FRIDAY 29th: While there may be some bright or sunny spells, there will also be further showers of sleet or snow. Again these may occasionally be heavy, leaving some accumulations, although during daylight hours these will tend to melt at lower levels. Feeling bitterly cold in the F6-7 N’ly wind. Sea state – Rough or very rough, with a 3 to 5 metre W’ly swell.
Awoke to snow and high winds. The world totally transformed, but also restricted to where I can reach on foot. Walked out to Pund Voe and braved the fierce showers of snow, which periodically swept across so that I could hardly see across the bay. Sat in the snow and drew until my fingers were numb.
Observations on getting started: Always difficult at the beginning at the start of a new and challenging project, and especially when I've had a month away from painting. It takes so much time to start seeing. I have a plan to make a series of small mixed media works on board that incorporate images of maps/charts/objects with paint and drawing. My problem is that I am a doer not a planner, so until I have all the information assembled and can surround myself with it, it is very difficult to know what will emerge.. but maybe that's just an excuse.. I have spent some time since I arrived wandering about the Shetland Museum & Archive, attempting to contact the museum curator (an elusive chap it appears), so I can gain access to objects that might shed light on the world of the Shetland sea farer and to sea maps and charts - the world of plotting and radar - which for the 19thC sixareen experienced fishermen would more likely to have been intuitive, as opposed to reliance on any technical aids. (I am worried about offending Shetlanders by using materials inappropriately and that might be sensitive, but then maybe I am being over-sensitive). There is an immense amount of thinking time that has to be worked through, searching for the path through the labyrinth, a quest for sense and form faced with an almost imponderable mass of information and possibilities.