Monday, 27 August 2012

artistic inspiration and thoughts…


In our world there is no such thing as a “day off”, “duvet day”…. but there are a lot of rainy days.  Metaphorically and in reality…

Still that is no reason (or excuse !) to stay in doors and do nothing…

Whatever the weather, we are “doing” something.  The only thing which changes is whether that is creative, administration, plotting or planning… or nowadays “trundling”. 

Trundling is the technical term for moving ourselves around in Toby’s van.  It is a Mercedes Sprinter, totally adapted for the young squire to survey the countryside…and totty at Orcombe Point !!  It also has a beautiful sound system.  What can I say..

I now have soundtracks to my painting sessions…


Vangelis is a little more inspiring than Meatloaf, but either are fantastic.  Back to Orcombe Point, depending on which way we are parked we now have three different views.  To the left we have the red ragged rocks, in front of us sailing boats, water boarders and swimmers (oh and dog walkers), and to the right we have the distant landscapes and fields.  I shall find out where someday soon I suspect.

All this is inspiring the family to work on individual projects. We are all artists with differing passions and specialities. I am from the school of “bung on as much paint or colour as possible”.  So my current obsession is five minute sketches of landscapes. 

Why? Because that is as long as I get without some well-meaning passer by disturbing my concentration to take a look.  They don’t realise that I don’t need opinions to validate my process or my work.  I am not and never have been an artistic genius.  I am about colour, enjoyment of the process and consolidation of discoveries.  That five minutes without time for self-editorship is enough to refresh my creative brain cells.  I even find afterwards that I can write – still not back to fiction, but journaling and focusing on recording of contemporary facts will have a place in my new writing.

This enjoyment in the actual process is something Toby and I have in common.  We both like actually doing – and the end result is – well a bit of a let down – whatever we have achieved! On to the next idea, thought, expression of feeling… in Toby’s case smell is extremely important as well.  I suppose it must have been before the accident, hence the work in wood and leather. 


But something I am working on is developing the fascinating process of wet textiles into something a little more 3-D and closer to working in multi-media paints on canvas.  I have been really privileged to have had some tuition with Helen Melville last year, and the way she demonstrated the skills and techniques opened up some creative avenues to explore, which I just haven’t had time or peace of mind to develop.  

Below is an original wet felted textile, above is the same piece being developed with machine stitching, and where the colours in the original piece don’t work, or are not clear and bold enough, I am using needle felting to cover over and work that area again.


Toby needs to develop the dexterity to be able to use machinery and woodworking equipment again, and so by using a sewing machine where the worst he will do is prick a finger, he can develop the manipulation skills required to work a woodwork project on a scroll saw. 

I love painting and building pictures from a water colour base, adding and developing using acrylic.  In fact I am quite disappointed when the jewel like properties of water colour pigments dry out, so using the acrylic to emphasise and add impact has proved rewarding. 

The similar technique I am applying to the wool… and oh what fun it is, as well as so enjoyable spending creative time with my family in a “normal” environment.  Toby is incredibly observant and his opinions and instincts I am learning to be guided by more and more.  Not sure I like the way he laughs though when I stab my hand under the felting needles!

So this is my current interests and preoccupations – and you?

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