Thursday, 29 January 2009

I just ate my lunch: Jansson’s Frestelse (the spelling of which I’m sure is wrong!). Fish, potatoes, onions, garlic, black pepper and cream. The easiest fish pie in the world, and in my opinion the best. Followed by a Delicje malinowe, which is a Polish raspberry jaffa cake. Cor, yum. This is a fairly unhealthy lunch, of course, but I’ve got a cup of green tea and a pile of clementines to finish off with, which will tip the balance back a little towards antioxidants and vitamins and so forth.

Going home tonight to make a cauliflower and parsnip gratin. Yes, making and enjoying good food is definitely one of the aspects of creativity, albeit one which is seldom cited as such. As I’ll have the oven on I may bake biscuits as well…

More and more I feel in sympathy with Rebecca West’s definition of creativity as being a continuum, running from someone baking a good cake at one end to the work of Mozart at the other. Gardening is in there, as well as cookery, and so are all the activities derided by the Fine Art world as “crafts” – knitting and patchwork quilting, making greetings cards (I have a nice range of hand-made valentines, if anyone is interested), making jewellery, clothes-making, pottery and clay-modelling… the list is, to coin a phrase, endless. While personally I think “Clay artist” is an unutterably silly piece of newspeak, and “Craftsman potter” sounds noble and authentic, and altogether rather good, I do heartily dislike the implied minor status generally accepted as implicit in the terms “craft” and “craftsman”.

Especially let no-one who wants to be taken seriously as a fine artist permit themself ever to be called a “good craftsman”. To actually be good at the basic skill of one’s art form is the kiss of death, relegating one (in some people’s eyes at least) irrevocably to the ranks of the amateur. How nonsensical that is…

These raspberry jaffa cakes are the tops, by the way. Good old Gudi Food Stores. I love Ealing.

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