Sunday, 28 July 2013

Feathered inspiration

I managed to persuade my son to do some painting with me today. I even let him choose our subject matter - this rather resplendent yellow-billed turaco. Look at those feathers shimmering. His effort lasted around 60 seconds before he got bored - I took a bit more time with mine, but this was still a pretty quick study, so I thought I would share it with the Sunday Sketchers.

I have been drawn to collecting feathers lately. My boyfriend fears that the men in white coats will be taking me away as I present yet another 'haul' from one of my nature forays. My gathering to date has been somewhat monochrome - we don't have many exotic birds round these parts - the best I can usually hope for is the iridescent shine of a magpie's tail feather. I found a particularly excellent specimen recently simply by looking up into the trees and asking very nicely - sure enough, a few steps back along the path already trod, there was one right there in the middle just waiting for me :)

Last week though, my feathered friends decided I needed a treat ... just look! (yeah, I know there are some leaves and a twig in there too!). Alongside the peacock feathers there's also one from a jay - can you spot it?

Monday, 22 July 2013

... in the woods today

At one with nature. Forest girl.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A magical journal journey

Taking Gemma's journal to Glastonbury seemed like the most natural thing in the world to do - for after all, has not this group of artistic ladies named their project 'magical journal journeys'?

And just look at the cover - dragon skin for sure!

So, I carried the book of magic up to the Tor and to the Chalice Well. At the Well it took a light shower in the healing spring water - luckily dragon skin is quite water resistant!

And then, back home and suitably inspired by feminine energy, I created a homage to Mother Earth in these two pages.

I feel a change in me, a shift in the currents. Something long dormant has woken, a spell broken by another... The urge to create is strong in this one...

(I'm also sharing these sketches with the Sunday Sketchers - I have long been absent from my friends there!)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Bossa nova

Just when you thought you might get a blog post that didn't reference Glastonbury, I sneak one in under a Latin American radar!

You see, the thing is, I'm doing another of these round robin journals and am working on Sue Richardson's bossa-nova-themed book. Sue is a jazz musician which I find terribly exciting and exotic. In fact, I was so inspired that I ended up buying a whole new album of jaunty tunes - but more on that in a moment. Let's first drift through the mists to the picture above....

Do you wonder sometimes how the universe conspires to set things in perfect alignment for you. I return from my trip to the fabled land with the magic of the Lady of the Lake and lyrics of Roxy Music floating on repeat through my conscious, only to find a journal with a distinctly up-beat Latin American feel - not a match to my mood at all... or was it?

For listen carefully to the smooth tones of Mr Ferry singing Avalon and you'll find words of a very serendipitous nature!

So, with one double-page spread under my belt I could have had done with it and moved onto my next project - but no! For you see, I am something of a fan of the Latin beat - I think I may have been Brazilian in a former life. I wanted to paint those rhythms after all and tap my brushes like drumsticks and dance the paint across the page. I thought a new iTunes purchase might help, so added to my overflowing hard drive a little bossa nova compilation for the Muse to dance to - and samba she did, swinging those hips and flicking her tresses bedecked with feathers and sequins (she's such a party girl!)

It's the music I remember from my Dad's vinyl collection (Wes Montgomery, Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz) - the kind I would scoff at as a New Romantic teenager but which I have come to love. A bit like olives I think - a taste one acquires as one grows older and we stop consuming the type of sugary substances that dull our taste buds.

So, tomorrow this journal goes in the post and I await the next.

\|I'm also posting Gemma's 'purple' journal - but that's a whole other blog post....

Until then...

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Red & Yellow

The Summer of Colo(u)r hots up this week with a fiery combo of lush passion. And, as the season has finally arrived in the UK, it seems most perfectly fitting to splash the hues about a bit.

Layers of inks, gesso, collage and stamping. I may even write something in the gap later... who knows?!

These colours have been rather present on my palette lately. As part of the Make Art that Sells course I created some red & yellow wall art too - the colours of my Aries star sign.

My inspiration:

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Goddess of Avalon

Possibly one of the most ridiculous things I said over the weekend was when I announced in a somewhat startled fashion that my self portrait looked like me! She came from Tam's class at the Call of the Wild Soul retreat. It's not really a surprise that there is a resemblance - I did paint over a photograph of my own face after all!

My son, Mum and boyfriend on seeing it though all said that I am much prettier in real life. Bless 'em!

There is definitely essence of me in here though - from the floaty dress to the flowers in my hair. The piece is full of hidden symbolism as I honour my superpowers and accept that actually I have quite a few good qualities - not something we do very often!

And this lady above? Well, she's not me exactly. She is every woman. She is the Big Wild She, our inner Goddess. She is feminine intuition, she is nurture, she is powerful beyond your imagination! Thank you Erin Faith Allen for lighting the touch paper to bring her out of me :)

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Mists of Avalon


I took myself off on a weekend of adventure to the fabled land - Avalon - hiding in the mists just outside of modern-day Glastonbury.

Four days of magic and mystery with the energy of this special place mixing with the wild souls of the women gathered to make art and find their inner Goddess.

My night dreams conspired to wake me up before the lark and nudged me to view the world outside my window. Where I was expecting blue skies was just a veil of mist stretching as far as the eye could see. Would Avalon be the other side? It was too good an opportunity to miss. I set out on a dawn pilgrimage to the Tor.

Silence save for the birds and livestock calling for their breakfast.

Long skirts brushed through the wet grasses as I disturbed the fairies from playing their harps.

Rabbits hid among the grasses as the Tor and Tower remained as illusive too...

I knew it must be up there somewhere...

And the voices whispered the stories ...

Of love and betrayal ...

Until the guardians of the sacred place bid me back beyond the veil to paint my own Goddess...

More on the magical Call of the Wild Soul Art Retreat later this week.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

My wild soul is calling

Off on retreat... Back soon :)
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