Monday, 7 July 2014

Lightbulb moment

Please click on photo to enlarge.

Beach strolling. Sky full of warm blue breeze. Just a few early sunbathers, dog walkers, joggers and me. Time enough to stroll home with a lovely sense of having no thoughts in my head. What I needed.

And then I found it. A wrap of crushed wire cast ashore. It would have been camouflaged by the stones if it hadn't been for the turquoise thread that sang out, made me look closer, then pick it up.

It's on the kitchen table, making itself at home. I plan to hang it on some beach wood, fix them together with copper wire. 

Maybe I need a reminder to take better care of my lightbulb moments? Maybe we all do?

Friday, 27 June 2014

One for me, one for the pot

Sitting in a fruit cage eating raspberries, red currants and strawberries has to be one of the best pleasures in life. The gooseberries need cooking, so the whole crop of those went home. But I've been sitting inside the mesh a lot these last couple of weeks, grazing. I must be squeaking full of vitamin C. 

And while everything else has been going on as usual, drawings and dancing have been my preoccupations after work, after dinner, after seeing friends, after writing, after music practising, after doing the watering, after all the other stuff. 

This next photo shows a drawing that didn't quite express what I was feeling. Sadly, I made the mistake of having another go. Let's just say it involved a lot of white! Thankfully, I took this photo before I got busy again - maybe I knew more than I think I did!!

In the latest version, some of the original shapes are still there, but I seem to have made the canvas look like a baby scan, or the anatomy of a storm cloud. It stands beside the toaster. I like it less and less. Now it looks like the surface of my kitchen floor. If nothing emerges, I'll add a coat of gesso and beach sand, take it outside and get the scrubbing brush out. 

Yes, the kitchen floor needs sweeping and my fingers are stained red, but I'm never short of a fabulous dessert these days and one for me and one for the pot makes for happy times.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Who said strawberries had to wait for Wimbledon?!! 

The blackbird was so happy at the plot the other day. It was time to remove the mesh from 4 gooseberry bushes. He's been keeping an eye on them for weeks. He pecked around our feet as we negotiated thorny stems, then gorged on all the dropped berries after we had done. Later he brought his enormous chicks over to feast on all the grubs that the hoe disturbed. I'm surprised they could still fly afterwards.

The plot has that beautiful meadow look, dreams of becoming one, I'm sure. Tall grasses and daisies sway in the breeze pretending that weeding isn't top of our to-do-list. The new beans are opening up broad hands of leaves and just deciding to climb canes. The corn and courgette seedlings are in the ground, looking relieved to have escaped their pots and to have made it to proper ground. The onion stems are full of soaked-up rain. Their stems squeak when you brush past them. The herb bed is stunning, everything pushing out in the sun. Oregano leans on thyme and stray love-in-a-mist.

And I've been busy in the kitchen and the back yard here, not quite sure what I'm up to with paints and pastels, but just doing it anyway.

Here's part of an in-progress piece. Still getting the hang of showing some of this new work here, so sorry for being annoying. Come round and sit in the chaos that is my kitchen and eat some berries with me and then you can take a look. 

Collaged papers, acrylic, pastel, scrubbing brush, smiling.

Look what's coming next.....

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

What to keep or ditch?

Who knows what I intended when I picked up the pastels? (This is just a small part of a bigger piece.)

All I knew was that something was leaning on me. Pestering me. 

After a busy and demanding day, after cooking dinner, after clearing up, after getting a few things ready for the next day, after relaxing and losing hold of any sensible thoughts, too tired to read that page of my book yet again in the hope that I might get it this time.....As soon as it looked like I was heading to bed, every common sense thought was telling me to leave whatever it was until the morning.

That's not what I did. 

Happy in the scratchy rhythms of chalks on paper, happy to let the "whatever it was" emerge however it wanted, I found myself barefoot at the kitchen table instead. And after half an hour of frenetic mark- making that seemed to make no sense and perfect sense at the same time, I was tucked up asleep.

Next morning, while eating a slow breakfast, I sat across from the previous night's sketches, saw areas like landscapes within the bigger piece. Not at all what I was expecting. Keep or ditch? Tricky choice. I turned the page upside down and got cracking. The mysterious hills and valleys had been overlaid by the time my hands were grubby again. I was making the Fabriano work hard for me. 

But 2 days later, still shaping this piece into more of what it seemed to want to say, I was scrubbing at the surface with the edge of my palette knife and another range of shapes hinted at landscapes. More erasures followed and lots of scraping out, but given how these little worlds keep emerging, I've decided to let those areas stay as long as they strike good chords with the piece. For now!

It has been hot and sunny here. And I've been drawing outside in the garden. The merry go round horses are running through beautiful sunsets and evenings that hang out long and blue and make you slow down on the empty beach, after the tourists have headed home.....

It is also the time of year when weeds attempt world domination. I'm sure they grow overnight. I am busy with my plot. First broad beans tasted great. Gooseberries are almost ripe. Look at the apple tree.......