21 Dec 2016

Stopping Distance.

For those who don’t drive, the “stopping distance” is the space between the point one applies the brakes and the place one actually comes to a halt. You are meant to know a number of these in order to pass your driving test. I can only ever remember one: If I hit the brakes at 30m.p.h. on a dry road surface my car will stop 75 feet (23 meters) down the road. Of course I’m convinced it would stop before that, just as I’ve always been convinced I can come to a dead stop in all things. But I’m always proved wrong. Stopping is hard.

The most effective way to apply the brakes is by applying, releasing, and applying them in short bursts. In retrospect, I see my 2016 has been a little like that. Matters I thought had stopped preoccupying my mind long ago, lingered still. Dedicating myself to a strict regime of one-per-month paintings was like applying the brakes on my thoughts in short bursts, bringing them to a more effective halt.

2016 was a good year, although somewhat intense artistically, even sleeping and painting in the same room, the smallest in the house. That probably took a toll, resulting in a recent “cold” virus lingering over long. I no doubt missed out on a lot of sunshine during the summer months in particular, something I intend to put right in 2017. I am wring this on the December 21st Winter Solstice. Tomorrow the daylight will last that little bit longer and the night that little bit shorter.

Above: Photograph taken on 5th December during a stroll on Thoresby Estate.

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