It is Saturday,there is no snow but a light frost as I look out across the rooftops and a patch of clear blue sky and sunlight; lovely.
I peer at my garden through slitty eyes like artists do ( and me without my spectacles) and try to absorb the shapes and colours of nature and wait a while for the robin who regularly at this time comes to the bath and table.
Today, I will be at art class and doing ‘stuff’ in the style of Mark Hearld, he knows nature and birds, I will have to blag a bit because I know nothing. While I have not studied art for long I have stayed with subject matter I am comfortable with like the containers that surround my desk, but predominantly tea pots and cups and my beloved bike, who doesn’t live by my desk, but is a trusty companion. A week or two ago I tried life drawing, this was a little to difficult for me at the moment.
So here I am thinking about today’s subject matter; it is a little alien but I think I can warm to it. It is the materials that are a little daunting. I have so far used erasers, lino and wood for my prints; today these are put to one side and we will be using alternatives with a suggestion of ‘play’ Like I have said before I have not played at art since 1966 even then we were looked over by a teacher and a cane!
So today, I ask the one brings good fortune to artists and all beings for the sense of nature and fun!
This week I started work with a work experience ‘person’ ; we had a short session before Christmas but now we begin for real. I share my work with her for a day a week. It is a good situation; she gets a chance to see library work at the coal front and I get help and good company. We began with some items bound for the Childrens Collection ; all were very nice but one huge book took our eyes ; King Arthur’s Wood is a children’s book written and illustrated by Elizabeth Stanhope Forbes. It was first printed in 1904 with a limited print-run of 350 copies.
As we considered adding it to our collections ; we imagined two or three very special children looking at in on the floor in a very elegant house much like the one we work in over a 100 years before.
Still walking in the streets but now in Italy; Italian cities are considered the ideals among travellers who are enthralled by the ways their architecture give beauty and meaning to everyday lives. Authors compare and demonstrate the ways in which ‘plazas and streets can function to tie a city together socially and architecturally’. While in other cities have ‘deteriorated into highways and parking lots’. One author tells us of the Bologna’s portico, a 4 mile walkway going from the central square to the countryside. Another, describes Milan’s Galleria, winding streets of Perugia, car-free streets of Perugia and two storey public arcades of Brisighella. A New Yorker in appreciation of the Italian walkers says ‘In ancient Italian towns the narrow streets at dusk becomes a kind of theatre’.
One of my favourite wood engravers is Sarah van Niekerk while her quality and style is no less perfect than the likes of Gertrude Hermes and Yvonne Skargon she is able depict a humour in somewhat serious situation when the knight falls. The lightness and detail in the Jacobs in Shropshire is a delight!
Last week I was sent a gift from a virtual friend on Facebook.
We are a group of ‘friends’ aka Studio Pen-pals who aspire to being artistically creative, we don’t not share too much virtually but from time to time send each other a gift of encouragement in the ‘snail mail’.
As artists we are often without motivation and inspiration so a little gift, such as a coloured pencil, a skein of embroidery silk paper or stylist note pad might be all it takes to set the ball rolling again.
While the procedure is monthly the content is usually random. I received a very generous bundle of gifts, but one of them was particularly pleasing and it will sit on my desk with my other angels. It represents my very first creative venture. As a little girl of 6 years old, my dad made me a knitting doll; with a cotton reel, 4 nails, a toothpick and length of wool I began to knit.
I don’t knit as I used to but this little girl will give me the opportunity to play and feel the joy of a child when being an artist is just a bit too grown up!