A handful of birdsong and small cup of light

After 7 years of photographing weddings full time and feeling creatively dry, last night I stepped into my painting studio for the first time, an old sunroom on the edge of our villa. The floors are duckegg blue and already splattered with white paint, like they got tired of waiting and just started without me. The room is bare, but for an easel, small tea trolley and some old paints and brushes I dragged out of hiding. I dressed up for the occasion, flirting with inspiration, hoping he'd show up and not leave me alone at our first meeting. Lipstick and a shirt, barefeet and my hair is still wet from the shower. It's nearly impossible to mark a clean blank page, so I breathe in and start to scribble by instinct. I'm never quite sure where I am going, but what I am sure of is this. I feel sadness and relief, followed by the greatest joy and rage and vigour. Where do you feel most beautiful or most free? I loose track of time. The dinner burns, I have my hands dirty, paint in my hair and my fingerprints are all over the colours.

“But tomorrow, dawn will come the way I picture her, barefoot and disheveled, standing outside my window in one of the fragile cotton dresses of the poor. She will look in at me with her thin arms extended, offering a handful of birdsong and a small cup of light.” - Billy Collins