I still seem to be into hares right now. Here are my two Silver Spirit Hare board paintings on sale in Retail Therapy in Brighton.
While on Havergate Island last year, I had plenty of opportunities to watch, study and photograph the island’s hares. It was a pleasure.
A full moon shimmered on the waters of The Narrows.
On returning, I drew this picture, called “Havergate Hare”. It is now a greetings card available on my Folksy shop :)
I’ve just opened my Folksy shop and am begining to fill it with cards, paintings and papier mache bowls. My latest addition is this “Dancing Heart” bowl painted with acrylic paints and metallic, acrylic inks that give it a shimmering finish:
I hope to get more cards into my website shop, soon. Any requests, just contact me :)
Sifting through my blog images my attention was caught by my swan illustration created for the inside of a bottle that was tossed into the Atlantic last year. I haven’t heard from anyone who may have found it – yet. Anyway, I thought about the swan image and decided to redraw the picture without the words and experiment with it in photoshop, overlaying it with a photograph of a misty sunset over the River Adur.
Here is the result:
My thoughts turn to why I drew swans flying at night in the first place. I recall that they migrate at night, navigating by the stars. Am I right? Are they migrating now?
A quick check confirms that some swans migrate. They fly by day and by night and when they fly by night, they learn to navigate by the stars. Mute swans were sacred to the Greek God, Apollo, as the bird was known as a symbol of light.
I am also reminded of the lovely Celtic myth of Aengus, the God of Dreams, who falls in love with a girl he sees in a dream. After much searching the girl is found and she is called Caer. Each alternate year Caer becomes a swan. Aengus can only claim her if he can identify her amongst a hundred swans which is what he does. But to join her, he too transforms himself into a swan. They then fly away together singing such beautiful music that all who hear them succumb to a deep sleep.
Here is a new wooden board painting, called Psyche because of the butterflies in it. (You can read the myth of Psyche and Eros here.) She is the latest in my series of Goddess paintings.
Below are others from the series: Abundance, Soulful, Nurture and Moongazer. They have all gone to loving homes in the big wide world.
I’m returning to my River Goddess long term project. I would like to explore it in all sorts of media -more paining, photography, video, words, movement. Yesterday I was playing with some of my images in photoshop and had the idea of making booklets to either print or make as rough artworks in themselves. Instead of buying A5 sketchbooks or making them from scratch, I’ve decided to use some A5 brochures I found and remake them into artbooks.
Here are some sample pages:
I’ve come up with some interesting images I thought I could make into cards as well:
Feel. I feel I have to start again
within my field of feeling.
I have brought down fences and the hedges are small,
I can see over chaos.
The pages of my life hang like tattered sails,
I could dance like the warm-cool breeze and they would flutter
My words have not left yet
nor the breeze, free voice of the barmy night
now the sun has gone so I cannot reach over for it.
I feel that I must begin again
within my field of feeling.
And there is promise and potential in the air
pregnant as a thought,
wordless, small to bursting.
My words like waves washed away something smooth,
a shore beneath the gulls of night.
We are beneath a gibbous moon whose pull is not enough.
I lounge and long in the backwash of this moon’s shadow.
If only I could capture this night like a moth in a jar
and savour it in my field of feeling
By day, it is alive with moths
This night is a book open in the breeze, a half forgotten chapter,
Words hang unsung, a voice unuttered, a body unstirred in an
Perhaps it is time to wake within my field of feeling
remake where words left off
and all the jars I couldn’t fill, the jars of night and stars
and milky ways and the sounds of storm petrels,
now the night is here and the moon, a nickel.
The night is bent over like a woman in indigo, a desert dreamer.
She picks her way through fields of sea campion and hares,
she dares to look between the papers and words,
the body and head,
the schisms, rifts,
the dichotomies, the hesitations, confusions, reflections.
She looks between into the field of feeling
where the rich grasses rustle
and the trees in breezes dare to speak
And she looks to the open book,
the sails beneath the nickel moon
and pulls over the blue veil til horizons meet
and from there, in the field of feeling,
she begins the dream.
Here is a recent painting, Goddess Totem, done on scaffolding board like my River Goddess. Both of them currently stand either side of my bathroom door.
Fish, a snake and butterflies feature in the painting. Fish symbolic of faith, transformation, fertility, wisdom? Snakes – eternity, rebirth, and healing perhaps? Butterflies may mean the soul, transformation, lightness? The woman has folded arms suggesting an Egyptian sarcophagus. Buried and obscured by golden leaves the arms of the goddess are held up from beneath by a sunken angel who fades into watery depths. Perhaps something is oppressing the religious spirit in this painting? :)
After Goddess Totem, I painted a triptych based on a combination of the Three Graces, my River Goddess and Mami Wata. I’m hoping to display this at the Brighton Wood Recycling Centre soon.
I painted Goddess Totem around the same time as researching Mami Wata and I realize my recent board paintings have certain similarities to the African Mami Wata spirit. Mami Wata is often depicted as a mermaid-like woman holding a snake.
Below is a pen and ink version of Mami Wata for my Goddesses of River, Sea and Moon book.
I stumbled on the work of my next inspiring artist while doing a search online that took me to ‘Wild Apples’ magazine. I really wanted to know who’d done the cover for the Fall 2008 edition and one of the pictures inside. I delved a bit deeper and found out that the artist was Julia Zanes. It’s always good to discover an artist whose work is new and exciting to me.
Julia Zanes‘ work is blue-tinged; her paintings have an underwater, dream-like quality. I love the detail, the whitish, ghostly overlayering of imagery, the poised figures. We’re given a snapshot of life, a scene within a story that makes us wonder what has happened a moment before and what is about to happen. The paintings wait, layered with stories, flourishing with underwater life that’s broken by something – the observer(?) – like the bird flying in through the window. And they’re blue, as wonderfully blue as a memory.
Another inspiring artist is Irene Hardwicke Olivieri. Her work is surreal and like me, she paints, sometimes, on wood – panels and doors. I love her intricate and beautiful scenes peopled by figures – little or large and often women; insects, other animals and weird, fanciful creatures haunt corners. Some of her paintings depicture figures, half submerged, divided by two worlds one air-breathing, the other sub-aquatic like the conscious, surface existance and the unconscious world of dreams.
Irene writes personal stories on her paintings. This is something I’d like to do at some stage, but I need to learn to write better with paint! I like her use of natural imagery; her paintings seethe with fertile life. And she paints women often interwoven with this natural imagery. I have a strong liking for paintings with flowers and vegetation such as the in Primavera by Botticelli and 15th and 16th century tapestries.
A recent discovery is Moyo Ogundipe. While researching Mami Wata for my goddess book, I stumbled on a bright painting that I liked instantly:
More of his work can be seen here.
Looking at several of his paintings at the same time and the “blue” is very noticeable! I’m drawn to his work because of his colours but also because he paints mythological imagery – water/sea spirits, mermaids, women and wildlife – imagery that features in the stories and beliefs of his native land, Nigeria.
Researching for my goddess book has influenced my recent paintings. More about them in my next post :)
I am really pleased to learn that two of my artwork submissions for the 2014 Earth Pathways diary have been chosen for inclusion. One of them, “A Letter at Twilight” is being used as the title page inside! The Earth Pathways team have made it look lovely:
2014 Diary sample pages – including “A Letter at Twilight” – can be seen on the Earth Pathways website. The cover looks amazing and I’m sure the whole diary will be treasure as it usually is.