Sometimes It’s The Little Things…

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It’s funny the things that can catch your eye….on our recent trip to Wales we took in the majesty of Snowdonia as well as the beauty of Anglesey, even if it was a little damp…

…but closer to our temporary home, overlooking the Menai Straits, it was the patterns in the mud flats at low tide along with the red marker buoys that took my interest…

…drawing inspired by…

…not sure if this will develop into anything but I am looking forward to investigating this area in the future…

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Fixated Upon…

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I don’t know about you but when something inspires me I become obsessed, fixated upon the subject…

…and my most recent fixation is Mountains….the blue skies and snow capped peaks in Snowdonia….

Craggy, mountainous, ranges, sheer, highland, graded peaks….

’a walk

in the clouds…

what else

could we think

this mountain was for?’

(Michael McClinrock)

And just as I have become fixated on the Mountains, I have become equally obsessed with these two colours….Daniel Smith Ultramarine Turquoise and Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Ink Sepia…

Not sure if these pieces will lead to anything…..but no doubt I will have to keep going until I have had my fix….what’s your fixation….in the artistic sense….?

 

Places to Inspire…..

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One of our favourite ‘what if’s’,or maybe that should read ‘where would you go’ if you won the lottery, is deciding which part of the country we would most like to move to…. and we can never quite decide between the north Norfolk coast, the Yorkshire Dales or somewhere with mountains….

A recent drive home through Snowdonia brought my mountain loving soul back to the forefront…and I have spent some time playing around with collage and mixed media…

….the light dusting of snow adding to my delight….


….where would you go…..?

Awakenings…

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Today is Imbolc…a word I learned from Robert MacFarlane (not sure he has a website but his Twitter name is @RobGMacFarlane)…Imbolc is from the Celtic calendar…meaning the mid point between the winter solstice and spring equinox; it marks the earth’s awakening from cold…from slumber…It is also known as Candlemas or Feile Brighde – the quickening of the year..(again, courtesy of MacFarlane).

This year Imbolc falls on February 1st and after last night’s super moon phenomenon that somehow feels appropriate. I took my usual walk down to the River Soar…

…a raw wind, blue skies, clouds scudding quickly across revealing a watery sun…a sun, that when you found that spot, out of the wind and lifted your face in salutation, the first hints of warmth could be felt…

Ripples across the river, widened by recent rain, a moorhen (or coot…must read up on my bird recognition!) family swimming, darting into the reeds hiding from the scampering dog, the distinctive sound as two swans flew overhead……and amidst the blanket of crisp, dry leaves, those tiny shoots and buds, braving the cold and wind…those welcome signs of Spring…the growing anticipation of longer, lighter days…

…those awakenings…

I am attempting to awaken my creative soul and have spent the past few days playing around with media, seeing what I like (or not), what works or doesn’t…

…and sometimes something happens that you quite like…

…something that awakens that tiny spark deep inside…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connections…

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After my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis last year it has taken me a while to be able to pick up a brush or even feel like painting…but the medication is kicking in and I am beginning to feel more like my old self… however, after such a long time, it feels as if I am starting all over again… I had such a successful exhibition at Blue Owl Art last year and sold work via social media…now it’s back to square one…

I am trying not to feel too despondent and am looking at this time as an opportunity…to try new things and act on my ‘word for the year….Connections’…

Just as the river wends its way through the countryside, connecting the land –

I decided I needed to connect more…with fellow artists, (working at home can get lonely), with workshops, mentors, galleries and with my art materials, media and process..

It’s taking me a while to build up the nerve to contact possible mentors and galleries but I have made a start with the materials and process…tidying up my studio space…

…adding encouraging words..

…working in my sketchbook, experimenting with media…

…and on paper…

…making lines…

…adding ink, oil pastels and watercolours…

…think the above series should be called ‘Wild Weather’…

…not ground breaking…but I am starting to connect with materials and media…comforted by the words of Brenda Ueland –

‘So you see, imagination needs moodling –

long, inefficient, happy idling,

dawdling and puttering’…

 

Any Old Excuse….

Oooh…definitely a chill in the air today….and that lead me to a realisation….

I can blame any wonky work on my recent diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis….especially in the cold weather as it takes me longer to get the joints working…

So…no need to stress ever again…. I will just say that any c**p work is down to my stiff finger joints 😄

Inspirational Landscapes, Inspirational Artists…

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During our recent trip to Yorkshire we managed to see two fabulous exhibitions…the first being Lesley Birch‘s ‘Ethereal Moments’ at Scampston Hall… Being a great admirer of Lesley’s work via social media it was wonderful to be able to see it ‘in the flesh’! Gorgeous layers of colour created beautiful, evocative paintings capturing the ever-changing light, scenery and that sometimes indefinable ‘feeling’. Just fantastic….and the cup of tea and scone in the Garden Café was very nice too!

Although I would love to own one of Lesley’s paintings I will have to settle for the above cards…

The second visit was to a retrospective exhibition of Peter Hicks at the Inspired by…Gallery at the Moors National Park Centre, Danby near Whitby. The works covered a 60 year period showcasing his development from student to landscape artist. His work covers both the immense drama of the landscape as well as the smaller details…I particularly liked his wall of several hundred postcard sized works…apologies, no photos owing to gallery policy…

I loved the colours and the marks he used to capture the landscape…it was interesting watching the accompanying DVD to see how he created the large works…sitting on a stool pouring paint from margarine tubs and the like before moving the paint around with brushes attached to long sticks…a technique I might have to try myself given my recent health issues…

Again, not having won the lottery, cards are my reminder of a wonderful, inspiring exhibition…

It was wonderful to see these exhibitions in one of my favourite counties…in the landscape that inspired the artists…

 

It May Be Just A Splodge To You But…..

…. to me it’s a big step….

I try to keep this blog about my artistic journey and not bombard you with personal matters…. however over the last six to seven weeks these two areas have collided…

After struggling for the aforementioned weeks where everything was an effort, at times, unbearable pain, sheer exhaustion and joints that didn’t work as I would like, I have now been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis….  That’s the ‘When Life Gives You Lemons ‘ moment and all the self pity I will allow myself, as I continually remind myself, lots of people face worse…

A management plan has been organised so I am hoping to see and feel improvements over the next three or four months….

…and something must be working because today is the first day in weeks that I have felt like picking up a paintbrush…..

… so as you see, it might be just a splodge….but it means the world to me….!!