Woolf works

img_6476I have seen many ballets within this rich tapestry called life, a aficionado of dance, not by any means but the thrill that music and movement can instil is unforgettable.  I have seen the proud somewhat arrogant Nureyev bring the audience into a frenzy to the graceful elegance of the long limbed Sylvie Guillem but nothing in all these years has moved me so much as Wayne McGregors’s  Woolf Works.  Plus it was a live screened performance from The Royal Opera House, sitting in a cinema !

A ballet triptych describes three books, which takes you through life from an ageing perspective,  looking back at the vibrant memories of 1920’s  England in Mrs Dalloway, to the energetic, fast moving dynamism of youth in Orlando, then finally to death with The Waves. By the end I had been through so many emotions, my heart had been pulled this way and that and at times felt it would leap from my chest.  I felt expanded, exhilarated, as if my body had filled the auditorium.

I watched mesmerised as the dancers moved with such grace and ease, their limbs, muscles, tendons showing the strength needed to perform such a strenuous ballet, especially in Orlando.  So many avenues of thought and feelings erupted

Then came the rhythmic hypnotic swelling of the waves, not only in the music of Max Richter but the dancers and the compelling back drop of raging foaming seas in  in slow motion as you watch and hear life ebbing away.  Actress Gillian Anderson reads Virginia Woolf’s suicide letter written to her husband before she drowned herself in the River Ouze,  the words  so moving in themselves.

I have now listened to this so many times since seeing the ballet, downloaded from the trusty itunes.  Its stunning, moving , haunting and magnificent and so much more.  This week sees the start of my week in Totnes and this mornings playing produces these quick impromptu sketches  and I can see this is going to inspire the senses in many ways as the days,weeks and months roll on.

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my daily dose of creativity

 

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Making marks on paper can be quite exhilarating,  my natural marks are soft organic sweeps curving this way and that so have tried making more liner marks on one of my 3o minute doodles recently and really enjoyed the difference.  I am loving the pastels and have been experimenting with the different sanded pastel papers, they do appear to hold the pastels well which allows for many layers to be applied. Have used the the 240 and the 800 grit, quite a marked difference and wasn’t keen on the roughest one at all, seemed to end up with definite stripe effect to the finished work   I have been using Unison and Jackson’s hand-made soft pastels, to he honest I cannot really tell the difference as yet..

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Trying again for this New Year

img_6249one of my decisions this time last year was to keep an art diary, for some reason, for many days I just started at the blank page and could not get inspired and then the day job just took over big time.  So with the new year just started I thought I would try again.  This time a different tack, have decided I can be creative in any way and it doesn’t have to be within  the confines of my sketch book.

First two days I gathered some boards and papers, favourite cuttings from magazines, printed out some photos I have taken and so on.  Now today is day 3 and finally did a quick soft pastel sketch using Unison pastels, handmade in England !  Kind of inspired by the view from my bay window this evening as the sun was setting. Felt very rusty, but very pleased with myself.  This muscle over the past year hasn’t had much exercise as its been absorbed in the day ID day job.

This year I have promised myself a more balanced day, starting  meditation,  3o min sketch with watercolour, pastels, pen and ink, charcoal, the morning pages and a walk in the park taking pictures any details that inspire.  Then, say once a month or more dedicate my creativity to weekend studio sessions, picking up on my daily creations and explore them further.  We shall see how it all unfolds, if the intention is there I am sure something will come of it.

words, so many words

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208,560 words to be exact have tumbled from my memory and taken me on one hell of a journey over these past months.  I had hoped to have this book finished and two copies printed as gifts to my adult children but alas no, hopefully by end of January I shall have completed, then a final edit, photographs added and prepared to upload for the printing process, so possibly easter maybe.

I didn’t consider at the outset of putting pen to paper that my character and mental wellbeing would rise and plummet in real time along with the journey that started so long ago.  There were days I felt euphoric and the words flowed so fast and furious as I recalled the vitality of youth and those first tentative steps out into the wildness of the early 60’s and the birth of my two children.  At other times my energy has been totally sapped and felt as if  walking in treacle.  Days when I stared at the paper and just could not find the words to express the death of my mother, felt shut away in cotton wool and everything felt silent, distant and muffled like the deathly hush of fresh laid snow, just as it did in the experience I was trying to convey.  Memories are very powerful indeed, they can be recalled and relived with the same level intensity as when first encountered and many times this year has caught me totally of guard.

Above all, everything makes sense to me now, I can see clearly the cosmic forces at work and with Saturn my ruling planet he has certainly been a hard task master, teaching me lessons so punishingly hard to learn that they bought me to my knees on several occasions.  I learnt the hard way, some would say this is only the way, maybe it is?   Guess it couldn’t have been any other way, life is in the unfolding and it is to be embraced not resisted or feared, it is just as is should be.