‘The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these early mists and vapours dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air,’
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And so the year draws slowly to a close; the shortest day approaches…
‘No more hurry, hurry,
time now for firelight and for dreaming,
for church bells mingling
with the cold quiet sunlight
And somewhere deep inside of you
a kernel of courage – unfurling
each day, more light,’
The days become longer; we look forward to the light, to awakening from our winter ‘hibernation’… a hibernation that, for me, involves experimenting, researching, reading…and the book on my reading list this week is…
American painter Rutenberg takes you behind the studio doors, to explore the making of a painting. He tells of the places, people and experiences that lead to his work. The book also contains techniques, ideas and career advice…always useful!!
I especially love the chapter ‘Why Landscape?’ – where Rutenberg discusses knowing ‘…your origins. Where do you come from? What place stacked your bones into the shape of you?….My connection to the landscape of South Carolina has nothing to do with nostalgia; it’s much broader than memory. It’s my clear seeing place. A career has many moving parts, but there must be a cable that runs from your soft tissue directly to your clear-seeing place. Every artist needs such a place, for this is where your muse resides…’ Rutenberg, p95, Clear Seeing Place.
The fenlands of Lincolnshire are where I grew up and it is the place that ‘stacked my bones’; I often wonder if these flatlands, that are my ‘clear-seeing place’, are why I feel such affinity for the marshes and coast-line of north Norfolk…lands that stretch to the far horizons… And why, whenever I visit, there is a ‘settling’, an ‘ahhhhhh’ moment…and suddenly, everything becomes much clearer…
My ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’ is Lynn Hardaker, a Canadian who lives in Germany and creates journals and collages as well as writing and paintings… Lynn was very generous in answering a few questions, explaining her inspirations and processes…
I was drawn to her feed because of the muted colour palette of her work, the story telling nature of her collages, the images of barley, (me being a country girl and all…) her collection of stones… (a lady after my own heart)…so it wasn’t a surprise to learn that Lynn draws her inspiration primarily from nature, which she incorporates directly into her artwork; feathers, flowers, bracken… She also takes inspiration from the places she visits including the north east coast of England where ‘the rocky cliffs, the ever changing sea, and the fossil-filled ground have been a starting point for numerous works.’
I love Lynn’s choice of collage materials; the mixture of the natural and paper, the calligraphy…plus the limited palette…definitely appeals to my sense of aesthetics…and evokes a sense of history – ‘hinting at what stories might be hidden within.’
When asked which artists inspire her, Lynn named Mark Rothko as one of her all-time favourites, ‘I still remember the punch-in-the-gut I experienced when looking at some of his huge works in person for the first time.’ She also admires a host of contemporary artists, mainly women, quoting Cathy Cullis as an artist whose work ‘has long inspired me. I love that she uses different media and plays with different subject matter. There is an integrity there which I admire.’
I love the muted colour palette of Lynn’s paintings and the layers and textures, the scratchings and scrapings, so I was interested to hear of her process:
‘For years I focussed on painting with oil and cold wax medium on wood panel. I loved the way in which I could replicate the effects of nature on surfaces: erosion, depositing, abrading. But last year I starting suffering headaches from the cold wax medium (actually from the solvent in it, which I tried to control since I made it myself, but was unable to come up with a mixture which didn’t affect me), so I focussed more on collage. I adore making collage and have drawers filled with items I’ve collected on my walks and travels: pebbles, shells, flowers, leaves, feathers, as well as antique letter, and papers which I paint. Recently, I’ve been attempting to incorporate collage techniques into larger works. This has been a challenge, but a rewarding one. As is always the case with art, it’s the process that counts, that’s where we learn and grow as artists.’
And who doesn’t love a concertina artwork…?
Do pop over and have a look at Lynn’s website to see more of her paintings- definitely worth a visit!!
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s slightly more in-depth ‘Instagram Artist of the Week’, and I would like to thank Lynn for allowing me to show her pictures and answering my questions, it’s really appreciated!!
As far as my own work this week – well, I have been concentrating on my Instagram Advent Calendar Sale...
There has been a lot of interest and some sales, and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me, either by purchasing work or by liking, sharing or re-tweeting, it means such a lot…
This will be the last ‘Something for the Weekend’ post for 2019; I will be taking a break over the festive season but I will be back in January…so for now, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and interest and all the positive feedback and encouraging, kind comments; it is all so very much appreciated!
It just remains for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!!
And one final poem…
“after John Donne’s ‘A Nocturnal on St Lucy’s Day’
At midday on the year’s midnight
into my mind came
I saw the new moon late yestreen
wi the auld moon in her airms
there is no moon of course –
there’s nothing very much to speak of anything to speak of
in the sky except a gey dreich greyness
rain-laden over Glasgow and today
there is the very least of even this for us to get
the light comes back
the light always comes back
and this begins tomorrow with
however many minutes more of sun and serotonin.
there will be the winter moon for us to love the longest,
fat in the frosty sky among the sharpest stars,
and lines of old songs we can’t remember
why we know
or when first we heard them
will aye come back
once in a blue moon to us
and bless us with their long-travelled light.”