A path well trodden, but how much longer will it be?

Coming here to the North of Kefalonia  it always felt like I was coming home, arriving at the airport, the warm moist air enveloping me as I take the first step from the air conditioned cabin. The familiar face of Makis greeting me and taking my case to the taxi, the breathtaking views as we climb north driving ever higher.   I have been coming twice a year now for 6 years, a long time for me but for others I have met here this is nothing, Some people have been coming to Kefalonia for 16-20 years or more.    The farmhouse always held me, its wild gardens, olive groves, views across the ionian seas to Ithica, the wildlife,  the chickens and goats, this was a sanctuary away from the deadlines and constant pressure that hounded me  when back in the uk.   Now that the pressure is off  I wondered if returning to Kefalonia this time would feel different as I am no longer fleeing the pressure of trying to spin all the plates in the air, run a home, a business, staff, family issues and so on.  Its doubly hard when there is nobody to share this burden with me.  Designing interiors, mixing colours and textures, choosing original artworks, designing my own furniture pieces it gave me the  best feeling in the world and I was in my element, but the procurement  and installation , working along side architects, and building contractors and the male dominated construction industry who wouldnt know good design if it bit on the bum, all this side of designing took away that feeling completely.  Even though I won awards and various accolades it just wasnt enough to keep me fighting the design battles anymore.

So her  I am and  pleased to say that the feelings, even though the first two weeks have been in the coldest ever apparently, haven’t changed a bit,  I still love the island, well the norther part anyway, south more built up and busier.   Guess the one thing that has changed  is the longing to live here.  For one ,I do not like the fierce summer heat, so July and August would be a definite no no for me and two, I have found the uk version of northern Kefalonia, its wildness, rugged cliffs and coves, forest and quiet windy roads where I feel drawn to make my permanent home.   Still visiting Evreti, Kefalonia for 2-3 months each year I can have the best of both worlds, and still continue to travel and explore the uk and of course spend time manifesting creative objects into the world.

Of course with the advancing years, 70 last January, there is that little conumdrum of how much should I be spending?  how long will my money have to last, how long will I be walking in this world?  Something one never considers when younger, there is always decades to enjoy, thing to try out and if mistakes are made, plenty of time to put it right.  Now though decisions seem more important to make as not time left to rectify anything. Do I say to myself another 15 years, divide it up and spend the said sum each year?  Do I buy a house with an income, (holiday rental cottages} and run it as a small business?  Guess I am lucky that my business was successful and have these kind of issues to contend with.  I am not having the live on a uk state pension, the lowest in the whole of Europe!  Actually there was no luck, I gave my all to my company, blood sweat and tears to make it successful!  All I know is that this is whole new chapter in my life, one where for once I have the total freedom to choose, a real adventure awaits and I am very excited to watch each day unfolds and just where this path will take me

A few pics of the past weeks

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Intentions

IMG_8109It’s here at last, the first day of a new calender year, for me the year really started with the winter solstice when the sun returns but for reasons of public holidays and a working life, January 1st seems to bring up many positive thoughts and experiences.  One is something about a fresh new beginning.  It always excites me, and I start the year off with so many projects and challenges I set for myself.  I would be lying if I said I have ever achieved all of them in one year or even become close sometimes to finishing one.  But that’s ok, come the new year, I can put all that behind me, reset my intentions and start the year with renewed vigour.

this year I have taken the pledge to try the vegan lifestyle for one month.   https://veganuary.com  I am becoming increasingly aware of the cruelty and torture that happens in the way our food is produced that I feel very uncomfortable eating and drinking dairy products.  Meat is something I have been eating less and less of over the years but cheese, milk, butter and eggs I didn’t really think too much about.  So now it is all change, and I feel good I have made this decision.

My next challenge is to sketch or write an entry a day in my journal.  last year I tried a sketch a day and failed miserably, more like once a month !!.  Writing is not a problem for me, I do it all the time, so when I cannot get around to a sketch of some sort I can do something.  The small pastel sketch today was a really dramatic landscaper across the fields at Alfriston.  It was one of those dark moody skies where the late sun was licking the tops of the trees making them glow with a wonderful coral orange and yellow light.

There are many more I shall not bore you with now, but here is wishing you all who read my blog a very happy New Year.

colour as the heart sees

The intellect wants us to see what we know and understand,  but when viewed from the heart, sometimes something altogether happens.  Both were of Snowdonia National Park, both pastel sketches and executed really quickly.

Views from Trigonos retreat, Nantlle

This year my new year’s resolution was to start a sketch diary.  Sadly this never really materialised, better luck next year, that is all I can say !!  Not long now!

Uart 500 sanded paper, with Unison and Terry Ludwig pastels.

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texture and pastels

 

Finding the pastels somewhat “flat” so experimented with adding some texture.  First I covered the offwhite UART grit paper with all shades of red and orange and yellow pastel and painted over with mat gel medium.  this created quite a thick covering that showed up all the brush marks.  When completely drying painted over the pastels, like the affect.  Will continue experimenting on the texture front and build up more layers using acrylic paint as the underpainting.

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day 6 many days late

I am still taking time to be creative, but not always with colour and image making. My writing is taking up some days, spending time looking at all the books I have collected over the years and seeing if they still inspire me now.  Researching materials and storage for all the pastels, they are such a messy medium, but oh so vibrant

This paper is Sennelier pastel card, doesn’t seem to hold the layers very well.  Going to try a 400 course grit UART paper next time, have also ordered a trial pack of all the types from 250 – 800 grit

this is today’s 30 minutes of creativity

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