Horses for Courses…..

There’s been some good news over this last week….and some not so good news….. and as a person who prefers to dwell on the good, I will quickly get the bad out of the way…..

I submitted the following image for an exhibition centred around drawing and line…

….unfortunately it wasn’t selected….. I console myself with the thought that it was perhaps a bit too traditional for the brief….

Now onto the more positive news – I must admit that I follow social media (a lot, perhaps too much) to keep an eye on what’s going on in the art world, to find new artists, new ideas…and it’s through social media that my bit of good news developed…

One of the sites I follow – artistscribbles – asked me to contribute an article about my work! This is a first for me having only written stuff for this blog or ‘blurb’ for any exhibitions I may have taken part in…must admit I was feeling a little daunted and excited in equal measures…. but I did it…..and produced ‘From soaring mountains….

…(& before anyone emails me,  yes I realise I missed the ‘e’ off creake…)

So that’s my good news…in the meantime I will plugging away at my ‘Six in Twenty’ efforts and see how they develop…

 

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Looking….and Seeing

The weekend has been one of taking stock and making plans……more of which I will tell you when they come to fruition….(note I said ‘when’ not ‘if’… how’s that for positivity?)

I have also been reflecting on my art practice – having to write an artist’s statement does concentrate the mind – and where and how I draw my inspiration from…

I have always been an avid reader and at present I am enthralled by the writings of Robert MacFarlane. I love the countryside and wild places and having devoured The Old Ways I am now reading Landmarks.

I like these because, not only does MacFarlane have a wonderfully descriptive prose style, he has a love of language, for the forgotten words, the archaic turn of phrase, for local dialect. I too love words and learning the etymology of words….

How can you not be inspired by such descriptive terms as:

summer geese – steam that rises from the moor when the rain is followed by hot sunshine (North Yorkshire) or

ammil – ‘The icy casings of leaves and grasses and blades and sprigs were glowing and hid in a mist of sun-fire. Moor folk call this morning glory the ammil (Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter 1927 Exmoor…)

(both of the above were taken from MacFarlane’s ‘Landmarks’)

Last night I read this excerpt from Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain quoted in ‘Landmarks’..

(Apologies for the wonky camera angle…)

These writings are making me stop and think about how I look at the world around me but sometimes don’t really see….

With these thoughts ringing in my head I took myself out for a walk…now I don’t live in a wild place, I live in middle England, Leicestershire where the drone of the A6 is a constant….

….but at the end of my road is the River Soar


..so I walked, I sat, I listened, I made notes….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I don’t profess to have the same turn of phrase as Robert MacFarlane but these are some of the words that sprung to mind as I sat, watched, listened, searched for the details…

reflection, glinting, ripples, sunlight, flow…

…although you can’t really see in the above, there was a wonderful ribbon of silver between the river and the far bank..

Reeds, shadows, pale, leaning, swept against the bank, seed heads..

Celandines (I think…correct me if I am wrong) and lichen..

and wonderful furry stars…

A country girl born and bred, my ability to identify birdsong is shameful…but I did hear the caw of the raucous crows, a magpie and the odd, ubiquitous gull amongst the ‘whee, whee’, chirrups and calls, some more strident…

..even spotted a lone crow atop a tree…perhaps on the look out for a nest site. Most of the trees are still skeletons..

..but their density provides a solid delineation between land and sky..

There was one however, a willow, clinging to the river bank, which was beginning to show signs of it’s green, sweeping curtain…

Con trails criss-crossed the sky, the church bell called the hour, the distant neigh of a horse, the honking of nearby ducks…

The difference between looking and seeing….detail, and with that I think the essence of the place comes alive…

..will be fascinating to see how the above develops in my work…watch this space..

 

What To Do Next……..?

Those of you kind enough to read my blog and follow me on social media will know that I have started doing my ‘Six in Twenty’, six images done in a variety of media and spontaneously….just to get me started….

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I keep these studies in sketchbooks….which I am filling rapidly…..

I am however, finding it increasingly difficult to take the next step and develop these studies into something more serious…. What to do?