A fruitful day

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Or should I say a vegetable day?  my desire to keep painting seems strong at the moment.  Am I enjoying it, Yes, absolutely.   Am I pleased with the results, absolutely not !!  this is the perfectionist in me, its such a hard task master to have this running all the time.  Never ever feels good enough.  For years, nearly 30 years I have been an interior designer and its only been in last 2-3 years that I can say I am interior designer and not feel a fraud.  My creativity has taken many forms over the years, from drawing and watercolour sketches, to making things with my hands, cutting paper, clay work, collage, oil pastels, dry pastels, oil paint sticks but when it comes to painting, there is a lot of doubt that comes up.  Not Good Enough, is the foremost one and most times it hampers the start, so recently with the urge to pick up my paintbrushes, oil paint and so on and  keep painting is rather new to me.  Its normally paint one or two, dont like them and put paints away for a few months.

Painting is a great teacher, it brings up so much for me that I can now sit and watch and see exactly what is happening as it unfolds.  self doubt, conversations on size, whether to make it abstract or representational.  Then there is the conversation about the cost of oil paint these days, absolutely ridiculous prices and like everything else now we have these small artisan workshops making specialist paints that are even more costly.  One thing that has changed my painting though is Rosemary’s handmade brushes.  I had never heard of an Egbert brush before, but these together with large long flats are helping me obtain the brushstrokes that I desire.  To know they are handmade in Yorkshire make using them feel even better !

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colour at the jerwood

Friday a really sunny day and took myself of to Hastings and my usual ritual of brunch at the Jerwood Gallery.  Sitting outside on the terrace looking out to sea, the sun streaming down felt relaxed and far away from work related issues.    Great food, great view and of course the paintings which I always come away from feeling energised with all kinds of inspired thoughts and feelings

This time I came back with a fish, a fresh caught  sole for my dinner, amazing price of £2, together with some asparagus, home made hollandaise, plenty of lemon, delicious !!

Here are some colours I especially like, one of the them by Duncan Grant, all have some association with the local area and all the colour combination will have been absorbed like a sponge and then squeezed out into my next project.

 

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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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knitting some sunshine

Knitting !! haven’t done this for so many years, but I wanted to bring some sunshine to my bathroom, it’s all very “grey”, polished plaster, grey mosaic and dark wood floors.  When looking on Flickr saw the perfect item, not only to use up all my scraps but to bring those holiday sunshine colours into my daily routine. As you can see here, its lovely and bright !

sunshine mat

Well I have used almost all my scrap bits from christmas quilting spree and still have a fair bit to go !! not sure yet what to complete it with, looks like I may have to buy some more fabric, nothing suitable on the clothes front to cut up : (

the whole process has been so easy, I do not have a tv to distract me (nearly 8 years now ) !  just sat in a comfy chair, listened to audio book and watched it grow.

Just a size 11 needles (circular) not so heavy to deal with, cast on 60 stitches and just straight forward knit rows.  I joined my scraps and made large balls, but I imagine if your pieces are longish you could join as you go along. Although this mat just gobbles up the fabric, not sure if crocheting maybe less hungry.  I like the frayed rag look of the tied ends, but maybe when cutting the scraps into lengths, anything between 3-5 cms you could cut the lengths stopping about 3-5 cms from one end forming a continuous length.  May try this if I make another one in the future

A big thankyou to Jennifer http://www.flickr.com/photos/51126367@N06/10103126196/lightbox/

Ballet Russe

Thanks Mr Bowery, it was because of you I came across this image, I thought it was a costume of yours, but then I read it was in fact a costume for the Ballet Russe designed back in 1935 !

Leon Bakst drawings I have always admired, and recently when I watched the Chanel / Stravinsky story my interest in the Ballet Russe became more prominent in my life again. I find the colours so inspiring.   Diaghilev was a very clever man, he put together composers and artists the most avant-garde of their time, Braque, Stravinsky, Chanel, Picasso, Matisse and Nijinsky the famous dancer and produced the most inspiring and challenging ballets.  He was not at all afraid to break with convention and his passion paid off, however at his death it limped along but was never the same again.

The boldness, the colours, the loose shapes, ballet costumes had never been seen like this before.  I just love them, the colours sing out, I so would love to have been around to see their opening nights, especially THE RITES OF SPRING, apparently this caused a riot and they had to close down the theatre!!  It’s hard to believe that now, but here is a collection of some the hundreds of costumes that were designed and made especially for each ballet.

Could they be transformed into paper sculptures, could the colour combinations be transformed into my design work and paintings, somehow they will have an influence, my creative mind is like a sponge, its absorbs everything around me so that one day it will be expressed in some form again as I continue along this creative path

Colour creates an elevated mood

I saw this clip this morning and just knew I was meant to.  It was a true gift.  Colour lifts my soul, there is no doubt about it.  Expressing with colour is so beneficial to the psyche.   I find myself attracted to colour in my daily life more and more, bits and pieces I buy for my home lately are wild they make a wonderful contrast to the dark grey that forms the basis of my home.  My own personal clothing in the main is colourless, but inside me pulsates with many shades of violet, orange, yellow, mauve, magenta, vermillion, a whole rainbow.  Who wants their house painted? any takers?

colourful day

vintage fare, mexican embroidery, todays find…………  where will this end up? not sure, buying lots of colourful things lately, could be destined to be upholstered in the back of french chair?  or just a humble cushion, but wherever it ends up in my home, I know it will bring a big smile every time i see it……….

Oh and also some vintage adverts for Schiaperelli’s perfume Shocking by Marcel Vertes, now these are for my bedroom , this is for sure

absorbing the energy of the sea

The Secret Life of Waves – waves are not water they are pure energy passing through water and by the law of the universe, energy never dies……….

watch this documentary here on iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=the%20secret%20of%20waves

Port Eynon – Gower Peninsula.   a wonderful weekend walking by the sea, so invigorating, after watching the The Secret Life of Waves I now understand why I am so drawn to the sea.

Walking to the Worms Head, looking down onto Rossili Bay on a very wild and windy day.

The Gower Peninsula, Wales,  A wonderful weekend  with the ones I love

sunset and sea

I enjoyed a most creative day with a dear friend of mine in her studio.   She is a felt maker, and we sat together , chatted about our creative endeavours, and  what was inspiring us, we pulled out lovely coloured wools, my selection inspired by the beautiful sunsets down at the sea that I had been photographing over the month I had off from work.   I had gathered a stone that was really special to me and the sunsets themselves so significant.  So away we went, laying out the strands of wool in the sunset hues, soaping and rubbing.  I knew I wanted some kind of tendrils, not sure why, but now I can see.  My finished pouch that holds my treasured stone has taken on the life of a sea creature, perhaps an anemone e or a squid like being.  I am so pleased with the piece, it feels so special and has become a very treasured object.

2011 a new path of creativity

Well its arrived, a new year and new decade, conjured up memories of the millenium new year, struggling to get to the embankment to watch the fireworks with a two champagne bottle backpack and a few friends.  I had just moved into my new apartment after its year long refurb and felt so full of joy and optimism .  It was a great evening.

This year I feel equally full of optimism for the coming year, saying goodbye to 2010, fully embracing 2011 is very exciting.    So many things to do, to experience, to see to enjoy.  I have written a list and it gets longer everyday.  This time I am going to print it out and put a line through each item as they are achieved……………..  I am also leaving a huge space for new thing to arise, unexpected things, new challenges, new opportunities, this is the part that for me makes my life so rewarding.

I have been spending time these last few days purchasing new paints, ordering canvases, sketching, list making and creating new images of my existing artwork and photography.

 

 

Maison Objet in colour

Maison Objet, Paris trade Fair and a must for all “designers” .  Its just amazing, everything is done with great style…………

Took away various “threads” with me, one very colourful from one of my favourite suppliers, black and white and turquiose, old gold and matt black highlighted with a dusky pink purple.  Quite magical.

The following is a taste of the colourful.