I heard on Saturday that my application to Arts Council England for funding for a residency project I'm planning for next year was not successful. I was initially very upset, gutted in fact: a lot of time, energy and hope goes into such things. However, I'm growing more philosophical about it. I had some really good feedback, so I know that my application ticked all their boxes but that there just isn't enough money to go around. Although they recognise that this is a crucial stage in an artist's career, and that funding can give an almighty boost, I understand that it is also quite a gamble to give funding to a recent graduate. I am reminded that many artists take years of applying before they actually get anywhere with this kind of funding. I'm determined not to put the project in the bin yet, I have avenues still to explore and plans may have to be altered to make it all happen.
Meanwhile, I made a return visit to Runswick Bay, almost exactly a year after my first visit there. The weather was calm and grey (after a starry, starry night) when I first stepped on to the beach with the light changing rapidly, coming and going through racing clouds. Further along the beach the wind suddenly seemed to swing round and strengthen so that the tops of the waves were blown back out to sea and sand was blown in great fuzzy swathes up the beach.
Things were mostly in grey-scale, or in black and white when the light was strong: high contrast with reflections on water of land in black and sky in bright white.
The grey-scale was occasionally interrupted by gaudy scraps of washed up plastic or the brightly coloured boats that sit about the place.
The chance to get away to somewhere different for a few hours was welcome. To be by the sea is always a rejuvenating experience; to be out in the air and the wind and get so cold that it takes hours to feel warm again; to drink it all in - the light, weather, the constantly changing shapes and patterns of the water and sand. I was reminded of how much remains un-resolved from my last visit here. So much of my work and thinking is coastal at the moment and it looks like it will remain that way for some time yet...