It says something about the utility of my new home and studio set-up that I can now move seamlessly between writing, painting and administration during my working day. Instead of driving two hours – each way – to paint in enamel, I step into another room. The materials are arranged properly. I don't have to wander around trying to find what I need – or rely on others to find it for me. I can control the temperature (and drying times) in any weather and I've sealed the room so the fumes are contained. Although I can't work on several paintings at once, as I used to, I can work on them more frequently. I don't make the sort of mistakes my assistants used to, eliminating the need to re-do large sections.I paint small watercolours leaning over my coffee table. Another table, made up of trestles and a sheet of white-painted timber, is set up for larger works on paper. The carpet is covered with a heavy canvas drop sheet. I can fling paint or ink around without care. When my assistant and I wrap packages for collectors, the table is covered with double layers of canvas so the surface is clean and dry.I even write more easily. I don't have to sit cross-legged on a concrete floor, as I did at the 'enamel factory', but on a cushioned stool at my desk. A glass 'white board' for random jottings is bolted on the wall above it. Diaries, sketchbooks, reference books and idea workbooks are all within reach. I can also lie on the daybed, propped up by pillows.
I feel calmer and happier about my work than I have for several years. If good decisions tend to feel good, then my recent decision to do more of my work myself at home has been one of the best I've ever made.