The countdown to the Spring Fling Open Studios Event has begun. It's held over 3 days at the Spring Bank Holiday weekend- 26th, 27th and 28th May 2018 and there will be artists and makers studios open across Dumfries and Galloway.
To take part, there is a selection process and when applying, I didn't think I'd get selected at all! I nearly missed the email that told me I'd been successful too! There'd been a lot of emails arriving and when I saw mail from an unfamiliar name, I didn't open it straightaway. Thankfully, I did, to discover it was 'congratulations' on being selected to take part. In fact, I went back to read it 3 times, just to check I didn't dream it!
Since then, I've been planning what needs to be done to prepare for the event There's been a social event to meet other Spring Fling artists; it was great to hear their experiences of Spring Fling; meet other 'newbies' like myself and gather useful tips for the event weekend, while enjoying it too. Plus, I've been painting like a woman possessed, as there's new work needed for display in other outlets too.
Tonight I would have been putting the finishing touches to the final artworks in the Shetland Knives series, but the electricity in this area has gone off. It happens. Once I'd got some lighting organised, I made a salad by candle light, then used my camping gas stove to make a hot drink and fill a hot water bottle, all the time hoping the power would suddenly flash back on again.
The down side is, the power's been off for over 2 hours and in an all-electric house, in Scotland, in Winter, it's pretty damn cold now. Although there is a calor stove, if it gets desperately cold. I'm ok, all tucked up in bed keeping warm, as the heat from a massed gathering of tea-lights doesn't stop the cold getting into your bones! Brrrr! So, I'm writing this in the dark, with what is left of the battery power in my laptop and no power, means no WiFi. I'm grateful for the upside- there's no cloud cover and without the street lights, I can see so many more stars than would normally be visible. It's breathtaking looking out of the window, into the darkness, it certainly puts life, the earth, the universe and the lack of power into true perspective.
With 'warm' wishes,
Cherish your journey.
In the past, I've not been the best at using my sketch book to process my ideas. In truth, I've often 'flown' with an idea and then got lost, because I hadn't thought it through fully. Since straying into 'abstract' territory, I've found my sketchbook a great aid to working through ideas and techniques. A guide to keeping my feet on the ground, well mostly!
Many artists sketchbooks are so neat and ordered, they are works of art in themselves. At a recent exhibition, I saw the sketchbooks of, the late, Wilhelmina Barnes Graham; such neat handwriting and perfect drawings. The discolouration of the pages was due to age and damp, not the forgotten cup of cold tea that got knocked over on the work table!
My current sketchbook is fastened with a length of elastic that catches into a button, to allow for expansion. I can see this will be under severe strain long before the book is finished. The pages are filled with gathered bits of inspiring information, samples of texture I've created and rough sketches of design layouts and other ideas. I'm about to create a pocket to include the stages of a recent print, which will swell the pages further. I hope it holds together for a bit longer, as I've become quite attached to this sketchbook, with its motley collection of creativity.
This week I nearly slipped back into my old ways. While standing applying gesso to a blank canvas - one of 8 - I was thinking what I might paint on it. I very nearly set off on my next painting journey with only a rough idea of where I was headed, and with no map, or SATNAV, where would I end up? Realising I might be going to repeat this 8 times over, I gave myself a good talking to and got out my sketchbook, my painting route finder, and found the inspiration I needed. Disaster averted!
Along with my sketchbook, I have my 'doodle book.' This is part of a 1950's encyclopaedia set, full of out of date information and in poor condition. Another 'creativity generator.' The idea was to chose a subject from each page and doodle something. Unfortunately, I realised after the 3rd page, that the first subject, 'Sound,' ran to 24 pages of technical jargon and equations! Hmmm . . . . a bit more of a challenge than I intended it to be.
When creating some artwork has defeated me, I've taken random words from the page and arranged them into a form of prose and added collage or symbols. I feel my science education was lacking in something, as after reading the whole page, I still can't work out what on earth 'relaxational compressibility, or, 'instantaneous compressibility' is! If you have this wisdom, please share with me in the comments below?
I'm suffering from 'instantaneous compressibility.'
It comes in waves through the ether-
That substance without form, but known for its tranmissibility.
It's when synchronicity joins up all the loose ends, ideas and dreams.
It sends them hither and thither,
To make connections to the open-minded free-thinkers and day-dreamers.
Once the wave passes, I slump into a state of relaxational compressibility . . . .
Breathe in, breathe out, prepare to catch the next wave . . . .
Cherish your journey