Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Trusting the process

I have been experimenting quite a lot recently. Trying to find a path. Trying new colour ways, new styles, new everything. But I always come back to the same place. I have a distinct colour pallette I like to use. Paynes Grey, Raw Sienna, Raw Umber, Dark Gold Hue, Silver Hue and lashings of Titanium White. Very occassionally a touch of red or cyan creep in just to lift certain areas. But basically that is it. Paynes Grey is the most wonderful bluey almost black, that gives depth without being heavy. The Raw Sienna and Raw Umber are sooooo earthy, and the gold and silver are there because I live in Essex.

Layer upon layer.

 This all takes time !

Still working on lining paper at this point. I have a yachtsman's all weather chart of the river Colne lying on the table. The shape of the river meandering past Brightlingsea and Mersea Island up towards Wivenhoe is lovely.

Not sure where to go with this, I start to write 'Namu dai bosa' over and over again on the land. It took an entire afternoon, but wonderfully emptied the mind.

 Next was the sea: 'My heart is a thousand years old, I am not like other people'...in white ink. This is fast turning into my version of a mandala.
Snippets from an old book were cut out and I started to lay them along the footpaths I had walked. It became confused and messy. So that idea was abadoned and I discarded the piece of paper.
Time to start on a proper canvass.

 Live your adventure, is the working title for this next piece. Funnily enough I have had encountered a few instances this week where I have been forced to 'trust the process'. An encounter (albeit virtually) with someone I haven't seen in years, highlighted just this. She and husband have been transported from uncertainty in London to an exciting new venture in the Far East, all they had to do was to trust the process and opportunities opened up. I guess we also have to learn to do that with the not so good things that spring up from time to time too.

Same theme, as on the paper, this time on a largish 70x100cm canvass. Much in the way of musings. Thoughts meander their way accross the land and sea.

Not finished !

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New Beginnings

A New Year's day walk blew the cobwebs away. The biting wind was a refreshing change from the lethargy induced by a wood burner heated house, over Christmas. Both body and mind need a shake up. Much thought. Sea air is such a tonic.

A  spring clean in the studio was called for today.....out with the old in with the new and all that. A clean sheet on the painting table, the paints and brushes all tidied up...ready to start. I want to start with some 'mindful' painting. A meditation. Taking time to prepare the surface and mix the paints, focusing totally on the job. I am deliberately using cheap materials, poster paint and lining paper, so that I don't become bogged down with doing a proper painting. I want to allow the brush to do the work.

Gesso on the paper, gives a good surface on which to work.

Choosing a Chinese calligraphy brush means I have little control over neat lines !

I didn't want to have a subject either. Like the work we do in the expressive painting workshops, I wanted to not think about the end result. I chose the Zen Enso as a shape to repeat. It's hard to get a good enso.....flowing, circular and paint consistent. But I found the more I let it flow, the more consistent they became.

 I carried mindfully on and on until I had used up all the paint.

 Mixed up some white and repeated.

 Not sure what I wanted to do beyond that, I just sat with it while as the wind and rain lashed against the studio window. Without thinking , picked up a pen and wrote what was in my head today. Thinking about 'how interconnected everything is and how people and events in my life are reflections of my state of conciousness'.  Something happened then, that kinda proved that.

 A tipex pen is very useful for drawing white lines.

Tomorrow is another day.