Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Waiting for the water to clear

 “I'd love to give you something
but what would help?” 
― Ikkyu, Crow with No Mouth

Wanting to help someone or deciding to let them struggle is always a dilemma. I don't mean physically help, but emotionally. Should I thrust my opinions on a friend about a certain situation, or should I sit back and watch them suffer, until the time is right for them to see more clearly ? What is the old saying? 'You can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink'. Sometimes we may be able to offer a solution, but the friend is so tied up in past beliefs and unsound paradigms that they just can't see. Saying 'Sit by the stream of your mind., waiting for the mud to clear' doesn't always go down well !
Sometimes we have to wait patiently for the friend to stop and ask.

I revisited some old favourites. Do what we do, moment to moment and let others do it their way. It's all about perspective.

Each time the wave breaks
The crow
Gives a little jump.
~ Nissha

 “Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.
Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.” 
― Ikkyu

 “Many paths lead from the foot of the mountain, but at the peak we all gaze at the single bright moon.” 
― Ikkyu

Some more nearly finished driftwood paintings for the Completely Coastal Exhibition.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Tide rushes in

One of my favourite walks in Brightlingsea, is the rope walk. It runs from the tip of the creek, through the marshes and along to the boat yard. Essex marshyness at it's best. Whatever the tide, there is always something to look at. The tide rushes in, water bubbling over the muddy banks. Debris seems glued into it's khaki stickyness or on a bright day the water laps and glints through the ochre grasses, oyster catchers flitting overhead. Rotting house boats lie in the mud, perfect wabi sabi.
It is an endless source of ideas.
I have painted some watercolours, studies of the marshes.

I keep reading and re reading this !!

 “Life always gives us 
exactly the teacher we need 
at every moment. 
This includes every mosquito, 
every misfortune, 
every red light, 
every traffic jam, 
every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), 
every illness, every loss, 
every moment of joy or depression, 
every addiction, 
every piece of garbage, 
every breath. 

Every moment is the guru.” 
― Charlotte Joko Beck

Cindery Island appears and disappears with the tide. Oyster shells litter the mud at low tide, at high tide just a slither of land peeks above the horizon.
These and others will be on show at the Waterside Gallery 18th May for two weeks.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Sea shanties and sail boats

 I am working towards the Completely Coastal exhibition at the Waterside Gallery. Starting 18th May until 2nd June. I'll be showing a selection of  watercolours inspired by Brightlingsea views, some original hand painted cards and a few 'Sea shanty' inspired assemblages.

 I am completely mesmerised by the constantly changing light on the water.Most days I'm down at the harbour, and every day I am in awe of the beauty of the sea and sky.

 The sunsets are always magnificent and although they tend to look a bit chocolate boxy in a big painting, I can't help capturing the colours for original hand painted cards.

Long have I admired Arthur Wallis' naive paintings and scrimshaw engravings and have wanted to try some small 3D pieces inspired by these sailors.  I've been collecting bags and bags of driftwood over the Winter, all sorts of shapes and sizes. The other day I tipped the whole lot out on the studio floor and sat with all the different bits, until pieces jumped out and I could see how the shapes might lend themselves to an assemblage. Rusty old bits of metal add a different dimension, some looking like birds or boats. Snippets of sea shanties add words and dreams to the pieces. Coast guard cottages, up the coast at Shingle Street (such a wonderful name for a place), nestle in the pebbles against the harsh East wind. All white in the otherwise grey landscape. Brightlingsea's marina development offers a more contemporary silhouette, but still the age old fishing boats, yachts, barges and smacks bob around in the harbour, unaware of passing time.