a bit of a wild child. She told me that she will go out to pubs, let strange men buy her drinks, and then run away when they assert their expectation of payment in kind. Then there’s Hanna from Montana (she must have jokes made about that all the time), I haven’t seen her work yet but I like her immensely. She’s very sassy, her clothing can be racy, and at the same time she has a calm and mellow attitude.
I briefly met Jackie today, a British woman who lives near Ayia Napa and stays at Harry’s Inn during the week. She seemed friendly, invited me to go to the cinema with her and a few others.
Jo (the 17 yr old) told me that he had heard that there was a new person at Harry’s Inn, i.e. me, and that I was a ‘lady’ rather than a ‘girl’. Apparently he was initially downhearted at the prospect of another ‘lady’ (there are quite a few women of a certain mumsy disposition on his course), but I was “cool”…. Hmmm… I’m a lady now am I? Well at least I’m cool I suppose. I think it’s only just sunk in that I’m not a girl anymore. Took a while! I’m O.K with it.
College is bustling with activity now. All the students have returned, they talk, they smoke, they paint, they sculpt. They look at each other’s work and they are encouraging. It’s a mixed blessing for me. I feel both spurred on and inhibited by their presence. With all that productivity going on, it’s hard not to join in, but I also feel under pressure to perform. These people think I have some kind of expertise that they don’t have, they are looking to me for guidance. In this atmosphere I am afraid of doing something rubbish and failing horribly to meet their expectations. I know in my heart this is absurd. I am here for me. I cannot fail. But my ego wants to impress. Every minute I am battling with desire to do something ‘good’, what if I can’t do ‘good’.
Anyway, I haven’t let that one hinder me. I put 6 pieces of A1 paper up to make a large drawing surface and just did lot’s of drawings on it of random stuff. Objects held in my hand. I figure that if I do things this way to begin there will be less preciousness, less expectation of the drawing to stand up by it’self. I did a small abstract painting in my notebook this afternoon, and if I’m honest, I enjoyed making this the most. It would be quite funny if I end up doing Abstract work here. I doubt I will though. I always end up reverting to figurative.
I have a terrible habit of visualising how I want things to turn out before I begin them; this is not helpful. I endeavour to respond to what happens before me, and not to be a slave to an idea of something ‘impressive’ and probably derivative that I will inevitably feel I have failed to achieve.
Tomorrow is another day. I will strive to draw as much as possible.