They say it takes a village to raise a child. I feel like it takes a community to make art. I don’t know if that’s right, but it certainly feels right for me.  I have tidied my home office and made a clean space to make art and write or whatever I want to do…but it is cold and empty and pretty lonely and intimidating!

dog in office

Ed and my empty desk

I’m not sure I can make art like this; I think I need to be in community to make art.  There’s a MEME going around Facebook at the moment with a photo of Albert Einstein and a quote saying something like “if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what is an empty desk a sign of?” It made me realise that my clean empty desk was just that – empty and lifeless. I suddenly missed my clutter; at least it gave the illusion of life and movement.  And so I remember the saying about a village being needed to raise a child and I wonder then if I don’t need a community in which to raise my art works, to be able to create again?

This blog was a step towards that opening out to community, getting connected. I think I need to go a step further and actually get out of my room and out into a collective space – find an art group, make an art group, a creative collective, whatever it takes.

As I write this I wonder if needing a collective is just another excuse. Maybe I just need to sit still long enough and focus and get down to it. If I wanted to make something badly enough I would, I would become engrossed and lost in the art work and just do it. I think that in fact, it is a bit of both. I think we need to want to make something badly enough to be motivated to focus but I also think we sometimes benefit for working alongside others, in a shared space.

So I have two steps I need to grapple with now 1) getting excited about making something, finding something I want to make so badly I just have to focus and do it and 2) finding a collective space in which to work.

16 thoughts on “It takes a village…

  1. Trudy I’ve noticed a four legged friend of yours with a waggely tail in the room with you … so maybe not so empty? I support you to find your collective space in which to work. If I can find the link I will share with you a Facebook Art community here on Facebook where I live in Ipswich in England which may help manifest that collective.

    Equally – would some classical music be any kind of inspiration while you are working alone?

    I hope you’re really well. Hugs and much love x x x

    • Haahhhaaa Anni you’ve just read my mind! I was just saying to Michael that this house is too small to be able to listen to music when the other person is here 🙂 I had some intuitive need to put on loud music and dance around…must have come from you thinking about classical music in the space! Thanks Anni I would love the link to the Facebook art collective

  2. Maybe you subconsciously knew that all along and created this blog to act as a virtual community, maybe as a stepping stone towards a physical community.

    You write about how you feel you find it difficult to create anymore – I think writing is a very personal and creative art, not only giving insight into your thoughts but also your thought patterns, which, at least to me, is an extremely personal and private thing! As is all art though until you’re ready to share it.

    Perhaps your writing is your way of cautiously getting more used to and confident in sharing your personal creations so that you can apply it then to all your art and lessen that barrier between the art you intuitively KNOW you want to create and the taunting blank canvas.

    Or maybe I’m crazy! 🙂

    • Oh my god that’s so right Jack! I never put it all together like that but yep the blog is a good first step to real community. I think you are dead right it’s damn scary sharing writing and art because it is so personal and like you said reveals thought patterns 🙂 yep I think I had forgotten how scary it is and maybe subconsciously have been trying to take small steps to sharing art again, through sharing the writing and small images on the blog 🙂 haha I feel much better having read your thoughts on it…like I kind of by accident am doing the right thing 🙂 thanks!

      • The blog is absolutely a real community, it may be online but there are still real people sitting behind their computer screens on the other end who read, enjoy and connect to your writing 🙂 the fact they’re not physically present is irrelevant, at least as far as I’m concerned.

        Stop putting your work down!! The blog is one of your best creations so far 🙂

      • Wow Jack. How insightful and you’re right about Trudy Meehan’s best creations … not only in the words but in the magnificent art all around them. Look at those beautiful buffalo. I saw one of Trudy’s early Buffalo paintings in a gallery in Dun Laoighre and they might as well have been looking, breathing animals looking out at me from their frame. I would also suggest Trudy that you can operate from a place of safety in your community blog because you can be supported. It also takes immense courage to blog as you do, because you leave yourself open and vulnerable to others comments. Because art is so personal, each person will see something different and if commented upon has the potential to reveal to you any blind spots – just like Jack has. How magnificent
        🙂 x

      • Thanks! I’m sure we probably are in some convoluted way. I’m Leo and Helen’s son anyway, nice to meet you too 🙂

      • Trudy it’s also testament to how the family tribe now scattered around the world can connect. It’s so nice. Thanks for giving us the opportunity. Hugs x x x

      • It’s so cool. I just spent the past few days moaning that I’m missing all you guys and that extended family is so important. And here we all are in different countries bumping into each other LOL

  3. Jack you’re my second cousin then I think. Your Dad and Trudy are my first cousins. (Your Grandad Sean is my Dad’s brother). Rock and roll and hope to meet you sometime soon. Hi to your Dad and Mam from me 🙂

  4. Trudy, I’m blown away by this art! Next time we get together to write, could you come along and paint instead? I want to make sure you feel included in the creative spaces we have here, but also that you get to be creative in the way you want to be 🙂 And talking of a creative space, it’s Poetry at Cafe D’Vine this Friday evening, 1800 – 2030, and we’re joining in with the 1000Poets for Change worldwide event. It would be a lovely excuse to get out from your house 🙂 I thought of you last time; we commemorated Seamus Heany’s passing.

  5. Hi Jeannie, thanks so much 🙂 Count me in for Friday evening would be lovely. Wow that’s great idea to do art as you guys write. Cause I feel the energy you guys have is brilliant and would love to stay in that creative space and help wake my visual art brain up again 🙂 it’s four years since I made that painting! So I’ve a lot of waking up to do!

  6. Hello Trudy. I’m really enjoying reading your posts by 🙂 Something about this one (I think it may have been the bit on worrying about excuses) reminded me of this ted talk I watched a while ago.

    You mentioned sitting still for long enough, and I know for me sometimes it’s only after sitting still and persevering for ages that I remember why I wanted to do it 🙂

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