October 29, 2014

Autumn poetry, pictures & paintings

 The golden hues of Autumn have danced through the trees surrounding our wee cottage and trickled their way into my sketchbook. You perhaps already guessed that I love this time of year, it always fills me with the joy of being and ignites my creativity.
Walks in the ancient woodlands fill my pockets with treasures aplenty, each taken home and placed in pride of place on my studio 'seasons'  windowsill to bring me smiles through the darkening days.
 For me autumn feels like a comfortable ancient cloak wrapped about my shoulders, familiar & cosy an old friend to be greeted with joy after the longest of partings.
 Mr O tells says my hair is like "Autumn" and that as we walk in those quiet places I disappear into the surroundings, ha!  so it seems I am indeed an Autumn lass.
 I stop at every turn to take my photos, forever astounded by the hues and textures Mother Nature provides, inspiration for my paintings for years to come.
 Every once in a while I catch a glimpse of wee messages left by fae folk, hearts hidden here & there if you remember to stay still awhile and look for those secret places..
 Even the sunsets seem imbued with Autumnal colour.  It seems the perfect way to say goodbye to the day, to stand on our doorstep and watch the sun slowly sinking into the night leaving velvet darkness.
So I am away back to my paper and my paints to try and capture the essence of Autumn, I'm not sure yet who will appear on the page, but she does have glorious hair.  I shall leave you with some words from one of my favourite Autumn poems by Thomas Hood

"I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
  Pearling his coronet of golden corn."

it can be read in full here 

October 08, 2014

Art journaling workshops

Back during the long hazy days of Summer, I had the pleasure of teaching my first "Introduction to Art Journaling" course.  Set in the lovely surroundings of the Franca Bruno shop in Gatehouse of Fleet,  a beautiful old  converted church,  it was the perfect setting for an evening of creativity.    There was much laughter, chatter, creativity and playing with paints, pens and papers.  Franca provided a delicious array of refreshments to keep us going and someone bought in a big bowl of fresh from the garden raspberries!
 I have been working on a programme of workshop based activities over the past year, with the view to teaching creative play, based around topics that can also take the participant on a journey of self discovery and nurture their soul.   It was a joy to see these lovely folk letting go and "playing" with the materials I provided, and coming up with some beautiful pieces of work. When teaching the workshops, I demonstrate a variety of techniques and medium and with creative prompts folk then experiment and get creative themselves.
 My own art journaling is now an extension of me, a place where I capture my hopes and dreams, emotions and thoughts through art and words. A place I can experiment and play creatively.
An art journal can bring greater insight and understanding of self, it can enhance the ability to listen to our inner voice and heighten our self awareness. By putting down our thoughts it focuses out attention and  allows us to explore them. Journaling is also a great stress reliever, and a wonderful way to discover new talents or awake old ones.
During my workshops we explore self expression, art-making and journaling all in one go.  You don't have to be an artist to participate, all you need is the desire to be creative and an art journal. So if you ever felt you wanted to:
* Discover your artist within
* Begin a creative practice
* Learn to have some creative fun
* Get in touch with and nurture your soul
* Explore creative expression
* Learn how to start creating an art journal
* Begin your journey of self discovery
* Learn art techniques

then perhaps heart journaling is for you.
I have dates for my upcoming "Heart Journaling" workshops

 *  Tuesday 21st Oct, 7-9pm at the Franca Bruno shop. Gatehouse of Fleet £5pp

*  Saturday 22nd Nov 1.30-3.30 at The Art Room within the Old School, Dumfries £20pp
I am also hoping to run a series of weekly workshops in the New Year

You can find more information about the course or contact me if you are interested over on my website www.ruthieredden.com   or e-mail me at ruthieredden@hotmail.co.uk.

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 You may also be interested to read my post about the "Happiness Book" I keep here.

October 02, 2014

Glorious colour in nature and art . . . and a little Kaffe Fassett

As September turns and makes way for October, I am amazed at the glorious weather we are still having. It has been so mild, I can still sit out in the garden and marvel at the sparks of remaining Summer colour showing here and there! The richness of the colours combined with the hues of Autumn weave a rich tapestry indeed.
 All that colour reminded me of the exhibition I saw during our Summer break "Kaffe Fassett: 50 years in colour".  I have long loved Kaffe's work and was lucky enough to fit in a visit to Aberdeen on our way home to see this!
And, wow was it worth the effort.  I have to say the exhibition itself was one of the most inspiring I seen, it made me want to dash right home and experiment with lots of colour and pattern. Below is a video Kaffe made for the launch at the gallery.

As soon as you entered the exhibition you were enveloped by the richness and pattern of Kaffe's work, sumptuous knitted garments for which he never follows a pattern but designs each as he knits, inspired in part by the colours he has chosen.
Fantastic mixtures of colour and shapes in his needlepoint. I very first came across his work when years ago my lovely Mom bought me one of his tapestry books and the materials to stitch one of the cushions.
It is one thing viewing these works in a book, but seeing them in "person",  all grouped together is inspiring indeed. His patchwork kept me mesmerised for ages, the mixing of patterns to create such intricate designs was wonderful.
I came away with a copy of his autobiography, "Dreaming in colour" and couldn't put it down. It is filled with beautiful images of his work and inspirations. I love the way he views the world and sees endless possibilities for his knitting, mosaics, patchwork, ceramics, etc.  You can read more about Kaffe here on his website. As you can see from the top left and middle image below, I love colour and have lots of pattern and colour splashed about our home. 
The crochet throw (shown top left) was made many moons ago by my Grandma. I was recently inspired by one of her patchwork creations to make a quilt for my Grandaughter. My daughter decided the colours: hot pink, turquoise, white and I have been collecting scraps of fabrics for ages (even some snippets of her baby clothes will be added). The trouble was I didn't quite know where to start, it is to be a throw for a single bed, quite a large piece for a first go at patchwork!  Seeing the patchwork at  the exhibition though was perfect timing, and now I am inspired at last and can't wait to see the end result, I'm hoping to have it made by Christmas!Talking of wee rascals, look who's staying with Grannie for a few days. The best kind of distraction! 
Not forgetting of course the winners of my "Blessing Tree" draw.  Thank you to all who took the time to enter, both here and through twitter and Facebook, I loved the replies I got so much I just had to choose two winners in the end: Susan King & Hazel Lightfoot. Congratulations ladies.
As the shadows lengthen and Autumn spreads her amber glow I shall leave you with one of my favourite quotes and some of the words shared by readers of their favourite reasons for loving Autumn ~ Enjoy!

The colors, the cool crisp air, the smell of leaves and apples, and I get to bring out my favourite scarves and boots! I could happily in eternal autumn.

Autumn... colours, leaves, berries, low sunshine and stunning sunsets x
the changing colours, the cooling weather, warm cardigans, kicking through crunchy leaves, warm puddings and custard.

Foggy mornings, spider webs looking like necklaces, porridge for breakfast, leaves turning and that lovely 'smell' in the air.

I love the warmth of the Sun and the cool air; I love the colors of the deciduous trees; I love the lighting at this time - it's such a clear light; I love Hallowe'en; my birthday is at the very end of Autumn so you know I must love the season since I was born into it!

The light, the light, the glorious light....

I love all the seasons, but being a person who loves color, Autumn in New England is really beyond astonishing EVERY single year. 

Here in Southern Wisconsin the Autumn leaves and colors are just starting to show...my favorite time of the year.

Autumn; I was born on a Wednesday in October, like a seed cast willy-nilly under the opulent leaves. Potential in waiting. And my mother named me Hazel, as the asplendent Harvest sun lit all the shells of my fruits. Autumn reminds us to let go; a reminder to surrender. As a creative farer, an artist, we carry this emblem to continue yielding to the Divine, allowing its imagery to flow through us, as rain through Autumn moss.

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I have recently updated my Etsy shop "Mythweaver" and now accept direct payments from visa, credit cards etc as well as the usual paypal. Do visit for a peep at my work. I am soon going to be uploading lots of new goodies very over the next couple of weeks!