Driven to abstraction

what a storm, Katie certainly shook the rafters !!  The wind howled through the sashes creating a sound almost like a group of wind instruments, trumpets and trombones !  Have floor floor to ceiling windows and thought the wind was going to break through the glass at any moment !  Lucky for all was intact when I awoke this morning.

The sun came up and The Jerwood beckoned, ended up a really lovely day.  Lunch there affords a fantastic view, the sea was rough, a huge swell of swirling waves, looked tremendously powerful.  Piper and Bratby beckoned, the latter not my cup of tea, in fact I felt so rattled by his works, his wife’s exposed anatomy and endless photographs of her in boots and macs that I escaped to the works of Piper, altogether much more my style….  I knew of his later works, painting of historical buildings, his prints and designs for textiles and book jackets, his stained glass for Coventry Cathedral that I visited in the late 60s but I hadn’t realised that back in the 30’s he devoted a whole period to abstracts, some of which were on show…………  All in all a great Easter break, back to the pressure of designing tomorrow, am I looking forward to it, NO!

 

gives me hope

wonderful time of the year, mother nature is stirring, seeds are stirring deep down in the moist darkness.  Beauty will return again this year, the spring flowers are already stirring, my tulips are pushing up through soil, fills me with hope…….

 

delving into the sketchbook

I had forgotten how enjoyable it is to sketch, the tree series that I unearthed  yesterday came from quite a large series of work which only very few did I take any further.  I remember spending a week at the Krishnamurti centre, such a tranquil place to stay, to read all his teachings, watch his talks and generally just chill.  After lunch I would take myself upstairs to my room, retrieve my sketchbook and spend hours each day putting pencil to paper………  Spent many a weekend here.  Oh and one of my cut paper trees

 

 

a stone woman

 

Woman, seeking sense of who she is, of how she wishes to live her daily life, letting its patterns and rhythms express her deepest values.  Woman, today under pressure, faced with the temptation today to live out her life in the realm of the masculine, denying her own needs, mistrusting her fatigue, ignoring the anguish of her own struggle. Her task will be to gain the help and support of her inner masculine side, and to return to the values of the Archetypal feminine as she grounds her life in the order and clarity that nurture her.   I would like to quote you a piece from one of my favourites books THE CIRCLE OF STONE, a woman gifted with abundant creativity, never certain whether she possesses it, or it possesses her, wrote the following,

“For me the balance between doing and just being is the most important and dangerous question.  IF I am guilted or lured into achieving too much and lose the stillness in my centre, then it takes me a long time to regain it and I do violence to myself or those I love because of fatigue and pressure.   I have had to give up “winning big” because I love my life when I am connected to it.  I hate it when it and I get caught up in competition and deadlines. Then I have an overriding sense of impatience, my foot taps…….. I gulp down my food whole……… I spill coffee when I am pouring and burn myself on the stove…… I rip, and wrench and tear.  There is a violence that takes over every act and shrieks orders at me.

I am finding it takes a lot of time to be a woman, to have an inner feeling of space and breath, a chance to sink into myself……  as long as I take time to light a candle to my life, it remains my life.  But if I hurry into work without that small moment of quiet then I have already lost myself for the rest of the day.  The task for me is to care, daily, for myself and  my life….. to love and to nurture, within myself, moment by moment, the quality of quiet presence, quietly being present in my life, which sanctifies it,  to live as if the candle is alight

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beachstones, eggs and now what?

I started this year with the idea of attending to my sketchbook on a daily basis.  I already write regularly into a journal, have been writing for the past 5 years, not every day “come what may”  but  a nice steady rhythm of letting go of that which no longer serves me.  Thoughts which can swirl  obsessively around are now released onto paper and sometimes real pearls of wisdom are revealed to me.  So pencil in hand on January 1st I started, or should I say tried to start………  nothing came, on subsequent days I thought I would sketch first perhaps and then write, no, this didn’t work either.  So rather than stare at a blank page I thought I would only go there when it felt right, sadly that day has not revealed itself.  So today I thought I would look through past sketch books and see if there was anything that would inspire me.

Flicking through the pages I came across this sketch, and what struck me were the  egg shape leaves or fruits struck me in this piece…………  originally started as part of my tree series, so many of these, as well as other tree fruitage like dream buds…………  all very inspiring.

Seems to me like a natural progression, stones being the holders of our ancient earth, just like trees who bear witness to our changing centuries, eggs the beginnings of the miracle of life, death and rebirth cycle just as trees bring forth, shoots, leaves flower and fruits, the wheel keeps on turning.

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from beach stones to birds eggs

This last week has been one of  complete rest, enforced yes ! but nonetheless I think the creative exhaustion I experience at times had beaten me this time, went down with the virus everybody had been experiencing in the office (thought I had escaped as usual) and the universe demanded NO MORE…….  to be honest it kind of bought some perspective back into my life.  The big questions swirled around, came to prominence and as quickly as it arose, it melted away into the mist as I tossed and turned with a tortuous fever……….

One of the big questions is about retiring, finding the balance, pensions, where do I live out my last years……….  An old friend of mine he left these shores long ago for Australia is just off to Bali to spend his remaining years, what an adventure!  Do I want to keep working? yes 1, because of financial concerns but beginning to realise this is not so important and 2, just love designing interiors and cannot imagine not doing this, do I want to be full on creating personally?  need to find a balance.  Could I leave my children ? difficult,   round and round I go.  What has been a great help here is writing my memoirs, this is not being written with the aim of publication but it is about letting my children know where I came from, what I experienced and what moulded me into who I have become………..  Now it all seems like a story book, a modern-day fairy story travelling though  each tarot card, following the heroes journey and the all the wrong turnings and teachings on the way.  Started several weeks ago in an attempt to make sense of things. So many projects on the go at the moment, and now I have committed to another, in my old favourite “paper”, watch this space.

So you may think, where do the the beach stones come in, well I see these as real earth objects, very grounding.  I am always being told I am a very earthy person, and born at a time when the sun was getting ready to leave Capricorn, I have one foot firmly planted on the earth , hence drawn to adorn (my usually unadorned self) with artefacts from ancient rocks !  As fast as being drawn to them and feeling the weight of the world around my neck I wanted freedom.  As always the inner conflict of wanting stability but as soon as I have it I want to fly off, try something new, be light and totally free….. so came the need for some thing new, new beginnings, seeds, eggs, the birth of creation, and birds eggs seemed to hold that promise…………………  as always made of polymer clay, alcohol inks, enthusiasm, patience and practice.

 

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