Tuesday 1 February 2011

Unofficial Work Space Day

Over at that sunshine spot in blogland called Anita Laydon Miller's blog, we've been called to participate in the unofficial POST A PHOTO OF MY WORKSPACE DAY. Some times when I get the blues about not being blessed with children, I come into my studio and realise there are compensations. My workspace is one of them.

I hijacked the formal lounge (which was never used) and turned it into my studio. My desk is L-shaped.  On the one side is my computer and printer, under a "Careless, Carefree Muse", a interesting abstract painting by a local artist Addy Hoyle.  From the collection of crystals scattered throughout the room, you can see the influence of my fifteen years as an evolutionary astrologer. My interest in comparative religion also creeps in, as you'll see in a later photo.

This is what I see when I look out the window. The summer garden is looking pretty this year, and I love watching the birds bathing in the bird bath (hidden behind the splash of pink begonias at the bottom of the garden). My favourite sighting is when a shy Burchell's Coucal gives its distinctive call and appears out of the bushes. As you can see from the sun and shadows, today is a beautiful summer's day; a relief from the heavy rains we've been experiencing.

Here is where I write my first draft. Always by hand and always with an HB pencil.  This photo also shows my favourite icon, the Madonna hand-painted on old wood, gilded with gold leaf. A natural heart-shaped hole is in the wood and the artist painted the Madonna around that. Stunning. Husband bought it for me at the ancient St Donat's in the old city of Zadar, on our trip to Croatia.

The framed page below it is a hand-painted calligraphy page from a 15th century Koran, the Holy Book of Islam. One of our Muslim friends has an uncle who is an Imam. He gave us the Koranic reference (Sura 9, Verse 101 onwards), which talks about hypocrisy and repentence.

To the right is a crucifix, made of wild olive wood, which I bought at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. 

When you wander around the rest of the room, you will find iconography from a variety of religions: a mezuzah from Judaism, a Native American dream catcher; aboriginal art (thanks to my sister's recent trip to Australia); a papyrus scroll of the Ancient Egyptian goddess Bast (the cat goddess, of course, as HRH Theodora wouldn't have any other!); Kuan Yin, the Chinese goddess of compassion and mercy; a Tibetan thangka, and many other symbols and artefacts of the world's faiths.

What's the purpose of mixing the different faiths of different people, you may ask?

Harmony. At least here, in this one tiny corner of the world, the different religions co-exist in peace and tolerance.

The interesting thing is, is how people are drawn to this room. We have our lounge, where we try to take our visitors...but, before long, everyone migrates into my studio and that's where we stay until the evening's end.

No wonder I love writing in this work space.


Nancy J. Parra said...

Oh, my, this is so lovely!! I feel as if I'm there. I am missing the green right now as we are expecting blizzard and two feet of snow. And birds, I miss the birds. Thanks for posting. I can feel the harmony in the room. It's reflected solidly in your writing.
Hugs, N

CA Heaven said...

Nice work space, great pictures on the wall, in particular the blue one. Who's the artist?

Cold As Heaven

Bish Denham said...

Beautiful! My work space is a cluttered and crowded.

Anita said...

Oh! I feel honored for this view into your life...it's beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with me!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

NANCY: Be careful in that blizzard! Makes me feel cold just thinking about it! We’ve had amazing birds visit the garden – once a falcon caught a mouse not two foot from my window, and another time (when we still had the fish pond) a great big heron came wading. Hope you hear the birds call soon!

COLD: The blue painting is a pastel by another local artist called Colleen Firefox. It’s very soothing and calming.

BISH: Husband’s desk and study is exactly the same. I’m not allowed in to clean it up. Sometimes I go in and wave a feather duster around but the temptation to tidy up is too much and so I just leave!! Yet Husband *always* knows exactly where everything is!

ANITA: I so enjoyed visiting your work space too! Loved the Colonel’s mosaic tables (one of my favourite vases is a mosaic vase a friend did for me)

Damaria Senne said...

What a lovely work space. I'm jealous :-)

Lauri said...

Any chance I can move in????
Love your work space. It has calmed me even from the photos.
And writing the first draft in pencil? I'm seriously impressed.

Helen Ginger said...

What a wonderful room! And I love the views you have. But your desk is so clean! How do you keep it that way? Mine stays clean about 30 minutes.


Beautiful space. Completely soothing and inspiring. I especially like the quality of the light--unclutters the mind and readies one for the task at hand. And the objects with personal meaning help, too, of course. Thanks for sharing something so personal--your own space!

Misha Gerrick said...

I spotted you on Samuel Park's comment roll and decided to come visit.

So nice to see another South African writer.


Robyn Campbell said...

When did you get back? I checked a couple weeks ago and you hadn't returned yet. I'M ALWAYS THE LAST TO KNOW. ;)

Love your work space. It rivals the offices of Kings and Queens, my friend. Thank you for sharing another piece of you with us. (Though I did expect to see Theodorable perched on your desk.) *wink*

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

DAMARIA: That’s how I feel when I see the photos of where Paul Greci lives (usually Alaska, but currently Sedona, Arizona – stunning!) My garden is a bit wild because I’m not into gardening – if it wasn’t for my Mom, I’d have wild bush to the front door! :)

LAURI: Well, when you need a roof over your head on one of your Jo’burg stopovers… :) And, if I type straight onto the laptop, I ‘lose’ something. It’s as if there’s a veil between me and the words. When I use a pencil and write by hand that veil is dropped and the words are deeper. Well, that’s what it feels like!

HELEN: If I have clutter around me I get too easily distracted…what’s in that pile…or that one…oh wait, maybe that’s where I put…:) So I’ve learnt to keep my work space clean and open!

SAMUEL: I love light too – that’s why I tore down the curtain rails (Husband nearly had a heart attack!) In winter the sun streams into the room, which is fodder for the soul (but also makes it tempting to just put my head down and zzzzz…!)

MISHA: Sayobona! Great to see you here, I’m glad you popped over. If you’re not already on Facebook you should join – there is the most wonderful community of South African & African authors there!

ROBYN: I’m not supposed to be back blogging! I’m supposed to be writing! But here I am!!! :) And Theodorable was in one of her “royal moods” and would not pose for me!!!! ((((Hugs))) to you and Christopher!

septembermom said...

Gorgeous work space. I love the balance and grace that surrounds you. I would be drawn to that room too.

Lisa said...

Thank you for visiting me so I get to be invited into your wonderful home. Your gifts draw.

And I am glad you enjoyed Malaysia. It is really nice to meet someone who had been to Langkawi;)

septembermom said...

Another win Judy! Congratulations!


A Cuban In London said...

Yes, no wonder you love your space. I would, too. Many thanks for that snippet into your life. And it's great to have you back.

Greetings from London.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

KELLY: Thanks! I often aim for balance; luckily, sometimes (like in my studio) I actually achieve it!

OCEAN GIRL: Now you’ll have to visit South Africa! My niece will be living in Singapore from August, so who knows? Maybe Husband and I will be able to find our way back to your beautiful country one day!

CUBAN: Great to ‘see’ you again! I’m *so* sorry I missed your blog discussion on the nature of religion! Anyway, I’m glad you thought this was a snippet into my life…I had the sinking feeling it was waaaaay too much info! :)