Sunday, 28 April 2013

I'm afraid I must withdraw...

I have realised today, or rather reaffirmed this idea which has been floating around for a few months, that as an artist I have a great need to withdraw into myself. When that doesn't happen as much as I need to I end up cranky, bad tempered and with a low mood. Unfortunately, I'm struggling to withdraw properly at the moment and it's making me a crappy person at times in all my roles - bad mother, wife, friend and colleague. I can’t help feeling this way so I have apologised this weekend to my family for my behaviour which has been particularly acute this week.
A drain on my time is my Open University degree, I’m studying a BA Hons Open degree which is a varied degree on the arts - for me it’s early years care and education, art history and creative writing/literature. I love my studies and education is an absolute gift which I truly realised recently after almost packing in my degree. However, as I come to the end of my third year of six (it’s part-time distance learning so it takes double the length) I am struggling to keep it together. The finishing line is in sight though and I’m trying to find that balance. Today, working on the CAPI course (see side bar and previous post on CAPI for details) has brought a few breakthroughs including these thoughts :O). I’m also planning my way forward in developing my style which is slowly being revealed through CAPI and I shall blog more about that soon.

Does anyone else feel this need to withdraw? I’m pretty confident you do and would love to hear about how you strike the balance? How you manage those times where time for you and your art is severely marginalised?
Looking inward, time to contemplate...

Happy arting everyone


  1. YES!! Yes Elvina! I think there are many of us who are feeling this need to withdraw, retreat and take time out for ourselves. It's in the air. i am hearing many artists express this need to be alone, so you're not alone. :-) Working on a university degree while making art and maintaining sanity isn't always easy. Hang in there. There IS an end to the madness. xox

  2. Oh yes!! Although I'm afraid I have no answers for you. You have taken on an awful lot, just go easy on yourself whilst you work things out x

  3. Thanks, both of you. I'm aware my degree is a big strain at times and I too have heard other artists saying this but wondered if it was simply a need as an artist? After all what we do is usually a solitary persuit.

  4. Struggling to do well in your studies, as well as lovingly functioning as a wife and mother (not to mention, daughter, sister, friend and cousin...and the list goes on) is more than a full-time job. You get spread too thin and nothing goes well anymore. Let me share a quote with your. It was written by Madisyn Taylor: "All too often our lives can be spread too thin and it becomes important to gather our thoughts and center ourselves to become whole again." Art, for most of us I would think, is that place where we "center ourselves and become whole again." It may be time to ask for help...from your husband, from other family members! Sharing household responsibilities is a good place to begin. I wish you well, Elvina! Mwah! Kay

  5. Hi Kay :)

    Thanks. My husband is good but, he's a man and he's not a deputy of a pre-school and trying to do a degree. At the end of the day he can only do so much for me, right? I am totally at the point of needing to center myself and have started trying already. I also realised last night time for my spiritual health has been neglected too which doesn't help either. I feel like I need to go on a retreat with other women to recharge!


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