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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day 6 many days late

I am still taking time to be creative, but not always with colour and image making. My writing is taking up some days, spending time looking at all the books I have collected over the years and seeing if they still inspire me now.  Researching materials and storage for all the pastels, they are such a messy medium, but oh so vibrant

This paper is Sennelier pastel card, doesn’t seem to hold the layers very well.  Going to try a 400 course grit UART paper next time, have also ordered a trial pack of all the types from 250 – 800 grit

this is today’s 30 minutes of creativity

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keep on keeping on

Oh gosh, difficult times, so many people leaving the planet, nearest & dearest, all my heroes & contemporaries, this has certainly left me reeling and thinking of my own mortality………  at my age now, both my birth parents were gone, I have survived them by three years to date and I hope by many more !

What keeps me present and enjoy the moments as they unfold is my creativity.  At times its an area where I can relax, play with ideas, colours and textures.  At other times it can be like I am at the mercy of some outside force thats sucking me into a whirlwind of ideas and emotions that I want/need to express and then it becomes a rather exhausting affair because I cannot keep up with “force”.

This is how I keep on keeping on……..  the creative river flows and I jump in with both feet !!!

 

Yikes

this morning awoke at 4.45am.  not unusual for me on these long summer days, I then had the urge to create something, not the usual paper, paint, pencils kind of stuff but some flapjacks !!  Then It suddenly dawned on me I have been in the creative doldrums! Yikes !.  So much of my energy has been consumed by the interior design side of my creativity which has been very much to the forefront these past couple of years, but  that when it comes to my time, the output has almost come to a standstill.

peanut butter and almond flapjacks

Design doldrums, kind of design constipation, but if I am honest the interior design is like a fast flowing river and maybe separating this from my personal work is actually diminishing my talents?.  Maybe it’s not Yikes I am in the doldrums, it’s that I am creating  so much that I need me time to rest . replenish and find inspiration to keep the river flowing

 

The nuts and seeds here, not only look delicious and nutritious, but they are an abundant mass of ideas that inspired me to make an entry on my blog. Nuts and seeds are kernels of ideas, this is where the magic happens and design ideas get triggered.  However this morning “little meeces” came to mind,   I have been invaded by mice, dear sweet faces looking up at me whilst stuffing their faces in my cupboards !!.  I have caught three in a humane trap, but still they come.  They are now bypassing the trap and  gnawing their way through hard plastic containers,plastic lids and having a feast !!  3/4 jar of peanut butter and a whole untouched jar of Nutella whilst away this week !!  I love mice, had them a pets when a child, but having them cheerily peeking at me from my food cupboards is getting a bit much.  Going to bait up my trap with some of my flapjacks, all the things they love here, so keeping fingers crossed I can catch the blighter’s.

 

Have to save some for me !  especially as they contain wonderful golden  honey from my daughters bees !!

1 1/2  cups of toasted whole rolled oats

1 cup of whole toasted almonds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1  1/2 cups dates, sour cherries and barberries (combined)  dates only whizzed to a paste in blender

1/4 cup of whole Earth crunchy peanut butter ( heated until runny with the honey)

1/4 cup of Honey

Combine all, flatten in an oiled tin and refrigerate. When cold slice

Be warned, put in a small tin so they are at least 1.5-2cm thick, too thin they fall apart.

also they are very morish so cut and put in a tin out of site, and bring out one with a coffee.  If you don’t it will disappear in a flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

needles and pins

these past weeks my ever enquiring creative mind has been journeying along a sewing path, in fact there are two paths running parallel.

One fairly structured, neatly folded lengths of pure grey merino wool, inky blue linen, oiled and waxed cotton, and an armful of patterns and notions.  All awaiting the alchemy that happens when scissors,  fabric, pins and sewing machine  work their magic.  All courtesy of Merchant and Mills in Rye, they have a great on-line shop but there is nothing like a visit, getting to meet the owners and feeling the cloth in one’s hand………………..

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My other path of threads and fabrics has taken me along the route of  a totally hand stitched product,  repurposed fabrics, frayed edges, hand dying and embroidered embellishments, a lot of this is still in my head and sketches.  I want to create a “cloth” something that speaks about the world I inhabit internally.  A world away from machines, from the world’s hardened edges, a soft yet powerful place where the seeds of creativity are birthed.  These two ladies helped help spring this journey into life

2Judith Hill – spirit cloth

Day three “orange”

Day one started on Monday, I spent a long time gathering images and writing the post, pushing the publish button lost it all.   A little frustrated, but had no time to sort it out.  Yesterday I found that the post wasnt even saved as a draft, so did it all again, only to have it happen to me again !!!

So this is now Day Three, not sure if orange is in my realm today, but sitting here next to a bowl of orange tulips I cant help but feel sunny and warm inside.  The sun is not shining today as it was the last two mornings, the sky is grey, but somehow this doesn’t matter, I can still feel that uplifted feeling that the memory evokes.

Orange is such an enticing colour, its pure creative energy and a colour I am drawn to in my artworks.   I have  even been using it in a more burnt marmalade shade in my next project  being installed in March/April.  sumptuous velvets, Toleware from Paris, silk sheaths on the chandelier chains……….. and much more.  It’s all very exciting

Here is a pictorial view of how orange has inspired me , first off my kitchen flowers

2013-02-17 15.46.03A bowl of Parrot Tulips in my kitchen

 

Rose hips in a rowtaken on visit to Krishnamurti Centre

Tree fertility 1 v2Tree Fertility, pencil sketch coloured digitally

Tree spirit family orange SFTree Spirit family – painting

fragility watercolour – I called this Fragility but now I can see it’s a beautiful forest

autumn leavesLeaves I collected on an autumn walk

 

come fly with me v5 SFA small scultpure I call Freedom

IMG_3123patchwork coat for my daughter’s puppylobster orange.playing at breakfast

shoes I made of papershoes I made of paper

 

The list could to on and on and on !

 

 

 

 

 

something different

took a few assorted objects down into my studio, a treasured teapot form marrakesh, a metal upturned wastebin, an apple, a cup measure and a few odd little boxes, stood them all on my desk, and started painting!

it made a change to concentrate on shapes.  Usually its a kind of inspirational meditation set to some music, soothing music, and then as something stirs within and the outpouring starts, it just flows, the head is not engaged.  I noted with the objects, first I had to choose, which seem to take longer than I thought, then they had to be displayed and then I had to think about composition, a very much mind based way of doing things.    All in all an enjoyble time, but somehow I love just letting all pour out from my soul, its one of the most intense feelings and its so all consuming……………………

Creative honouring in education

I have just listened to Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on TED, an inspiration.

He talks of children who fall foul of expansion in their creativity because education is only about producing left brain thinkers, every child is forced into that mould, some escape, but most are forced in this modern production line to produce fodder for commercial corporate business operations. We have even devised complex levels of testing throughout childhood, that actually honours those who toe the line, and the ones who get it wrong are seen as failures.

Creativity is there in all children, there are no thoughts of right or wrong, children use their imagination, its free flowing. In adulthood it is such a different picture, creativity has been crushed, we are forced to act and think in a certain way that is seen as “right” and woe betide if you get something wrong. Ken has a certain way of putting all this across, his analogy of the modern man as being a head and brain, with our bodies just their to transport it around is a great analogy. Our body has a heart, this is where creativity presides and it is here, that in my latter life I have learnt to live from. My hat of to you Ken !!

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.

 

 

Red, blood red

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I dont know what draws me towards red, its a huge pull and a colour that keeps me creating lately.  Red, black and white and the human form these are the areas I draw inspiration from.  This drawing I did originally as a sketch for a huge centrepiece, I imagined it made from porcelain and glazed in the whitest white.

I guess red for me is powerful, its exciting and passionate and courageous, it gives across a powerful  message.  Red symbolised desire,  determination, domination, the thirst for action, danger, strength, power, its a very emotionally intense colour.

Persephone ate the seeds of the red pomegranate, a fruit thats very powerfully symbolic of life and death, she loved Adonis, and when he was killed in a hunting accident beautiful red roses sprung from his blood……….  There are many stories told through generations that herald the colour, think of Little Red Riding Hood and The Red shoes.

The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron at Alternatives

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I am just home from day spent with Julia Cameron at Alternatives, London.

This book inspired me some years back when it was offered for sale when I completed the Hoffman Process.   However, it was a year or so later before I actually picked up the book and 6 months after that I decided to make a start on the 12 week programme.  I made a start but didnt finish the entire book, however the morning pages part of the programme I kept up for some while, and then then that wained.

Then Alternative in London posted in their newsletter that Julia was coming to London to teach her programmed in the UK for the first time, I jumped at the chance and today my enthusiasm to complete the 12 weeks has been re-ignited.

For those of you who dont know about the morning pages or the artists dates which form the pivotal tools in creative recovery please follow this link http://www.theartistsway.com/pdfs/basictools.pdf

looking back to my future

My grandmother 2 square smALL
Great Grandmother Ada Martha small fileLooking back recently, photos of my  grandmother taken in 1904, pretty starched frilled bonnet and beautiful wide innocent eyes.  Then a photo of my great  grandmother taken around 1900 in Russia,  not long before her death at the age of 34.   So young, to die, with 5 children too, how sad.  She looks so serene, so beautiful.  I dont know much about her only what I have drawn from census information and birth, marriage and death certificates, she died in the UK.  However from what I know all the children, grandchildren and so on  are all very creative.   Through  research I have met many people with the Swindlehurst name and the vast majority are  in the creative arts, architects or designers.  I have my creativity from both sides of the family, maternally and paternally, a double whammy!!

Knowing my genes come from such talented people gives me a real sense of what great gifts have been passed down to me,  and to my very talented children………….  and hopefully one day to theirs

The above images have been digitally enhanced with many layers