So I’ve been playing with a new idea ‘Dryads’ I first encountered them in the C.S. Lewis ‘Narnia’ collection of books which of course had a basis in Greek Mythology. I always loved the idea that a tree has a spirit, not trapped inside the tree itself but in the warm earth waiting for Spring, when they dance through the woods and countryside and clothe themselves in pale green silk spun by the worms of the mulberry bush….
So started experimenting last evening and got a bit carried away on little canvas boards and in my sketchbook…not sure what I learned other than colour is becoming the most important aspect to my painting and freeing up my mind and arm! I brought some inscribe pastels whilst not so easy to blend they have strong vibrant colours and are certainly useful for sketchbook experimentation…! The last two images of sketchbook pieces were done with them and I’m happy with the results 🤔😁❤️.
After Christmas I began to realise that my work was taking on a more representative style and was failing miserably…so I’ve been focusing on my sketchbook and using Charcoal and graphite to try and develop a more expressionist language. One thing I am discovering is that colour is the most important aspect, above form, though a hint of clouds still linger and that is something I want to keep as it is the whole subject of my work, clouds and sky. I’ve written much about that in previous posts. I want to break free from traditional sky, sunset and sunrise colours blue is the only colour we see but light reaching us is all the colours of the spectrum…but the atmosphere filters it down to blue.
One other thing that this study is affecting is my space I’m slowly filling it with lilacs, reds, blues and hints of yellow…I need to introduce some pinks…maybe cushions?? 🤔😂
So that’s Christmas and New Year over . Now we are faced with the reality of a new year stretching away into the distance, for me my goal is not to drift but to take control as much as possible. To keep working
with my clouds and to set up more time lapse studies. Paint as much as my hands will allow me too and to learn to pace myself to stop fatigue overwhelming me! To work more in my sketchbooks when the pain in my spine becomes too much to stand or walk too far, and to get as many people to see my art as possible 😁!
It’s taken me a long time to reach this point in my work. I can honestly say that I started drawing with intent from about six years old. I made my first paprmache sculpture when I was around eight years old which mum caught me drying in her oven, I never could wait! All through school it was my focus but I couldn’t decide what direction my work should go. Even at university my focus would change on a dime ideas would come get me excited then once finished a new idea would send me scrabbling in another direction my final piece was made from plasticine as it enabled me to work fast before the itch to go in a new direction struck…I bumbled on for years thoughts like butterflies erratic and impossible to catch and keep hold of led to much frustration. I have half finished dolls with embroidered words on their hand stitched clothes, sketchbooks filled with ideas never taken any further.
When Jon became ill I just tinkered as and when I could but it wasn’t till his death that I truly appreciated life and the human condition. One of the most enduring memories I have of Jon was when he developed skin cancer for the third time, it was a beautiful summer and after his operation and skin grafts to his nose we were taking an afternoon just to be, just to talk…we lay on our back in the garden, the grass was warm and soft and the gentle drone of the bees around the flowers had put us into a dreamy state and we watched the clouds float by…we saw elephants and dragons, cups of tea and one like Pete in a baseball cap…and we laughed that sleepy kind of laugh..it wasn’t anything special in the scheme of things, people have been staring at the clouds since before recorded history I’m sure. After his death it was the one memory of a time we truly connected when we both felt and knew we loved each other…it was what sustained me in the long years after that, when he became physically and mentally a different person.
Clouds are my true focus, their changing appearance and moods, their life and death in moments, their beauty and anger all speak to me of humanity…in all its beauty and fear. Of its capability to anger and destroy as well as its ability to be benevolent, loving and kind.
I hope that makes some kind of sense 😵😁.