ambition looks in the glass

Often not knowing where to begin and so literally just dipping brush into ink and then letting the first contact of brush on paper be the guide, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas on how to get started. So what to me feels like a deliciously lazy starting point, one that really suits me, is my (ab)use of old leather-bound books for painting purposes, as I mentioned in a previous post. I find self spurred on by chapter titles as can be seen in the image above, or random words that catch my eye in others, as illustrated below; although I'm afraid I have forgotten which word inspired me here:

as an artist I consider myself ambitious in the sense that I want to make work that feels honest to me, aahhh how to put into words that cannot be expressed as such!? trying my darndest not to let ego get in the way, leaning into others for inspiration,  gathering images all over, gobbling up artists' crumbs who've blazed the trail

Laurie Anderson 'Now I myself have very few rules about how good art really works. I actually don't know. But I do know that the perfect marriage of form and content is one of the basics. What things look like and what they mean are inseparable to me.'

very non-ambitious where it comes to making money or being famous, alas, as both mean measurable recognition and having enough money means independence

to paraphrase Virginia Woolf 'A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to paint' She by the way is one of my favourite authors.

I usually try not to explain my art, willing the images to speak for themselves, but today I am in a talkative mood and want to share just a little more, although I'm not even sure my words clarify anything. Also, as I am watching and listening to Laurie Anderson's Norton Lectures over and over, words, thoughts ideas are tumbling over and over in my mind, not just hers, mine too; if you are interested - I highly recommend it, Mo Crow pointed me here! - the link to the youtube is here

recent inspiration came to me in the shape of a dead Water Rail, the one Viggo found in amongst the reeds, which he proudly carried back to my husband who in turn knew I would love to paint it; I really don't know why I have collected bones, shells stones feathers all that kind of stuff for as long as I can remember, it never freaked me out seeing dead animals, still doesn't, it's not that I don't have feelings for them, I absolutely do, it's more like I realise that it is all part of life and living, this dying part, and the being dead....and there's no getting away from that, not without missing the point
the one about being happy
grateful for the life we have,
as I have said before, for me, there is no Actual Point to being Here, but whilst we are here might as well enjoy the ride

'these boots are made for walking'
whilst painting things happen, like the boots appearing to grow on the feet, wow

'everything okay back there?'
they keep on coming....

'wanna play?'

I like it when the drawings make me laugh, or at the very least smile, or feel something else, like sadness, melancholy.....wipe away a tear

Winter inspires as I look up at the bare trees, stark dark lines against the grey skies, so much to admire and enjoy and bring back home in my head, simply rendered as marks on paper

never knowing what animal will wake up after that first brush stroke, feeling excited and looking forward to the conversation we are about to have

Yes, I talk out loud
alone in my studio
Do you do that?


they offer consolation and joy and comfort me, a lot like the critters in The Dwelling

being out there in the mud with the dogs is sheer happiness
breathing in and breathing out
being body

I also enjoy walking in the dark
the thrill of being the only human walking on the path together with one or two dogs, the feet knowing exactly how to step ahead, hearing the owls hooting, star-gazing on bright nights, being enveloped in white fluffiness when it's misty

I like life


deemallon said…
I just can’t even say how much I love these inky creatures. Thanks for sharing a little about your process. It makes sense to me that a chapter heading could inspire your expressions. These beings have so much life and personality! It’s a wonder to me how you do it.
Faith said…
I like your inky creatures, too. Sometimes I look at pictures and think "That's pretty" or "that's nice" or even "that's good!" but your pictures make me feel. They make me think, imagine. They invite viewer participation.

I thought the second picture reflected the top paragraph of the page it's on. The bare tree looks like a sad moose to me, for some reason--even with the "extra antler" (maybe that's why he's sad). The bottom right dead bird looks like it's tip-toeing, the top one ready to grab something and the left one just chilling out. The booted dogs made me smile. The one with the bird on his head is strutting so proudly.

Thank you for sharing them.
Saskia said…
hi Dee, thank you! I don't REALLY know how it works, I read a paragraph in the newspaper the other day, an interview with a writer/illustrator couple (she writes, he illustrates) and he mentioned that he 'just starts'and things move and flow on from there, which is very much like what happens with has to do with being receptive/open to everything.....
Saskia said…
wow Faith, thank you! what you say about inviting the viewer in and letting them add to the story is wonderful to read,
making connections through my art is of the utmost importance to me
And yes, that top paragraph totally reflects the that you read that and shared
Liz A said…
having handled many leather bound books in my research library days, I well know how wonderful rag paper is ... it surely welcomes the ink to become a part of it, to join the words and make new meanings ... those books have long been waiting for you ... how wonderful that you have found each other
Nancy said…
I love this new work so much and that photo of the! xo
Saskia said…
you know Liz I almost threw them all out, after years of gathering dust.....ha!
Saskia said…
amazing isn't it Nancy, my new phone sure has a great camera
jude said…
you have really found your path.
Saskia said…
took me long enough Jude!



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