“The Extraordinarium, a place, a home for extraodinary little beings to gather and where extraordinary things happen.
Herbert, he is an extraordinary little being, has seen many centuries come and go and has watched his beloved walled garden and the contents therein slowly decline. What was once a thriving country house, slowly fell into disrepair, the sons were called up to fight and never returned, the same went for all workers on the estate and slowly everything came to a halt. The owners died as much of a broken heart as old age and the house fell into total decline. Herbert of course always found something to eat from the rampant grasses, berries and seeds that grew wild everywhere but he yearned for the day when his beloved walled garden could be bought back to life
it came to him in a dream, he didn’t know it then, but this was to be the beginning of something quite extraordinary ! dream trees .”
I have started to put together the books for my little creatures, the characterful beings that are drawn to “The Extraordinarium”
the sketches below are ideas for the dream tree, a very rare specie. I am intending to make one, probably cut paper, shaped and curved to form three dimensional image just like my flowers and shoes, or a moulded paper clay that I can actually model and place in a perspex case. Early stages yet, but all my creatures are made and the individual stories are coming together. These will all be for sale, where I dont know or when, but soon
Well this journey is travelling forward with great speed. First rabbits and now a Fox and a Badger. I have so many ideas jumping out at me that my sketchbook is full of animals and clothes styles…… loving it. These are both on aluminium armatures, its great stuff, very flexible, light yet firm. The wools slips and slides a bit when wrapping, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. Felting the heads is now not as daunting as in the beginning, once you have the basic principals of felting and understand the different shapes that can build a face, with an image to hand its very easy build up the details and watch the little figure come to life. They do really have their own characters and if never ceases to amaze me how “touched” I feel by their presence.
Very productive couple of days. Daily practice completed, then on to manifesting my dream bunnies. I just dont know why this has come to me now? I had just had to make them, something told me to bring these animals into reality, what I saw in my daydreaming, I made them real !
This last project which has been sitting around in my cupboard for far too long has been completed. The crocheted shopper made from free plastic shopping bags. Ocado bags come in all shades of grey, perfect. Finished off and fixed on leather handles and its complete!
Another large project (day job) has at last come to fruition and with that comes the release of feeling I can breathe again, no pressure…….. and even closer to my goal of giving it all up for good.
today in my studio I tried out mono printing for the first time. What a great way to work, I love it and cannot wait to get back down there again today. Experimenting with inks, acrylics, alcohol, cutting stencils and the excitement of pulling the print, revealing such unexpected results. I am ,looking out for some good printmaking weekend courses, if anyone knows of any please let me know.
I am also working on a large piece, acrylic underpainting and now layering in oils. Intertwined shapes, at first large and as each subsequent layer they are becoming smaller and more defined, colours changing all the time. Sometimes clashing and full of vigour, sometimes much quieter and more sombre. Almost like a weather gauge of emotions. A journey I am enjoying
Spent the afternoon in my studio, one to get away from the oppressive heat and two to calm my chaotic mind. Last time I painted here it was a landscape, very tranquil with the sun just coming through the clouds after the rain. Today, pouring out the chaos onto the canvas, at first it was fast and furious, then it slowed and as I kept standing back to look I could see lots of small compartments, all the different hats I wear I guess, and why there is often chaos going on. Some cool and tranquil compartments, some hot, hot, fiery and overflowing but, and this surprised me, there is balance, that felt good.
Guess we all paint for different reasons and are drawn to different styles. I don’t think I have yet found what really feeds my soul in terms of “style” and “content” of the painting, but just feeling and seeing the lucscuious colours oozing from the tubes, the buttery smoothness as the paint glides over the canvas, listening to loud, loud music, the movement of they body as the brush sweeps in wide arcs, this is why I paint, its so freeing, and exciting.
My sketch book is filling too and I know this is stirring something deep inside, its definitely a journey, and a daliy practice of creativity whatever it maybe certainly has its own momentum.
This painting of Moel Hirradug has had several lives, three different attempts, one all green, one multicoloured and this one I think I like the best. Still feel the need to try again though, next time might be acrylics and pastel. This one is oil and it shows the iron age fort that sits atop. I have it on my friend’s authority that the view from the top is amazing, sadly I didnt even attempt it. Far too hot. The painting also depicts the parched earth, no rain now for 54 days.
Not working at the day job today so had time to relax, breakfast on the Pantiles then back for painting and trying out a new medium, new to me anyway. Gamblin’s cold wax, its a mix of pure refined Beeswax and Gamsol, odourless mineral spirits. Wonderful stuff and it makes the oil paint a thick butter consistency. Thought I would try painting the South American woman’s face I tried a couple of week or so back and this time I am much happier. It has colour, the paints rich texture makes wonderful marks, using long flats and egbert brushes I managed to make really nice painterly strokes, even painting alla prima I could still, with a light touch flick a different colour over the first layer and create wonderful colour mixes and movement to the strokes. Blending the colour to create a blurred outline is something I am always trying, this medium it just happened without really trying. I used Rosemary Ivory brushes, long flats in sizes 6,10 and 12