Layers and patterns

I started a painting last week, creating a layer each day, no particular idea in mind just something to reflect my day.  Its interesting to see how the layers created started of fairly dark. cool colours and as each day went by the layers became brighter and warmer.   I felt today the painting complete, feeling red I started something else

Red ink, paint brush, calligraphy pen, scalpel, steel rule and matt medium.  Making various stripes of different thickness and angles I then cut into strips and repasted back in my sketch book.  Wished I had waterproof ink as they mat medium smudged the ted lines, but hey ho, I like the way it turned out.  Can see more experiments on the horizonLove the patterns that emerged

 

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Roll on 20th !

I had such high hopes in May when I planted out nearly 40 containers wtih seed grown veg I had been nurturing since February.  Fist the wind was so strong and cold that it killed some, retarted and stunted growth of most.  However, most recovered and doing fairly well, but these past few weeks of gloom, damp and chilly weather is not exactly conducive to the abundant growth I was expecting !

Guess I cannot complain, I have had enough for my needs, plentiful salads, pea and fava shoots, courgettes, runner beans, tomatoes, chard, kale, sorrel, flat leaf parsley but I wanted to have enough to give to everyone I know, leave outside for others to sample, but alas no, not this year…………..  I am sure last year my harvest was greater with a lot less plants.

Roll on the 20th !  off to Greece again, cannot wait for some sunshine, swimming, walking and just chilling after what has been a very hectic work schedule.  It cannot come quick enough !!

Yesterday was great day, foraged blackberries and elderberries, hawthorn berries.  Making a balsamic type flavoured vinegars, and a tincture with the Hawthorns, these are now steeping in vodka and should be ready in a a couple of weeks.  A few drops a day keep the heart in balance, blood pressure and cholesterol levels down and a good overall tonic.

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where did the sun go !

IMG_6434Wow, such a wonderful couple of days, to feel that warm sun on my skin……….  not long now and back to Greece  and hopefully a little more consistent sun !.  Its gloomy again and raining right now !

Poor old veg it doesn’t know what is happening, one good thing is the BEES, they keep on doing what they do best, pollinating the veg flowers !  Runner Bean that are climbing the high red brick wall are alive with the buzzing bees going about their business.  Bean are very abundant now, one of my fave veggies.  Tomatoes are abundant too but with the weather, not many ripen.  I grew a lot this year, 20 plants or more, but I am lucky if I get more than a handful a day, thought I would be having a real glut and could be bottling up their sunshine for the winter.  Courgettes much the same, no glut and I have so many recipes to cope with it this year too.

Breakfasted on my toms, sauteed in a little oil and smoked paprika with scrambled eggs.  Not my eggs , would love to have some hens, but not possible where I live sadly, perhaps one day when I am in Greece with my design and sculpture studio,garden and time just for myself !

My Sweetpeas I have picked a bunch fresh everyday since mid June, so delighted, so well worth the trouble growing from seed.

 

 

 

RED

Red, Red, Red, such a small word, just three letters for a colour that is so impactful, stimulates strong reactions and oozes power…………..

From the red of rich fertile soil, to the blood that courses our veins, it comes in many hues….  crimson, claret, scarlet, burgundy, terracotta, vermillion, Hot orange tomato reds, cherry reds, to the cooler blue leanings of magenta, violet and purple to name but a few.

Kermes, a small female insect to be found in the Kermes oak started the regal leanings of the colour red and power.  A dye of extremely high value, had to be imported into England from Spain and Italy and attracted heavy import duties. Not a colour for the everyday man,   By the 14th and early 15th century, brilliant full grain pure kermes scarlet was “by far the most esteemed, most regal” color for luxury woollen textiles in England and Europe. =, even more so if the fabric was velvet.  Henry VIII even passed a law that red worn below a certain high status was punishable, clothes would be confiscated and a fine of 40 shillings imposed……..

And what do you know, this power holding colour changed entirely when worn by women, THE SCARLET WOMAN.  Yes, Red has a shadow side?  What does it conjure up?  a wild  woman, passionate, feisty, vivacious, hot blooded.    Elisabeth I  steered well clear of these connotations and was never seen in red, she went for lavish embroidery often on virginal white………  although Mary Queen of Scots at her execution, at the removal of her black satin dress revealed a scarlet red bodice and petticoat, was this a statement of defiance or in honour of her catholic faith.    The book of Revelations states  “And I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.”  Very powerful statement.

There is no doubt about it,  certainly a provocative colour, I love it !!

Oh of course Christmas jolly red santa! and Rudolph the red nose reindeer, don’t get me going on that one !,Happy Christmas everyone……..

 

 

 

 

 

Red

What’s it to be? I said to myself as I stared at the gessoed canvas !  Working with a crimson oil paint stick thought I would  just see what happened.  Nothing really so then soaked a rag in turps and smeared the the red streaks until they left a pinkish stain on the canvas……..    Another go, this time squeezed out long luscious lines of cadmium red and equal parts alizarin crimson,  thoroughly mixed a palette knife and then long sweeping movement the buttery soft paint smeared across the canvas until the empty knife scratched across the surface, first a dancing sprit, elfin like jumping in the air, then more paint and  a three quarter on profile with luscious red mane of hair……. do I stop here, do I put in some black and white to build up the facial features?  NO, just kept going until the whole canvas was covered !  now where to go from here?

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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

Feline jewel at the British Museum

Came across this ring on Pintarest, (housed in the British Museum)  what gem !  Beautifully carved red cornelian depicting a crouching cat within a gold setting.  An ancient egyptian piece dating back to around 1070-712 BCE.  Its the period known as the third intermediate age, that lasted around 350 years, starting at the death of Ramses XI.

The cat was revered in ancient egypt, the Goddess of cats Bastet, women especially gave offerings to, it was said that if you carried around an amulet of a cat with kittens, that eventually you would have as many children as would appear in your amulet.  As cats were sacred to Bastet, cats were mummified along with their owners, and people were put to death if they accidentally killed one !

This precious ring was acquired by the Bristish museum in 1947 on the death of Gayer Anderson, famous collector of egyptian artefacts,

Maj Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson (military/naval; collector; British; Male; 1881 – 1945)

British army surgeon, administrator and collector, given the title of Pasha by King Farouk in 1942 after giving his home Beit el-Kiridliya to the people of Egypt.

On the underside of the cat there is a carved Wadjet eye or the Eye of Horus, used as a protective amulet, and initially offered to Osirus by Horus.  So powerful was its use that it restored him back to life !  these Wadjet eye amulets are found in vast quantities wrapped in the folds of the egyptian mummies.

Forced relaxation

Another day of relaxing,  I have a broken foot and the hospital “total rest” !!  So am sitting here, feet up on my chaise and gazing out across the common.  Have been spending time researching the projects I am doing at work, so many beautiful buildings with such a wealth of history that I am trying to unravel and hoping it will give me inspiration for the artwork that I will need to commission and purchase.

In doing all this research, going down the road of gothic revival and the aesthetic movement I have sparked off a real fondness again for turquoise and blues and the rich patterns of the arts crafts movement.

William de Morgan and his wife Evelyn created wonderful ceramics and paintings and it was researching his works that I came across these wonderful rich lustre red designs which would add real zing to the turquoise.  I want to create a very pared down  interior with them, using pattern more minimally, perhaps even in a monochromatic colour scheme, using decortive ornate shaped furniture in plain red with dashes of unexpected pattern, perhaps a bespoke woven carpet maybe……………..

Food for thought

Paths through the forest

 

working with colour, different mediums, different methods, felt very fragile when completing this.  Been a difficult week, last night just wanted to get out some paint and let it happen.  Feels in some way like a journey  the  forest, flickering shades of autumn, the sun dancing on fiery leaves.

Seems I was inspired by my early morning nature walks………now these are the real thing !   Autumn leaves are so beautiful now, deep cherry reds, corals and oranges to deep purples and pinks and yellows