Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Artistic insomnia

I’m not the only one lying sleepless at night because ideas keep on manifesting themselves in the overly tired brain. I know. But at 3 AM in the morning, after 4 hours of patchy sleep, the world is a big, dark and quiet place and so thoughts do tend to take up a lot of space and I do feel a bit alone. But… who hasn’t been fighting inner ghosts in the middle of the night?

Luckily, these days I’m mostly awake because my brain refuses to shut down, when it’s just having a juicy new idea to warp, bend and shape. Very good, but I do need sleep and hence I have tried different strategies:
  1. Getting up and drawing the damn thing (over and over) to get it out of my head. It helps, but sometimes it just sparks new ideas and then I’m back to square one
  2. Taking a shower. Kind of resets everything. Works quite well too, unless it’s too late in the night/early in the morning – then I’m just even more awake
  3. Have my boyfriend “teddy” me (he cuddles me thoroughly, which is very comforting)
  4. Earplugs (I’m a very light sleep and wake up at any noise, but I also find them quite uncomfortable)

I am sharing this tendency of insomnia with my aunt Barbara, who is currently visiting me from South Jutland. We both love Art Nouveau and most definitely have the same artistic blood running in our veins. Barbara has for decades been creating the most amazing pieces of decorative artwork, painting large hat boxes, smaller wooden boxes and very pretty oval brooches and I admire her work immensely. I have given her the key to my workshop, enabling her to go there and work when I’m at my other daytime work and she has made herself a very nice corner, working partly at the table and partly on the window seat.

 It’s so cozy to work in the same room as her. Mostly we are quiet, deeply concentrating on our respective work and listening to some quiet classical music. Once in a while we take a break and share our development and other thoughts.

Barbara surely "developes" her work at top speed, now she's in a working frenzy. And what beautiful work! This is how far she got yesterday, being very productive indeed. I’m expecting her to finish up most of these today.

So what will it look like when it’s done? Much more layered and detailed. Here is some of her previous work, including an amazing hat box which she made especially for me. Perhaps we’ll open an Etsy shop selling her pieces. Do you think she would succeed?

I am writing this in the morning. It’s 7:30 AM and both of us have been awake for some time, ideas churning. My aunt is up and about to leave the home to go to the workshop and I’ll meet her there in the afternoon. Oh what bliss to share the passion for creating beauty with someone so close to my heart!


  1. I can totally relate to your sleeping habits. I'm having the same kind of issues. Taking a sleeping pill once a week so I can sleep at least 5-6 hours without waking up in between.
    Always nice checking out your blog and your gorgeous jewelry! :-)

  2. Your aunt's work is amazing! Artistic ability definitely runs in your family.