Faces and Cold Wax

IMG_9515Not 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

The creative mind

Not sure what is going on with my mind at the moment, its kind of all over the place, one minute creating a patchwork of colour, sewing, sewing, sewing, with blocks coming out of my ears……………  Then wanting to sketch with a mapping pen, all inky blots and scratchy lines

Then after the orange spurt on Monday, partly prompted by bitter orange library scheme I am creating for my next project in my day job, like luscious tangy marmalade all juicy and ripe.  Partly inspired by the wonderful parrot tulips I treated myself to.  But now its purple, the wonderful pinky purple colour that hot beetroot makes when doused in sour cream swirls……..  Deep magenta,  oozing damson liquor when baked in a pie.  I cooked myself beetroot and courgette with warm lemon yoghurt dressing tonight, the taste was just sublime.  As I  rubbed the warm skin from the cooked beetroot just couldn’t resist taking a photo of it,  Hey presto it turned into a humble beet to kind of Beet Mandala !

IMG_3194

Beet Mandalabeet mandala 2

 

 

My new year starts today

two weeks of rest and relaxation and I am ready to face the world again.  Its been an amazingly fruitful time, as being away from my own environment have felt free of the normal daily burdens that can sometimes reign in the creative process.  Towards the end of last year and rather by accident I stumbled into the area of quilt making: making several as christmas presents was quite enthralling. The colour mixes one can achieve is so magical.  Being a complete novice and going totally solo with it I seemed to be making it up as I go along !   The quilts so far have just been throw size, but larger bed quilts beckon,  although at the moment they do feel rather daunting, not from the piecing side of things, but from the quilting aspect.    I can see that I may end up with lots of quilted top pieces and not attempting the quilting.  Guess I could always send them away to be quilted

I would like to share this video which I have found  on the Contemporary fabrics blog.  It’s a catwalk show with designers piecing together patterned fabrics.  I found this really inspiring, hope you do too…………………..

So much to say but have to get on with the day job,  adios folks, have a great day

 

sewing and singing, hemming and humming

The big presentation is over, have been tying up all the loose ends, putting all the samples, together,  double checking codes etc in readiness for admin to start ordering, There are several hundred different items to purchase, some items have to be made up, ie window treatments, cushions etc, furniture has to be placed and with one manufacturer alone there are 140 items, this is one of many suppliers who will be making bespoke items to IDC exacting standards.  Then there is all the artwork to sort out, visiting museums, choosing images to be framed and selecting photography from all the great images from Yao and purchasing all the objet d’art that bring the interiors to life.  With this design hot of the press I am now ready to start detailing up the next one, an amazing tudor gothic pile in Leamington spa.  Have already finalised the layouts, worked on the lighting etc, now I will be detailing all the separate items for the various rooms.  The best bit really !

In between all this I have found some soothing time sewing and making quilts, none are totally finished yet, although I am working on it, caught a sneeky few hours before I trottted off down to the studio this morning.  Its so nice, sitting and sewing, sometimes singing along, sometimes just humming, something very magical about quilt making.  I am a mere novice and can see how one can get hooked , already I have sketches in my art books,  little swatches of fabric to record colour combinations,  tufts of crewel wool, ideas for crewel work patches, intertwined branches bearing fruit, and some just plains with a real graphic style with huge blocks of colour.  There is something really enriching in seeing all the colours build, and amazing when unexpected colour combinations appear as one pieces the blocks together.    Magic happens.

I will post some pictures soon, cant let the cat out of the bag yet because there might be spies around,  After christmas  watch this space.

In the meantime here are some more quilts that  have caught my attention

 

quilting triangles25427722249Louise Bourgeois5270546950modern-baby-quilt-cones

 

inspired by trees

drawing, painting, walking, reading, my spare time is taken up with these things.  My days are spend creating interiors, all good stuff, but its not freedom, a lot of constraints.  Drawing allows me to express what I sense and just lately its something about the spirit and energy that abounds when I walk in the woods.

My studio has been littered with ideas, written descriptions, and little sketches.  my first sketch I would like to capture as a tiny miniature with raised gilding and jewel like colours like a medieval illumination.  then through a series of sketches I came up with another tree spirit this time in oils and much biger.  Its not finished yet and I am sure will go through many transformative colour changes.  But here is where I am for now…………..

ImageImage

Image

Wow, where did all the time go?

I cannot believe I have not posted in such a long time……..  It wasn’t conscious decision however not to post, but it has been a time of  being with me, processing life.  With my move to my new office, life has taken on a different pace, my old routine has gone out of the window and a new “place” is taking residence within. Been busy finding “homes” for everything, keeping it streamlined and creating a light inspiring space within to provide an environment that doesn’t feel like the normal” going to work” .    I think its working…………….  My day starts sitting here

 

 

Having a coffee, checking to see if there is anything that I need to know before I start to answer emails and get down to business here

 

Afternoon tea, is sitting here,

 

or perhaps sharing on our large central table here

A wonderful end to a busy week

Last week was full on busy, head full of rooms, plans, colours, I have this kind of virtual reality thing that goes into overdrive when I am creating.  I have to vision very clearly and in minute detail, for me to be able to attract in what I need to complete each stage of the projects in hand.  So posting here sadly, has been neglected

However enough of all that, just had to tell you about the start of my weekend, this is the second time I have tried to see this film and this time succeeded.  Coco and Igor, some of write ups and have not been that wonderful, but I was enthralled, not only by the brooding emotions that pull you through the film, the interiors and the graceful image that Coco herself imparts, but IGOR STRAVINSKY and his music it made my hair stand on end…………….   the delicate notes that start the Rites of Spring, oh how I would love to have been and the premier in 1913, the mayhem that ensued.  Its so difficult to put this piece and the dancing into the context of that time, the savage freedom of movement I guess must have seemed so shocking then, but today sadly, so tame.  His music lives on, as does Chanel, although I cannot help think that their “romance” was maybe not as momentous as the film would have us believe. Undeniably though, their passion poured through influencing their work and elevating it to a higher level.    Coco , with her early childhood issues obviously had great difficulty in forming relationships and this was born out in both films, I think to her, Igore was one of many of her conquests of unobtainable men, and when she conquered  them it became all to threatening and she withdrew into her world of fashion, a real ice queen, maintaining her independence and the need to be “Free”  .  She died having never having married, living in her ivory tower a very successful but lonely woman.

Stravinsky’s music is full on emotional roller coaster, his gift of imparting his passion into every note lives on,  I have posted  a trailer to the film, and also a piece from Disneys’ film Fantasia which is accompanied by a piece from Firebird, a ballet which sealed the union between Diaghlev and Stravinsky aged 28, premiered in Paris in 1910.  Three years before The Rite of Spring.

Its all in the detail, or is it?

These shoes are my pond life shoes, fit for a prince of frogs, the detail is so intricate its amazing, click on the image for a larger view

Details, details, been a strange couple of days, the full moons energy has sure created a little turmoil in my life

I have spent hours and hours detailing furniture and lighting layouts and then coming home and spending hours and hours putting together a newsletter I send out on the full moon.  Editing articles to make sure they fit, sizing images, trying out different typefaces and layouts, which colour scheme, what words to say…………….  then come the day of the full moon, first the newletter file became corrupted and couldn’t compress for sending, that made me late and i had to rush for the train to London to attend a meeting and slipt over, twisting my arm and and leg and bruising everywhere!!.  The meeting was successful and long and then a trying evening resulting in a situation that seemed so out of proportion to the the actual circumstances.  I have always felt it was necessary to say what is on your mind, good or bad, I know sometimes this has not served me fully.  But bottling things up is not a good idea either, its best to be able to bring up what’s on ones mind before it gets all out of proportion and then forces itself out like an exorcet missile !!!  I didnt “react” but it left me feeling a little sad.

Today I could  go over all the details again and again, but NO, details have there place.  For my work as an interior designer, attention to detail is what creates that “effortless” look and find this quite “effortless” after all these years, but in day to day to living, the detail just ties us in knots, what mattters is that we live in the present, find joy in the day, in the minute.  Today has been like that,  seeing the big white jug of “pinks” in my kitchen and breathing in their heady perfume, hearing my cat purr, seeing my “happiness” plant with a new leaf bud, feeling the sun on my face.   A peaceful day and everything is just as it should be.

Entwined, enmeshed, tied up in knots

Not sure where these feeling come from today, but wherever they came from they spurred me to translate them into creating these works.  Maybe its my head, all the ideas, could be lots of mixed emotions all vying for attention.  That feeling of spaghetti, everything enmeshed together, cant untangle into tangible threads……………  Good job I had them I think because I like the results, what do you think?

Good days, dark days, some ok days

Today has been all three combined, the sun is just going down after a beautiful spring day, a GOOD day.  Designing, creating a bistro today was mixed with a real passion for expressing the feelings when first entering a room that makes one feel special, but in getting there I have been back to places that bought on my perfectionsism, a small little girl with no power, feeling helpless and  reacting within my adult self. DARK day.  It was she who felt helpless that left me with feelings of “must be in control” something I have been working on letting go.  All is well most of them time, but when it comes to getting everything in order I can somethimes get very anal about everything and become too perfectionist, this stops the “flow” and i get so frustrated.  Anyhow the days work is done, I am now at home, and getting ready to go out to cinema.  Going to see the new Tilda Swinton film, a perfect start to the weekend.  Any thoughts of perfectionism are now far from my mind.

The image is oil pastel sketch, scanned in and made into a pattern on illustrator.  its called “Plaything”

Persephone

`playing with a ball of clay this afternoon, cant believe she appeared, a sense of real strength sprung from my  fingers, she feels so free,  so free its scary,  there is  a part of me thats down with Persephone ………….

Addendum:  I just realised that I went to see Julia Cameron speak (artists way book) the previous day, it was quite challenging and bought up a lot of childhood images, I see  now my “form” is my unconscious self that is bursting  to get out.  There is nothing to be afraid of.

Prayer to Persephone

Be to her, Persephone,
All the things I might not be:
Take her head upon your knee.
She that was so proud and wild,
Flippant, arrogant and free,
She that had no need of me,
Is a little lonely child
Lost in Hell,—Persephone,
Take her head upon your knee:
Say to her, “My dear, my dear,
It is not so dreadful here.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Flickr: Your Photostream.

Three pairs of hands make light work

 

 

 

 

Sunday, what a fabulous day, Kirsty and Yao came over and we cut paper together all around the table!! Enriching in everyway, the bonus being we made an ocean of flowers together.  Each flower so unique, cut out, folded, crimped ,  moulded and shaped so lovingly, all by hand and with love.  The persepex boxes are going to be full of so much more than flowers! 

For lunch we ate a tasty roast chicken, roast butternut squash and parsnips and courgettes and french beans from Kirsty’s garden, and ended the day by watching an incredible film called MAN ON A WIRE, a guy that against all odds walked on a wire strung between the topmost points of the world trade centres twin towers back in the 70’s.  Amazing footage. 

All in all a really lovely day

 

Flickr: Your Photostream.

The creative mind

Its where the impossible and the possible meet, collide, unite, repel, reform and grow.  Thoughts rise like balloons, floating and playful, growing and dancing in the endless ether of to the mind.  Visiions growing, bubbling up like white fluffy clouds, letters falling like rain, swirling in the breeze until words, then sentances echo in the void.   Where will it take me today, to a land where rivers run with chocolate? , where pixies play their flutes amidst flora and fuana and picnic with tiny lost children, whilst giant footsteps appear like portals through to a world so vivid, so glaringly colourful that I need sunglasses to see. Swirling shapes, bubbles carrying theories, equations, poems, smiles,  visions teasing and allluring  until one bursts and envelops the brain cells with warm glistening inspiration.  Voices, sweet song, happy laughter, sobbing tears filling massive oceans, stern commanding sounds sending endless orders to perform the impossible.

Work hard, fast, perfections in all things, get started, quick, quick, heart beating loud, wheels turning, cogs clonking, rockets firing, a maze of complexities, concavaties, convexities, churning and churning until the pressure  bursts. Explodes into life forms, cascading dreams drip endlessly  over ever hungry tentacles that suck and draw the energy within.  An energy voice that plugs into the universe.

This is what goes on in my creative mind, what goes on in yours?the-creative-mind