Rust Never Sleeps: A Renaissance

The challenges and joys of restarting

After a pause which began in February 2020, Art In The Sun restarted last night. There have been plenty of times in that pause where I thought the art would never come back – and right now, I must want to pay thanks to the good people at The Sun for their gentle, repeated encouragement. Thank you.

The day started with a rush of nerves, and doubt. What if I have forgotten how to do this (at no point did I stop to ponder what ‘this’ might actually be). I pottered around at home – putting off going to the studio to prepare.

I eventually headed to the studio to get ready – opting to go a little out of my way to queue for petrol – whoever thought that would be preferable to doing the work? At the studio I packed the kit, unpacked the kit, faffed about, repacked the kit, worked on a piece of art, wandered in the woods, unpacked the kit, repacked it, went home, realised I’d forgotten stuff, went back, repacked, and came home.

Early evening arrives, Carole is home from work and I confessed my nerves to her. Calmly – Carole spoke with me about those first day back at school feelings she experiences at the start of each and every term. They happen, you do the work, they pass. I headed off to work – a little reassured but honestly -still not 100% convinced.

Setting things up before people arrived – I still feel a bit scratchy, uncertain about what to do. Then guests start to appear – familiar faces and new ones. Conversation beings to flow, and from that, come pencil marks, ink, paint, rollers, mess, laughter – and we’re there. Doing the work.

Some of the results were expected, some not so. Some we liked, others, not so much. We had a good time, and in so doing, I remembered that curiosity and experimentation sit right at at the heart of Art In The Sun. Someone who hadn’t joined us previously said they did so because of the offer to try new and different things. How lovely. We parted in good spirits – looking forward to next time. Thank you to everyone who joined in.

I guess that if you are super confident, these feelings I’ve described won’t mean much to you – but I now realise they are simply (and importantly) part of the process. We took a long break and now we’re back. Doing the work enables the confidence to return. Rust never sleeps.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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