The first month of 2005 was spent waiting for snow, completing some artworks, and preparing to head far south once again. Most of this was done in a studio I was able to sub-rent at W.G. Plein in the old west sector of Amsterdam. This complex was once a hospital but for some years now it has been used as artist studio spaces and assorted offices.
January felt a bit like a holiday period but it was not as I worked many days. In fact to differentiate between holiday and work is extremely hard for me. Visiting dozens of cities and landscapes each year as I work on the road gives me little time to relax on a deck chair reading a good book. What a poor, poor fellow I hear you say! I always seem to be keeping myself busy with some art or travel related chore.
Unlike the traveling salesperson that normally has a home to return to I have not. No counter-point to balance and compare time away with time at home puts me in a position where I could be seen as living the life of someone with a never-ending job or someone on a non-stop vacation.
It is brilliant and extremely lucky that I am able to see many lands but if I paint, plan, prepare and participate in exhibitions as I travel then I really am not on holiday.
I force myself to cease working and relax but this really only happens during the New years period or when I am sick but even then I am a little busy with my "job" as an artist. What kind of job is being an artist? Its obviously more a passion or calling than a method to gather money. Lets just call it a very odd job.
I guess going to a bar/pub/café and getting a bit sozzled is my holiday. If I get more than a bit sozzled it is in fact a holiday from myself. This is escapist behaviour, a little like an extreme holiday whereby you leave yourself behind thinking (or should I say not thinking.) that it may be more fun to holiday without yourself.
Speaking of drinks …I had a small farewell gathering in studio14 on the 30th January which was a pleasant goodbye to Europe party and now it is back to the journey. The journey is work and the work is the journey.
Hello South America. A few days in Buenos Aires was more than good as it is a city that reeks of style but a sort of old fashioned style not found elsewhere. I found it very likable. It feels good to be back in a summer climate but it is a brief blanket of warmth as the good ship M.V. Orlova is heading to Ushuaia and I must board her very soon. Before I do I shall stroll around Ushuaia as I do like the colourful dwellings that make up this cute town located at the end of the world.
Ushuaia has become the gateway town for the growing Antarctic tourist industry. Each year more and more ships move between Tierra del Fuego and the Antarctic Peninsula creating a fairly large tourist industry. I will be operating as Artist in residence on three Quark tours heading down to Antarctica. I will also occasionally be wearing my Polar/Hawaiian shirt on the deck of the M.V. Orlova which is even more silly than it sounds.