Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Where angels fear to tread

What's happened to Summer? I'm not feeling the love for this mediocre weather. I operate best in tropical temperatures. A valid reason for migrating south, me thinks.
Last few days I have been trying to finish up a couple of works. I like to have a few things on the go, so I don't waste time waiting for things to dry.....the down side is it takes ages to finalise a piece ! Wanting to get a  semblance of sea spay without having to use minute brush strokes.....In comes an old tooth brush in true 'Blue Peter' style. (I'm sure I gave a Tracy Island the same treatment!) to splatter some colour about. Obviously areas not wanting to be paint covered needed a covering of newspaper and masking tape. (It's a pity I didn't think of moving/covering my laptop too..Hmm). Anyway a face full of paint and a studio resembling an 'after Jackson Pollock' on a mushroom trip later...here are the results.

Having the attention span of a flea, I also have to keep changing the size of my canvas and techniques used.....lest I get bored. I quite like using these small 12"x12" boards, it requires a different mind set to working on large canvases. I'm going to screw the boards onto paint washed panels as before.

I love this image, below, captured one evening on St Martins. This guy was emptying crab shells into water, when out of nowhere a flock of  shite hawks, as they are endearingly referred to on the Scilly's, appeared. I wasn't quick enough to capture the initial onslaught, but I like it anyway.

It brings me to mind of how seemingly accidental meetings or incidents can prove to be, just the situation you had been looking for. Instead of trying to control a situation to fit in with what we think we want or need (although I do appreciate that at times we need to) and instead, be open to whatever happens along. Allowing instinct to play an important role and go where angels fear to tread. A bit like instinctively reaching behind your head for a pillow in the night.  Anyway this was just one of a few bizarre encounters I had whilst on these lovely islands, and I'm sure because my mind was open, I was able to see the specialness of a fleeting moment.

So initial pencil drawing, changing the position of a few of the gulls for artistic licence! Not sure how I'm going to treat this yet, but will probably start by laying down some colour washes and go from there.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Between times

Exciting news....Green Pebble have just come back to me with the images they have provisionally selected for greetings cards (above). Woop woop ! They look great, so hope all goes to plan and they will be for sale in art galleries and shops some time soon.
The original fishy ones are currently hanging in The Treble Tile restaurant, West Bergholt.

Slow work in the studio. I'm still formulating ideas and dong lots of sketchy work. It will come in time, it can't be rushed. At the moment my job is to just turn up and sometime time soon the ideas will come together!
A bit like the tiny spider in my tent. 
Notes from Monday 20th June:

'Bardo' a Tibetan word meaning between. Between life and death, death and life. Mist so thick I can't see the Off islands. A hot Cornish pasty from the Deli, steaming and sweet. Clang, clang of the Bouy out at sea. Myriad raindrops on my tent roof. A tiny spider above my head, busying herself making a web. Teasing out the silk, attaching it to the fabric, running out a long line to the other side, methodically wrapping it round and round. She waits patiently, legs spread out over the web, feeling the tension. Waiting...... in bardo..... 1 hr, then 2. The tent rocks in the storm and part of the web comes loose, she scurries to mend the tear. Small flies venture close, but not close enough. She waits, not knowing tomorrow I shall be moving and likely she will die as I bag up my tent. Her life, and mine, is in this moment. Now.

'Meditation is like doing nothing, looking at nothing in particular. Relishing the plainness, the life in between' John Tarrant

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Lessons learned

Green Pebble   Art magazine for East Anglia had asked me to submit some images of my work for greetings cards. Yesterday I started to gather the images they asked for from the recesses of my laptop, only to find ..shock, horror....I had deleted the originals...Argh! In my enthusiasm to clear up my computer a few months ago, of all the detritus, They must have been in a folder hidden away. Blimey, what a nuisance. This means I only have copies of much reduced image size to offer. Will just have to wait and see if they are good enough to go to print. *Note to self* Be more organised !!!

This series of works based on my stay on the Scilly Isles, will, I think, take the shape of a diary or sketch book. Notes of thoughts, snippets of ideas, the things that caught my attention, day dreams. A box of sea urchin shells, a stone balancing in the evening sun, a view through the sand dunes as I lay on my tummy., a tangle of seaweed. Today, making a start, I've used very watery paint and scribbled with pen. Letting it dry and will continue tomorrow.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

A red thread runs through my life

Well, I'm back ! What an amazing time I had. The Scilly Isles are beautiful and inspiring, the time on my own meant I was able to focus on details. The smallness of things we take for granted and how everything pulls together to make this a beautiful planet. I took over 600 photos ! It will take me some time to sift through them all. Not only do they evoke memories of a moment but they are also a useful 'sketch book'. I don't bother to take a set of paints any more, finding a camera a more instant and useful tool. 
I became obsessed with the ever changing sky, the glistening sands which look like some one has spilled a pot of glitter on it, my shadow, the worn and peeling paint on doors and boats, the balancing of stones, and in my final week a bizarre encounter with two very lovely people.

I think it was Picasso who said 'Without great stillness, there is no great creativity'. How true. It's not until we stop, stop moving, stop talking that we start to notice the things in between. The detail.
My tent became the focus of my first week. The sky was changeable, cold and dark, sunny and bright, and although I walked my socks off, there were times when I sat out the showers in my tent! Counting raindrops, watching a spider make and remake its tiny web. 

I did much stone balancing, which wasn't easy in the wind! Most of them didn't balance long enough for me to take a pic..but no matter that wasn't really the point.

Peeling paint always holds a fascination for me....I lurve shabby chic!!

The changing skies were amazing and I have many photos of chocolate boxy sunsets. Not something I would ever make a painting out of , but as a reference for colour...essential.

I'm not sure yet how all this will be interpreted into some art works, and I expect it will take a little time for it all to filter through. I wrote a sort of a diary and I may concentrate on making a series of paintings that have the feel of a diary. Snippets of a day in words colours and feelings....Oooh exciting!