Sunday, 29 March 2015

doodling continued

the quiet before the storm

Roger van Boxtel (unfortunately you can't see him as Ro, book shop owner is standing right in front of him whilst introducing him to the crowd) presented his book yesterday 'van Trilling tot Rilling', it consists of a series of interviews with musical folks. From what I gathered, the book deals mainly with the contention that music has healing properties and the interviewees illustrate this claim by examples from their personal and professional experience. I hasten to add that the author makes no claims to having written a scientific nor comprehensive study, the book is the condensed result of his life-long personal interest in music. The presentation was followed by an animated discussion and live music!
from the bustle of the town to the calm in the studio a day later: a sleeping model lying close to the warmth of the wood burner, we lost an hour today and hoped for longer light, alas it rained All Day and the skies remained boringly grey

however we did not despair and the water colours continue to materialize, March hares abound today

Django and Tungsten side by side on my studio wall, our youngest son suggested: yin&yang, ha!

Friday, 27 March 2015

doodling in watercolours, revised

 the perfect model, the right tools, non-judgemental mindset, et voilĂ :

Addendum March 28:

As I grow older (omg here she goes, again!) I have come to appreciate ambiguity.

I will attempt an explanation, although that in itself would rather be beside my point.

In my early years I yearned for clarity and believed there might be an answer to every question, if one kept on asking long enough. Thus I read and read and researched and imagined I found answers in someone else’s words and used quotes to survive the chaos.

I am now aware I have come to see things from a slightly different angle, every answer begs at least five more questions, there are no absolutes, we all hold our opinions close to our hearts and are surprised some else has a completely different point of view, if not careful you could feel insulted and even grab a weapon to prove your point.

Within life there is death – one could say the greatest conundrum of all – there is no end, except The End, or should I say My End, as of course Life moves on, irrespective of who or what.

The reason I got to thinking along these lines, is the growing awareness within self of a subtle change in my attitude towards my work, i.e. everything I make. I never strove for perfection (a whole new issue which I am not even going to enter here) but I did like clarity, which can be many things, but that is not what I’m on about here; what I imagined I was making was an object in which my thoughts/feelings etc were clear and apparent to the viewer, notwithstanding their own viewpoint.

These days I am more and more surprised, not so much by what happens in the process as that has always intrigued me, but by the fact I now embrace ambiguity, am fascinated by the not-knowing what it is that has happened. How the resulting image still holds many secrets, how I am now able to stop ‘improving’, how I increasingly trust the handiwork to reveal what needs to be revealed, even though I don’t understand it myself.

Part of this story is illustrated by yesterday’s water colour doodles, only later did the words arrive.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

wonderment & wandering

from his latest album The Fade in Time, which arrived Thursday in the mail as the crowd fund was successful:

I’ll take my dog and my air-gun too  And I will take a ramble
For I will ramble for a mile or two  Just to see what I can find-oh

And I had not gone two fields from home  Before up jumped a hare-oh
And she jumped and away did run  Straight into my plantation

I had not gone three fields from home  Before up jumped another
And she jumped and away did run  My dog made her squeal murder

See how she laughs, see how she cries  When something stopped her running
Though lay you still, my poor pussy cat  For your uncle now he is coming

Oh I slept all night in the tinker’s arms  Tinker put his arms around me
Oh there was folks and there was jokes  Paddy’s lost his banjo
I wouldn’t part from my sweetheart  For tuppence ha’penny or farthing
Another load of wagon men  Get a little bread for the women

I took that hare all along the road  And I sold him for a crown-oh
And they said they’d give me all a crown a brace  If I would bring them fifty

'Sam Lee on this song:
A song of love and devotion for the wild hare and a passionate reconciliation in song of the paradox of having to kill the things we love for survival. ‘Airdog’ tells of that almost carnal embrace of dog and hare as they tumble entwined in slow motion across that liminal landscape of love and death. It’s a most tranquil ceremony on the laying to sleep of the ‘pussycat’ as it transits from being lithe potent creature to mere quarry and marketable meat. From the singing of Gloucestershire man Wiggy Smith and intersected by bits of jasper Smith’s ‘Brighton Camp’,  for me this song is true Gypsy poetry'

I would have liked to have been able to share the video of this particular song, alas I could not find it, recommend you connect to his site here 

instead an interview

i might add another hare, will definitely add stitches to the top part, all over

How my mind moves

I pick up E.Meloy's ‘anthropology of turquoise’ having decided to take this along to the shop today, who knows I might have an opportunity to read; just before inserting the book in my bag I cast a glance on the first page and in that instance am almost swept off my feet by the incredibly sensual depiction of this to me unknown land -  good choice then; am consequently struck by the quote right at the very beginning, most especially by the author’s name W.G.Sebald, a name I don’t know, however I am intrigued and mentally make a note to check on him in the bookshop. Once there I forget all about Sebald until I open ‘de Wandeling’ by R.Walser, another book I want to read and lo and behold in this book again the name Sebald. Now I immediately google him and uncover some interesting facts, he was German and has spent a good part of his life in the U.K. teaching European literature, he loved walking and has written several books….. I pick one and order this. It appeals to me because it’s about his hiking in East Anglia ‘Rings of Saturn’, I then turn to Turquoise only to discover the quote is from this very book. Full circle, wandered a good deal in words, the mind full of swirls as it keeps on making connections.
am smiling as I hear the youngest arriving home


Dropped in at the book shop to collect a couple of second-hand books; we have recently experienced the generosity from one who apparently read English on an academic level, so amongst these gems not only ‘regular’ novels abound, there appear to be many text books. I gathered these three: Sterne’s ‘A Sentimental Journey’ and a collection of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, both in an Everyman’s Library edition and ‘The owl and the Nightingale’, ed. By Eric Gerald Stanley (Manchester University Press, 1972)

The last turned out to be a pleasant surprise as it is an over seven hundred year old poem, printed here in Middle English - I think -, which to my untrained eye bears many resemblances to Dutch, Latin and Scandinavian languages – which should probably not come as a surprise
It will not be an easy read, but it has immediately got my imaginative (is this a proper word?) juices flowing, a drawing ensued and now I almost do not want to try and find a version in more readable modern English. However I am also very curious to read the tale…..

Here a quote from the introduction:

‘Those who have considered The Owl and the Nightingale as a work of literature have written of it with so full a measure of praise that one comes with relief upon Thomas Wright’s introduction to his edition of 1843, where he simply calls it ‘a curious poem’. That it is, and it is more than that. More than any other English poem written before the fourteenth century it makes an immediate appeal to the modern reader. The Nightingale delights; and the crab-faced Owl disapproves of our delight, of our frivolity, and of the Nightingale’s lascivious promptings. We are allowed to listen to the debate of the two birds, not asked to judge between them. For we are not to be trusted; we might well decide in favour of the plausible Nightingale, though on more sober reflection we should perhaps admit that it is to the Owl that the victory ought to have gone. The disputants have chosen a better judge than we are, one Nicholas of Guildford, wise, just, and learned, yet not inhuman. Alas, we shall never know for whom he finds. The poet too appears impartial. Let us likewise reserve judgment, at least till we have heard the case.’

Are you excited too? Curious to know what the poem is all about?
I most definitely am and have googled several sites and will ‘cheat’ by reading a translation in modern English!

several useful links:
wikipedia here

a master's thesis here 
a translation here 
a short description here

Friday, 13 March 2015

spaceship earth

 map of the world, this dye result just makes me very happy.....I'm not sure what to make of it, I have little time for stitching anyway, I have time to ponder on what to do eventually...............

thank you Julie for pointing me towards this particular collection of Mary Oliver's poems

'Though the worms kept biting and pinching
I fell in love with this star.
I stared at it every night -
that light so clear and far.

Listen, a junkyard puppy
learns quickly how to dream.
Listen, whatever you see and love -
that's where you are.'

Sam Lee Blackbird

Thursday, 5 March 2015

message from the birdhut

 new phone i.e. new camera, first image of Django staring up at strange device, first selfie and there on the foot/cycle path in the woods: a toad walking very slowly across, so slow in fact I mistook him for a leaf and almost....stepped on him, he remained motionless for the photo and refused to budge even with a dog nose in close proximity; been very busy these past couple of weeks, seems like I've been working non-stop (I exaggerate, of course) however tomorrow will be city-hopping to Copenhagen with my sister and our mother, visiting family for a long weekend! so relaxation is nigh.