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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bowls, bangles and beads

Another day of experimenting…….  mod roc bandage as base of clay bowl, three new bangles, again with Mod Roc base, one now has a paper clay “wrap”, one has milliput and the other awaiting a decision !   Thanks Hilary for the heads up on MOD ROC !   The beads are, are discs and ovals cut out and  pierced, with the left over pieces hand rolled into beads.  I used Modena air dry cold porcelain, it’s very different from paper clay in that you can roll it quite thin, at first I wasn’t keen, didn’t like its bendy plastic rubbery texture, but have grown to quite like it.

I purchased Modena in white translucent, cobalt, red, yellow ochre and brown.  Mixing red with tiny bit of cobalt and white made a lovely violet colour, and added more white to each batch until they became a very pale lilac.  Then I mixed red with yellow ochre to make a terracotta, and again mixed each batch with equal part of white until it became a coral colour through to a  very pale pink.  Results strung onto recycled sari ribbon

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I also tried out alcohol inks, Adirondack col “stream” and “bottle” . Only need a meer “smear” on the translucent clay and hey presto, a lovely affect, you can see the test piece on my book.  Love my new Moleskine, it has printed squares down the side of each page, so you put image, sample, fabric scraps and so on and room to write notes, Grand !!

 

 

Picked fresh today

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IMG_5168Borlotti beans, luscious sweet figs, yellow and green courgettes, fresh mint, yellow tomatoes

A tub of  hedgerow picked blackberries, swapped for some courgettes.

Have loads of chillies coming along, and my sweetpeas are in bud at last !!

PS , just realised the figs have ripened  almost 4 weeks earlier than last year !!

 

 

 

The trees are still talking to me

my creative journey continues, the forests of trees that hold such abundance.  Somethings calls me when I walk amongst the dancing leaves, the verdant lushness, their vitality and majestic power.

A dear friend posted this beautiful poem, I had forgotten just  how beautiful these words were, a poem I had ready many times a few years back, but had faded in the mists of time…………….

Sleeping in the Forest 

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

the shoe journey

Another day of enforced resting !   a long while back I began a journey with my ancestors, I made shoes out of white paper and tissue paper that I printed with images of my grandmothers.  Its been a long time since I looked at them and have today spent sometime working with a pair I made with hydrangea petals, I wanted to bring them together in an image, and here it is.

Click on the shoe to see more paper made images

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

we must let go of the life we have planned

WE MUST LET GO OF THE LIFE WE HAVE PLANNED, SO AS TO ACCEPT THE ONE THAT IS WAITING FOR US.  Joseph Campbell

Control seemed a useful tool; it helped to make sure that ones expected plans, outcomes, would come into reality.  Well you might think, that’s a good thing isn’t it? Is it?  Lets think about this a little more.

If we use control, our will, to shape an expectation, to bring about a thought form and make it tangible, how do we know the form we are shaping is not coming   from our distorted vision of our world?   If we control our outcomes, grasping at a fixed vision then we become so blinkered we can miss little indicators on the way that may have lead us to something more meaningful and fulfilling from entering our world.  Forcing our will to create takes a massive amount of energy, it can be very draining and we end up struggling when we reach a negative force, we start to battle, it can become a war as we fight to achieve our goals.

With Blinkers on we don’t listen to the biggest gift of all, our intuitive nature, our connection to the universal energy that supports us in every way.  We all have an instinctual gift to share in our world, a souls purpose. Some of us know this clearly and have learnt to separate out and know the difference between, what we think this should be, often through expectation of others projected upon us and what we know to be our own true journey, a hero’s journey, full of joy and passion for life.  For some it’s not so clear, but know they are being pulled along by an invisible thread to something much greater than is known to them at this time.

Dream courageously, let go of the outcome, drop the will, the control accept “what is” and allow life to unfold every second, every minute, living fully in the present with an ear tuned into the intuitive side of our nature, our feminine attributes, allows us to follow our hearts, to flow gracefully in the river of life, no struggle, no battles, just a serene unfolding that can take us to the wonderful life that is waiting for us.

A smaller example of what I mean.  I had an idea in my mind that I would be breakfasting with a friend in the park this morning followed by a nice walk, but it didn’t work out.   This meant a big hole opened in my day, and out came some pastels.  I decided to create myself in image, not particularly for the finished article but the healing process that expressing from the heart can have upon our soul, my heart in particular is in question at the moment so I wanted to express the warmth and the life giving force a healthy heart can manifest in ones life. Just going with the flow allowed me to create this day, feels very good

Suzani and friends

today I received my parcel today from Tashkent, Uzbekistan !!  How exciting, ripping open the brown paper and wrapped inside in a plastic carrier bag, was my precious suzani, a hand emmroidered cloth I bought on ebay.

I have another one coming that is similar colours but a slightly different pattern, the two together plus some plain fabric i am going to create  wonderfully coloured wing chairs that will sit at my new desk.  Actually its a long trestle table, in aged silver oak, over 3m in length at which I can sit and create, write letters and eat breakfast as it looks out across to the common.

A suzani for those who may not know is a hand embroidered cloth, usually sewn in panels and joined sewn together to make a large piece.  From Central Asia, these pieces would from part of a brides dowry, shows her skills at embroidery.  Often used as wall hangings and bedcovers.  Each region can be identified by its designs, but need to research this a bit more.

Such wonderful colours, and each embroidered shape is so neatly sewn, the back is almost as neat as the front, such tiny, tiny stitches.

above are my little friends, the large boy you will recognise from my before images, (if you click the image above you will see)  he is painted black at the moment, thinking of either a bright pink shade, or repainting him white with a white with a white sculptural shade and putting in my bedroom……. decisions, decisions.  The other little friends are my all time faves my japanese collector doll uamou ,  buuts buuts uamou and boo.  Unfortunately buuts got a rubbing over by my cleaning lady and lost part of her head piece which was very annoying……….  we have a bit of a love hate relationship, but all in all we get through, the flat gets cleaned.  I cant do everything sadly, my interior design work takes a huge chunk of my time and the last thing I want to do in my spare time is clean………  You can can see the whole range of collectable uamous here http://www.uamou.com/shop/index.html

My first piece of felt…………….

what an amazing day spent with my friends in deepest sussex.  Ali is an artist, and today she passed onto us her amazing skills as a felt maker. Sitting together amongst a riot of colour, pinks and reds, blues and greens, sketch books, paintings, the tools of the trade and from the windows a view of the sussex downs, what inspiring surroundings.  We chose our colours and with patient instruction slowly constructed  our chosen designs, poured on hot sudsy water and rubbed and rolled the wool into submission, then like magic the fibres all “knit” together into one glowing piece of wool felt cloth.  What was really great was sitting n a circle with my friends, rolling and rubbing in the soapy water and all chatting and laughing and sharing our stories, a magical day which I know will inspire some future work………..  Thanks so much Ali.

Please follow the link here to Ali’site www.feltgoodfeltfine.com