I’m more than a little obessed with seaweed at the moment. We’re at the beach for an annual camping trip. Most years I bring art materials and this year I’ve discoverd how easy it is to have my watercolours on the beach. I feel like I know seaweed like never before. This stuff has always caught my eye with its slightly comical baubles attached in ways that make think of crazy softtoy shapes and funny teddy bear heads complete with little round ears. Oh nature, I do love you so.
I am happiest making in my little office studio, and Saturday was a making day. Oh, if all days could be Saturdays!
I always have this feeling that I use about 5% of the capacity any technology I own and it’s only when I really want to do something that I’ll push a little. I’ve been printing documents and photos an on my Canon MG6250 for years – yesterday was the first time I slipped some card in the rear tray and printed something I’d designed. Small miracles hey? It’s not perfect and I’m still wrangling with image and paper size matching up, but I did it and I’m ridiculously chuffed at how this work is coming together.
I’ve had a lot of fun these past few weeks taking Rachael Taylor’s excellent The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design course and feel like I’m starting to find my way. I’m concentrating on a few design ideas and now need to concentrate on learning how to use the technology! I can feel my brain stretching! One of the course tasks was to take a design you’d made, print it off and use as wrapping paper – I think these from my Stamp Gardens and Starry Starry collections have potential. Onward!
I was lucky enough to spend some time on the lovely beaches of Montauk Long Island earlier this year. Amidst all the photos I took this one stands out as one of my very favourites. How dear is that little seaweed tree?
These little pictures incorporate designs from my grandmother’s crochet. The wax resist makes the texture of the worked stitches very faintly visible – her handwork and mine are joined. More on these soon.
I’ve always been thrilled to find little shards of china buried in the garden or on digs along land that used to be near housing. I love the ornate decorations. I want to know the story of the cup or plate or bowl – how did it come to be exactly there under my feet? I have quite a collection and I am drawn to people who like to pick up and collect the things I do.
This little as yet unfinished drawing, done in fine pen on quite rough water colour paper features pieces from my own treasure trove and a couple of spectacular pieces borrowed from a dear friend.The beauty of undertaking to draw something with lot of fine details is that you get to know it very well. The way the leaves intertwine, the shading to add depth to the decoration, the placement of petals just so, a temple here, a blossom there. I’ll never look at a teacup in the same way.
Drawing the fragments has also been an exercise in faith – the faith in my ability to represent the art already inherent in those small remnants of something useful. At times I found myself struggling with confidence – I could actually almost hear the doubting voice when I was about to tackle a particularly complex decoration. I’m practicing quietening that voice and learning to continue working in spite of it. It’s a nice feeling to make it to the other side of that doubting time and settle to work or in this case settle to play.
PS – If I was doing this again I probably wouldn’t start on really rough paper – every time a .005 pen tip hits a bump it’s like driving into the side of a mountain!