Getting Creative Again- Making and Photographing Driftwood Sculptures.

26/10/16

img_2926Yesterday evening as the sun was setting we went for a drive to Largo. It was where we spent a lovely Christmas & New Year in a rented cottage after the roof came in up here.  I have fond memories of us all three, running along the beach. Kato skipping over the huge rocks like a mountain goat, when in other places he could trip on a pebble.  My partner and I hand in hand walking along the sand.

I have a photo I took of them when I wrote Happy New Year in the sand on the beach when the tide was out. Yesterday was different, I wrote a tribute to our Kato in the sand as the sun had gone down and the houses in the background were lit up like Christmas. We still walked hand in hand and combed the beach for driftwood.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, but I felt like being creative.

So this afternoon, with a couple of hours to spare, I decided that I would make beach combed sculptures. You know the type that rely upon gravity to hold them into place.  Inspired by the stone sculptures held together just by their position in river beds, with the water gushing past.

We have a wonderful brook alongside our house, my partner built it for me and lined it with stones, so that Kato could play safely in the water of what was once a mosquito infested ditch. It is now a pretty stream thanks to his efforts.

So I set about positioning the driftwood and a few beach pebbles that we collected yesterday, I also found a few interesting shells.

I wondered how I would leave them, but knew that I would have to photograph them.  The mantelpiece seemed like the perfect place.  It is a stained hardwood top with a rough plastered white painted chimney breast behind it, which I thought might make a good backdrop.  Unfortunately I didn’t do this until the evening, so the only light in here is from an overhead bulb which created some shadows which I wasn’t always grateful for.  However generally I was pleased with the end result.

The one thing that was unexpected was that it got the imagination going, I could the shapes like animals in the wood, an alligator, a sheep, a whale, a Dragon, can you see any of them too?

I thought I saw a wolf,  a man showing you something inside a hole and some strange sea creature.

I saw a strange lizard and there is a shell, which has almost worn away, which has a small pebble firmly lodged inside it.

I left the sand on the shells and the logs, the logs were still damp from the beach and were drying out when I brought them back.  I tried to Balance some and was intrigued by the wormholes.

This was my drift pile before I assembled them, pretty uninspiring and it’s surprising what you can do when you make the effort.

The photos below were just the same one piece of driftwood.

When I came to position the stones, I hung them precariously over the edge, they did not fall, I stood a family on the top, I imagined a mother, a father and a dog, at first it looked a little like the third person, but I repositioned it to better signify our family.

I looked at the father stone, a close up of this showed a mournful face, as though crying out. It signified to me the grief Kato’s Dad has experienced in the past three months since we lost him.

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It’s strange how the imagination can bring emotions to the fore.  As we have almost come to the end of our break here, we are not looking forward to returning South. It has been hard to be in our house without our Little Bear here in the flesh, remembering all of the things that previously we enjoyed as a family here.  But, we are planning things for our future however long or short that may be.  We are planning a future in Scotland.  More time spent with the friends we have made there, would be a blessing.  We have met some lovely people on this trip, spent time with old friends who have been pleased to see us and made some new ones along the way.

The Daily Post – Rearrange

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About Some Things, I don’t have a Clue!

img_7568It’s funny how some things you just know, deep down whilst other things you don’t have a clue about despite thinking that you do.

I was thinking this morning about the process of painting a picture. Something was a bit of a revelation about when people are up on hillsides looking at pretty things, with their easels and paint looking out over it all and deciding which bit of a wonderful landscape they will choose to paint.

Clearly I was not paying attention to things in my art class years ago, because it hadn’t occurred to me what happens first and it has held me back over the years, now as it turns out unnecessarily.

Faced with the blank page in front of me and thinking, Where do I start? What if I make a mistake? Will I mess it up? All these thoughts and many more have held me back from actually doing that thing, getting the paper, paints etc out. From creating a lovely picture to hang upon the wall. Of course it might not be lovely IF I actually mess it up, but the truth is I haven’t tried, through fear of failure. My art has suffered and with it, my creativity. Who holds me back, well yes the truth is it’s usually me.

I dreamed as a child of being a ballet dancer, where I danced beautifully on stage but in reality I cannot dance. I don’t have the confidence or coordination required.  I also dream of painting or drawing wonderful images, but settle for photography as the reality is so very different from my attempts.

But then a few weeks ago I was watching something on the TV, Grand Designs, (Well it is almost Autumn again and I will have to find something to watch on the television) Kevin McCloud, the presenter was up on a hillside with the man who was building his house. He had taken him there for inspiration, declaring that it would be time out from the build and since they both paint they would each do that. Watching them sitting there, they started to sketch out the view which reached out in front of them, on paper and sat there talking. And there is was… It must have sat in my subconscious after that until now. Later in the program, they showed the reveal of the almost finished house and hanging on the wall was the painted picture that the man had done. Of course it was beautiful, but then again he painted regularly.

I also noticed another painting where you could see the lines underneath the paint, why had I never thought about this before. Well, somehow it seemed as though I had a light bulb moment and when I come to think of it, it seems rather silly that I have never done this since leaving school. I quite often sketch pictures, usually of houses or landscapes and think, I only wish that I’d put more colour on there, but something more than colouring pencils. My painting fear does not extend to painting the house, objects etc it’s just when faced with the blank page.

So all of this time, I have only been seeing something half finished, it’s time to change that.

I have also sat down and thought about painting on many occasions, only to stop for fear of putting a brush stroke in the wrong place and having to turn it into something different. Paint seems to be such a permanent thing. I know that if I had to do that then that would be the one thing that would annoy me in the finished painting, the one thing that I could see that was wrong. So I didn’t. I guess as they say in America I have issues and somewhere in there is bound to be another metaphor. As I will be heading on up the hill at sometime soon, where I will be surrounded by the beauty and the scenery for a little while at least, when I finally get there, I may just take my sketch pad some paint and finally colour my world a little bit brighter.

Images: Morguefile & My Own

The Blank Canvas

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The Blank Canvas

When she moved away from her previous life, she bought the biggest one she could find and hung the blank canvas upon the wall.

And there it was….

Proudly displayed, her new life in her new home. Away from the hurt, anguish and resentment of the old one, a new beginning for her.
Still wrapped in plastic, a grubby mark in one corner, smudged, dirtied in transit.

It waited.

Not knowing what would be thrown in it’s direction, where the paint would land.
What would become of it?
What image would appear and how would it be received by those who saw it?
Three years later, she unwrapped it.

At last ready to begin, only to find that the smudge was not there at all. The outer packaging, peeled back to reveal the unblemished canvas underneath it all that time.

What will she fill the space with?

Words will come, songs of the heart. Raw emotions apparent, new memories created there and then.

The Blank Canvas is no more…

Filled with a new story, which has now begun.

 

The Daily Post – Transformation

This is about the Blank Canvas which hangs in my Mother’s home. It is her Birthday today, which is why I have chosen to post this now.  #Happy Birthday! Bizarrely though I wrote this and when I spoke with my mother two days later she told me that the very same day, she had begun painting her words on her Blank Canvas.

Photo: http://www.morguefile.com