November 03, 2013

Autumn reflections & creations

As Autumn has drawn in I have found myself distracted from my work, so many other bits & pieces to start & finish, never enough hours in the day.  One such "other" project I had in mind was to make a book for all my favorite poems & sayings saved & lost in the depths of the computer. I printed them out and collected them together in a wee book, whose margins & gaps shall be filled with scraps of collected favorite images from magazines etc & scribbles of mine too. A work in progress me thinks, but such fun and a joy to look through .Earlier this year a school in South Africa contacted me asking if they could use my thistle image for a project the pupils were doing about Scotland. Of course I said yes! They divided the image up and each pupil had to interpret their section in their own way. The result a beautiful collage that they then used on the cover of their school year book.
I had forgotten all about the project, then months later a copy of the book popped through my letter box, a lovely surprise, they even included a wee thank you inside. I love the different interpretations, and think the students have done a grand job.
 I have had a bowl sat on my desk filled with petals from my Moms Bourgenvilla bush all Summer waiting patiently for some attention.  They have now been threaded onto string and hung at my studio window where they catch these last Autumn rays of sunlight through their delicate petals.
I took time out to go foraging in the forest during these beautiful Autumn tinged days and lost myself amongst the quiet of the trees, and the beauty of patchwork fallen leaves.  We found goodies a plenty and my new favourite makes  are  blackberry & apple chilli chutney &  Elderberry liqueur!

 I am endlessly fascinated by shadows & silhouette where light is chased into corners & things take on an ethereal quality.  The clear skied evenings have given us such spectacular Autumn sunsets this year, casting magical shadow puppet shows through the windows, edging all with gold and tinting with pink. 
On a visit to the local neolithic site of Cairnholy, one such sunset inspired me to begin work on a new painting. I wanted to capture the mystery & essence of times long past that I felt at this ancient burial cairn.  It is a Clyde chambered neolithic Cairn, meaning it has upright stones on either side of the entrance and is thought to be one of the earliest type. Finds from the site included a leaf shaped arrowhead and an axe with jadeite, a rare green stone that came from the Alps. The axe is now in the Royal Museum of Scotland In Edinburgh. More info on the cairn here & here.


 At last it is done “At the end of the day ~Cairnholy” and now available as prints here in my Etsy store.     For some reason on my laptop it looks much lighter than the original & prints.
As Autumn rolls by and peaceful evenings descend upon our wee cottage it is always a time of reflection for me.  This year for a goodly while I have felt off balance & out of sorts, I realised my work & my art had all got a little too serious & un~enjoyable, something I hear happens to so many creative folk. 

After much reflection my solution is to take a chunk of time out.   I am hoping I can learn to play & get messy & be imperfect again with my creativity, to feel inspired again.  So with that in mind I have signed up to try one of  Jani Franc's  e~courses, exciting & scary, but already proving to be great fun.  So I am settling in for Autumn here in our wee cottage, looking forward to log fires, cosy evenings,  and  much getting messy & playing. 

 I wonder what does Autumn mean for you, do you find it a time of reflection, feel the need for a re-charge, If so what practices or rituals do you find help you ?