Posted on

Autumn fire

And now for some autumn fire!Autumn Fire Its been a yellow day, a golden yellow day! Its in the beautiful autumn light. Last night I took out an old painting of a dancer that just hadn’t worked. I gave it some fresh paint and now it has new light life, fire, just like the last flush of autumn warmth we’re having before the onset of late autumn and winter darkness. I even hear Great Tits singing as though it is Spring! Everything can seem a bit topsy turvy.

Here is my gold, yellow painting I’m calling “Autumn Fire”. It gives some brightness after the rather sombre colours of my Chelon fish. :)

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)
Posted on

Chelon labrosus

chelon  labrosusHere is Chelon labrosus, my thick lipped grey mullet painting.

Thick lipped, migratory, prising off mussels on its benthic trawl….washed in with waves, harbour close…

I had a sudden surge of creativity yesterday evening. I’d been meaning to get down to doing this painting for a while and decided that I really wanted to paint in oils. When I searched my oil paint bag, I realised I was out of white paint. I just couldn’t wait to buy some so out came the acrylics and I slapped them on a canvas mixing the paint with a bit of builders’ scrim. It was most satisfying, but I know the result is a bit of a mess.

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)
Posted on

Fleeting wildlife encounters2

An afternoon wandering the undercliff. A glance over the side of the wall and below we glimpsed fish swimming hazily into view and then disappearing into the waves. I had to persevere to get some sort of photo but the result inspires me to paint the scene. Here is my photo, thick lipped mullet after mussels or seaweed on the sea wall:Thick Lipped Mullet

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)
Posted on

In praise of trees

boat with tree memoryThe other day Kevin and I went for a walk to get out of Brighton. We headed for the River Rother. I grumbled – too many people, it wasn’t wild enough, too tame, can’t get away enough! I missed seeing the pleasant surroundings and wildlife so caught up was I in my thoughts and grumblings.

We came to a wood, “Smutts Wood”. The owner had put a notice up explaining how he was planting trees where the previous owner had felled them. He had included the quote that has been attributed to Chief Seattle and that I’ve seen so many times. I am always moved by it whoever wrote it. It begins:

How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us.
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.

and ends:

Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

When we got back the sink was blocked which didn’t help my mood. It was a balmy, black evening and I sat down disillusioned and gazed into space. Soon my attention was drawn to the photos on my ‘Trees for Life’ calendar, photos of trees in Bhutan for the month of August. I took down the calendar and read the accompanying text finding myself so engrossed that I read all the passages for the proceeding months as well. A change happened, I found myself contemplative, still, …..inspired! Trees had rescued me from my negetive mood. Check out the Trees for Life website.

I sometimes don’t see what is immediately around me, trees closeby, even here, right in the middle of town, forever present. Forever, I hope.


So today I am praising trees.

trees creak with the rhythm of the wind.
boats carry this memory in their wood and creak to the rhythm of the slow-swinging sea…a breathing, creaking bough that could send a baby to sleep.

the boat remembers the tree,
has memories of the tree
has memories of the forest
it knew the forest like it now knows the shore
it remembers the baby it carried, lulled to sleep by creaking bough

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)
Posted on

They will lean that way forever…

The other night I couldn’t sleep. I lay in bed, thoughts tumbling through my mind…and then the song, “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen, started up in my head. I began to sing the words and before I could think properly, I crawled out of bed and fetched my guitar, blew the dust off it and began to play. Or tried to. A friend taught me how to play it, so I can play it but not very well. That night it didn’t really matter, it was just good to be singing and switching off my work head.

Leaning birds

Today I’ve had the day off and decided to make something related to a phrase in the Suzanne song. The phrase I particularly like is:

“there are heroes in the seaweed,
there are children in the morning,
they are leaning out for love and they will lean that way forever,
while Suzanne holds the mirror…”

I found a piece of sanded scaffolding board that I had since my “Blue Goddess” painted board and got to work. The result is far removed from children and seaweed, instead I’ve painted birds! I’d like to have painted heroes in seaweed but couldn’t quite manage it. The result isn’t great but it’s a start to getting back into creating after months of learning and working (which has been enjoyable but different.)

I shall talk about birds soon, perhaps next time, I can see a theme there….

The Leonard Cohen lyrics are great and can be found here.

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)
Posted on

Beautiful Demoiselle

Beautiful DemoiselleI took this today while visiting Woods Mill, headquarters of The Sussex Wildlife Trust here in Sussex. There were many flitting above the water and resting on their territories amongst the vegetation. This is a male, resting on his territory hoping to attract a female. I love his indigo wings! Watching and trying to photograph them is captivating.
Flying beautiful demoiselles

Kevin took the other photo which, although its blurred, I like better as it shows their beautiful, hazy flight and the shadowy stream bed.

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)
Posted on

Fleeting wildlife encounters

I’ve been wanting to photograph the elusive and fleeting wildlife encounters I’ve experienced recently around town — the sparrowhawk that flew straight across the road in front of me making a peeping noise and with a starling or blackbird in its talons. Or the fox which slunk past me on the pavement within a metre the other day, or the one glimpsed crossing the road and disappearing over a garden wall as we were returned from a walk on Hollyberry Hill Fort. My photo of him was too poor to show here, but I’m going to try and feature an urban wildlife photo each week from now on. That could be a challenge.

Birds in overcast skies

Last night I had a dream. I went into a room that was my room in the house I grew up in. The room was dimly lit but I could see that there were pictures, photos and shapes of birds all around the room. In the dream I was studying nocturnal bird migration. When I woke up I wrote it down and felt inspired to do a sketchy picture of migrating birds. I had distinctly seen swallows in my dream, but they’re more like starlings in my picture. The sky is overcast, not quite like the lovely sunny weather we’ve been having! Still, it’s been a bit dull today and I’ve been wrapped up with a cold — just like autumn! I need to do something colourful to welcome the better weather!

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)
Posted on

The poetry of wood…and rust

A recent cloudy day beside the sea yielded these photos. I love the weathered, sea-washed wood of these groyne posts and the rich rust colours of the pier’s iron pillars! Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.
groyne postgroyne post2groyne post3groyne post 5groyne post6groyne post 8groyne post 9wood-groynewood-groynewood-groynewood-groyne

I didn’t realize the words on the pillar were the chorus of a Spandau Ballet song until later!
rust-on-pier-polemessage-on-rusty-pole

Gold
Always believe in your soul
You got the power to know
You’re indestructible
Always believe in,because you are
Gold

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)
Posted on

Violets and primroses

It’s been a while since I last posted anything. I’ve paused with my story at the moment but will pick it up again soon. I’ll be attending a two day workshop on creating picture books for children in June which I hope will give me a little guidance with forming the story and weaving in illustrations to compliment it. Any creative ideas I’ve had have made way for holiday or travel ideas. I haven’t come up with any definite plans yet, but I have itchy feet after such a long winter.

VioletPrimroseMeanwhile I’ve taken spare moments to get out in the sunshine and really enjoy the Spring. On one of my recent rambles I took my camera and just had to take shots of a bountiful bank of primroses and violets. Some trees are still bare from winter or in bud. I liked the confusion of branches in this giant oak.
Old tree

This year I want to get more into photography, so I’m hoping to have good enough photos to share with you soon!

Thoughts
  • Interesting (0)
  • Like this (0)