Monday, 23 June 2014

It's been good to get back to making and doing this past couple of weeks after the open studios. I was inspired by my visitors, and talking about my work gave me an opportunity to review my creative focus and to see what I do through new eyes. Now it is time to stretch my wings a little and begin to push through some ideas that have been brewing for a while. 
I always have about half a dozen projects on the go, some just started, all bright and fresh, some part way explored, some a little tired and waiting for something to spark them back into life, and some seemingly finished but maybe not. 
At the moment I've been enjoying a brand new project inspired by my grandson's circle drawings. Working on this has nudged a couple of other ideas along a little as well and this is why I tend to have more than one thread hanging at all times. Sometimes, like now, this can work in my favour. Other times I can feel a bit all over the place and then I have to focus down and concentrate on moving one thing forward to completion. This can be hard. The meandering play is sweet, aimless pleasure but there needs to be a balance between that and determination and drive. If I lean too much towards either of these qualities what I produce seems to go wrong. The work can become hard and heavy, too calculated and blunt. Or alternatively too loose and sloppy, too general and wishy-washy. 
The knack is to find a line between these two things so that the free-flow of play is married to the integrity and discipline of work. It's a line that i am constantly re-negotiating. And with which I am always trying to hold connection without grasping too tightly and losing it completely. 

Monday, 2 June 2014

I've been stitching into the pieces of cloth that came out of my prayer wall. For more information and to save repeating myself I'll refer anyone reading to the ongoing project write up on my website
This is a project that is really close to my heart. I do not feel in control, it keeps drawing me on and I follow because I must tho' I do not know where it will lead. What started as a whisper, a quietly stated hope, intention, seems to have become something else, a journey, a passage, an odyssey, perhaps.         

Sunday, 1 June 2014

And meanwhile the oriental poppy in my back garden has begun to flower

Just finished the second weekend of open studios. So far I have really enjoyed my days meeting visitors and showing them my work. And every so often somebody comes round and there is a moment of joy when you both realise that you have met another artist who speaks the same language. For me this was my real hope when I signed up to the open studios event. 
People come in fits and starts, maybe there is no-one for an hour or so, and then a rush. It is nicest for me when they come in sequence because then I can try to show them work that connects to their interests. 
During the lulls this weekend I have been practising making coil baskets. I took down my old washing line on saturday morning and replaced it with a new one. The old one is nicely weathered and I am using a silver coloured wire to hold the baskets together. The pots/baskets/bowls are quite small, their size determined by the length of line they are made from. The length of line determined by the natural breaks which time and wear have imposed on the plastic. Making them feels like time well spent.