It has been awhile since I posted. My life has been full and packed with inspiring visits, projects, cliff walks and so on.
North Wales and the Lake district beckoned, visiting friends, coming together on really sacred lands and holding ceremony to visiting Beatrix Potter’s first cottage by Lake Windermere. This cottage, its warmth and love really resonated with me, my desire to move away from my large spaces and tall ceilings to a simple home, intimate, full of my own creations and a space that will feed my soul and where I can end my days here.
This desire was strengthened yet again when I visited Pembrokeshire, everything just opened up and there was the cottage I have been dreaming in came into real life, after viewing it I came away absolutely blown away with its detail, it was as if I had been walking around it in my dreams and the universe had manifested it for me.
North Pembrokhire is wild and rugged, the flora and fauna excellent and the views tremendous from the coastal path, lovely sleepy little villages, NO costa, NO Starbucks, NO chains, in fact not much at all but what I love about the farmhouse I stay in Northern Kefalonia is right here in Wales, I dont like hot sun and I dont go t to greece to roast on the sandy beaches, so in a way it has everyting. The only difference is NO swimming Pool. Guess I will come a fan of wild swimming, should keep me fit and healthy.
So we shall see what transpires, taking my daughter to view the property again after easter.
Here are a few image of what I have been getting up to and the last one, homage to my lovely mum, 27 years ago she passed on to the next life. Happy Mother’s Day
This is a strange journey for me because I am totally drawn in creating these adorable figures, just finished one and straight on to the next and have so many drawings and ideas for future creatures. However, as I am creating them I am constantly asking myself, why am I doing this? what is the reason behind making what is essentially a doll. They enchant me, each has a personality and a soul that didn’t exist before I started making them, but as the eyes are created something pulls me in and really touches me emotionally. Is each one displaying a facet of me? Painting, sketching and creating on paper and with paper has always been my passion, so to find myself manifesting in this way is a complete surprise and in some way makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable, in fact some days it is so strong that I am telling myself to go back to painting, but I just cannot pull myself away. This particular creative path right now will have a gift in it somewhere for sure, I must be doing this for a reason, so for now I shall just sit back and watch it all unfold and see where this journey takes me.
This particular doll is cloth, its arms and legs are jointed and his head is needle felted from Welsh hill’s sheep wool. The clothes are all hand stitched and hand knitted with vintage and found fabrics and hand dyed wool yarn. It was a joy to make, seeing it come to life in my hands was quite magical as it was if my little Persian cats Lilly and Ferdy had been reincarnated. Ferdy was a chinchilla and Lily Sealpoint, Long gone now though, I miss them.
now with ears!!
Since my days have become my own to choose what i do, I have been experiencing elation !! I just cannot believe why I continued to work for so long !! as always I am trying to build a daily practice, but consistancy is not my forte and although I am managing to keep a flow of writing my daily pages and trying something creative most days, my oil painting seems to have diminished. Think I am trying to do so many things including downsizing all my posessions, that in itself has been overwhelming. “one room at a time ” is my motto and I am slowly getting thought it all.
At the moment the easiest thing to do is reach for my watercolours and gouache as I can just sit down and do something quickly without too much fuss. Here are some of the outpouring.
I am now on a new journey, a journey where I can devote my time to a creative daily practice of my own.
My days of designing interiors are now over, cannot believe I ran my own successful company for so long. My only sadness it that my mother died just weeks before it all began, she never saw me put my creative skills to good use, I know she would have been so very happy for me. There are many challenges in starting a business and the first few years were extremely tough, many times I was close to giving up but thankfully that strong will of mine saw me through. My mums words “where there is a will there is way” constantly rang through my head. I also also lived through the dawning of the digital age, apple mac was my first computer in the early 90’s with my first mobile phone and over the years the working practice of a designer became totally computer driven. Out went the drawing boards and the source library an in came drawing packages, illustrator, Cad and so on. Together with a great team we have designed, procured and installed projects the length and breadth of the country.
Will I miss it all? Right in this moment in time, I would say no definitely not, interior design sounds great but it comes with massive pressure, constant deadlines and right now I am so happy to leave it al behind. Will I miss it in the future, who knows, possibly, but I know that my own creative skills have taken a back seat for so long thats its time now for this to be the main part of my day.
just a few of the ways I have been expressing myself of late.
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
Klimt, Kaffe und Kuchen in that order. This is how my long weekend in Vienna panned out. The city made a great impact on my senses, although very humid and hot my daughter and I walked to all the shrines to the master painter Gustav Klimt. I have seen many of his works ten years ago at the Tate Liverpool exhibition, but seeing the Beethoven frieze in situ within the Secession building in Vienna gave me goosebumps. I think it’s not only the works of art, it’s the history, the art nouveau period, the lifestyle, the history of some of the paintings belonging to wealthy jewish families and then stolen by the Nazis.
The Kiss, or at least a copy of it was bought for me on the occasion of my second wedding anniversary, I fell in love it as did thousands of others at the time 1971. I vowed then that one day I would visit Vienna, but I never though it would take me this long !!! Seeing the Kiss in the flesh, I cannot say it was a disappointment far from it, but because I have seen it everywhere for years it had slightly lost its allure, it still was amazing to see his mark making up close, it was not as fine as I had imagined but standing back from it, exquisite, they all were, including some landscapes, especially those at the Leopold Museum. This museum had a wondrous collection that we walked around for a long time, Picasso, Richter, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Munch and a small amount of Klimt’s sketches. From what I understand a lot of them are being prepared for and exhibition in london later this year.
The Vienna Riding school and the amazing arena setting, tall ceilings, huge tall columns and chandeliers. Horse and riders are so elegant. The large parks and squares, large wide streets along with interesting winding lanes, the winter palace with its splendid arches and sculptures, this is a city to remember, I would love to go back
After all the walking, 1300 steps each day I felt I deserved a treat so it was a trip to a Viennese coffee-house for Kaffe und Kuchen and it didn’t fail to delight
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.
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.
stack of white paper, stark white canvases, plentiful tubes of luscious colour, pastels, charcoal, pencils, ink. The weekend has arrived, my art studio has been professionally cleaned and organised by a friend and I am about to make some marks on all this whiteness !!
Looking at the images surrounding me, the marks I have made on paper, board, canvas and card have all been curves, swirling, entwined, marks, curvaceous languorous limbs, swirling fecund growth with swelling fruitage, usually heavily paint laden, deep grooves made on the paper with my pencils, there is a will, a strong will that controls not on the visual element but in the way the medium is applied.
Today will I produce something similar, without a doubt it will be “rounded and abundant” , this is how I think, this is how I am and this is how I express myself. Maybe I could try something different, or perhaps could say that I do try to make marks in more geometric, angled shapes, but it doesn’t come easy, I have to think about it and when I think about painting or what I am to do, its then that a blockage restricts my flow and nothing comes out !!!
One more sip of coffee, perhaps sitting in the sunshine, then lets see what happens
The Creative Journey continues
trying out new pastels, didnt like this medium before but in this new style pallete of colours instead of “sticks” is a very different feel. so been playing
Wow, sharpening ones pencil !, this gives it a whole new meaning…………… There is nothing quite like that feeling of getting hold of your scalpeel and paring of slithers of wood to reveal the shiny graphite core. Honing the lead to a find point is magic, a wonderful feeling……. However look at what this man does with his pencils !!! Dalton Ghetti, american based carpenter who apparently spends years just doing one piece, a full gallery of his work appears on the telegraph website.
Have spent some of the weekend writing up guided meditations, visualisations and all manner of stuff for a forthcoming workshop in Malta I run with a couple of friends. In doing so I was inspired to create this image. I call it THE MASK ………….. of perfectionism.
I have worked with many people who are crippled by this, unable to sometimes even make any steps forward because of the immense anxiety. Often this control comes of out of a real sense of sadness within, it cannot be revealed at any cost so the person controls their external environment to such a degree that absolutely everything around them has to be perfect. I too have this incidious trait, it can be so cruel, I have battled with this a long time, its a lot easier now I have learnt to let go a little and life has become somewhat less anxious but the creative process can sometimes be a nightmare. Dr Estes wrote a letter on facebook about perfectionsism, she explains it so well, I have posted it on my other blog, click here
The image is done in oil paint, oil pastels, scanned into my laptop and layered digitally……………
Today my image of the paper rose shoe made the front page of the Art and design section of the Guardian on line. Very happy lady!!
Made the Guardian! on Flickr – Photo Sharing!.