Decay #11

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I was fifteen years old when I painted this and I submitted it for my GCSE Art coursework. Unfortunately over the years it suffered with water damage and the damp when my art folder was stuck in the storeroom and so I have had to dispose of it, but took the photo before it went.

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Some Things ARE Better in Colour.

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This follows on from my post about painting from the other week. Here’s the link so that it makes more sense…

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

Ok I admit it that I didn’t quite get around to “painting” a picture during this trip, however I did sketch something with the intention of adding colour or paint and even got around to colouring it, just to see what it would look like. The colours were from watercolour pencils mainly except there are never enough of the colours to go round, especially the different shades of green to colour the woodland so I had to add in some normal pencils too.

The end result… Ta Da!

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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

Living the Wild

It seems that we have the getaways again. Oh dear, Scotland is calling us loud and clear. To be fair to it, we should have been there again by now, it is waiting for us. We had plans, but due to illness we are waiting until our health has improved, since it can be pretty bleak up on the hill. So at the moment, we try to satisfy our cravings for the scenery and beauty, with any hope of a Scottish view or voice via the television. Yes, we are most definitely homesick until we arrive there for this years piece of the puzzle. It has been four months since we last visited, but seems like forever. That almost felt like “It has been four months since my last confession”, but I am not of the Catholic faith and so it has been a lot longer than that…

The other evening we watched it again, Ben Fogle’s series New Lives in the Wild UK, we had seen this particular episode last year, but I had no hesitation in watching it again to drink in the scenery. It documented the life on Fair Isle, Scotland of Tommy Hyndman, who moved there from the USA around ten years or so ago. You simply have to admire Tommy for getting stuck in there and making it work. We have learned that it is not always easy to integrate into a new community but he seems to have got the mix just right there. Having taken on a guest house, named The Auld Haa, he seems to be running it with some success and I wish him much more. It was not only a crofter’s cottage, but is also his home and he chooses to share it with travellers worldwide, thus enriching his life with experiences and also earning him a living. It appears from this program, that the welcoming home and atmosphere of his surroundings, would rest the heart of any weary traveller who set foot there. Fair Isle is a birdwatchers haven, as well as being known for it’s wonderful sweaters but for anyone looking for a get away from it all and back to nature vacation, away from the hustle and bustle, it looks like the ideal spot.

We were naturally in awe of Tommy’s Studio, he get’s to rent the lighthouse and that alone would have us flocking there, but I think there is probably already a long queue should he ever decide to vacate it.
I personally cannot think of a more inspirational workspace in which to write, but I’m pretty sure that given the chance, I would find huge inspiration there.

My partner used to skipper a weekend fishing boat and has always been a seafaring Bear and I know that he misses being out on the water. Me, well I would live on a diet of fish if he‘d let me. The size of the Lobsters that he and Ben caught on camera, had me positively drooling at the thought.

At the end of it all, I hope that Tommy finds love with a strong woman who can cope with the demands of Island Life and who will throw herself into it headlong with him and make him truly happy. It seems as though it is the only thing he lacks in his life.

Following the program, my partner asked me to look up property for sale on the Island, he had missed the bit where it was owned by the National Trust of Scotland but, there must be other beautiful Scottish islands right? I should explain myself. I love looking at property, I have always wanted to find and own a property portfolio all over the place, but have not yet been able to raise the finance for this particular dream. I also think that I would be hesitant to let any of it go, so would be constantly moving from one place to another. But I regularly look to see what is out there. A quick search brings up a place called Sanday, It was beautiful and for offers around £120,000 I found a 2 bed farm with 30 acres leading down to the sea for sale. Imagination fired once again, what sort of life could we live in a place like that! However the reality of a Scottish Island for two people with arthritis, would be far different of course, I think the climate would make us miserable especially in the winter months, but the beauty of such a place never fails to tug at the heart and fire the imagination. There’s always a holiday though…
Living the Wild,

Watching a great series on television,
On how some people have made it their mission
On how to let their dreams run wild,
They celebrate their inner child.
Look at Tommy, he’s been blessed
Found a place where sea birds nest.
In the lighthouse, held aloft
Views to sea, or over his croft.
Wild winds, emotional Scottish weather,
Howl and tease amongst the heather.
But when the day is clear and calm,
Can’t fail to notice, it has it’s charm.
A place that’s known as Fair Isle
Where special sweaters are made with style.
Family businesses weaving the yarn,
Made to measure in house and barn
Tommy has lived there making his way,
Day in and day out come what may.
Could walk for miles without a trace,
But never alone in this wonderful place.
A workshop where he will create,
Livestock will roam, so close the gate.
Community living, you’d earn your keep,
When you’re out on the moor tending the sheep.
The guesthouse he runs is called the Auld Haa,
Impossible to travel there just by car.
Stopping to spot an unusual bird,
Trek the fields, with the herd.
Walking and painting that’s the trick,
Plenty to see for the romantic.
Nooks and crannies in which to play,
While children while away their day.
The Craggy cliff face can be sheer,
But hold on tight nothing to fear.
Shoes off, to get your toes in the sand.
Off by plane back to the mainland.
Out to sea by boat to get fish,
More time spent here is your wish.
As Tommy cooks a fabulous dinner.
This has to be your holiday winner.
Open your arms in your dreams you’re hurled
With it all to see, you’re on top of the world.