April 22, 2014

Beach combing, bonfires & driftwood creations . . .

 The unexpected sunshine of the last few days was the perfect excuse to pack up a picnic and head for the beach to hunt for treasure. Beach combing has to be one of my favourite things to do.  I always go home with pockets full of jewel like sea glass, shiny pebbles & sea shells. 
 The limpet shells  (top right & bottom left) remind me of the Cornish legend of  Jan Tregeagle who was set the gloomy task of trying to empty a lake on Bodmin Moor (believed at the time to be bottomless), with a limpet shell with a hole in it. We have a much better use for the limpet shells with holes in them,  we string them into garlands for the garden!
I love driftwood and pieces find their way into some creation or another, my favourite of the moment is wee "Cloth Ears" the pup who lives in our garden!
On my beach hunt I discovered these wonderful trees clinging to the rocks, their roots curling & stretching to find a hold.  They look like there ought to be magical creatures  living in there!
There was lots of wood on the beach too, cast up during all that stormy weather earlier in the year most probably, it inspired my boy to build a beach sculpture.
 Later in the evening, once the stars were out, the driftwood sculpture became a roaring bonfire sending tiny sparks flying into a deep blue night sky.
 A glowing sunset  made a perfect end to a beautiful day, everywhere looked so magical bathed all in gold and it reminded me how lucky I am to be able to call this beautiful place, Dumfries & Galloway, home,  such a magical wee corner of Scotland!
There has been a flurry of activity here with garlands, wee boats & wind chimes being made.  I love making my wind chimes, which can be made to order and cost £14 each plus p&p.  Each chime is embellished with ribbon & shells, as the breeze catches the chime you can hear the delicate song of the shells, a peaceful sound with echoes of the seashore lingering, and as the mobile moves in the breeze it's pieces shift and change about forming beautiful sculptural shapes.

For now I am away back into the studio to work on some new driftwood creations ready for an exciting new happenig that I shall reveal very soon.

April 10, 2014

A Wedding Present Blessing Tree

My latest painting commission ~ A wedding Present Blessing Tree
I have loved working on this piece, commissioned by a customer,
a wedding present for her nephew & godson.
This design combines lots of elements I love, entwined trees, a Celtic Blessing, 
and sumptuous glowing gold
I often look back over the workings of a design in my sketchbook to see how the piece unfolded, and am inspired in new & different directions.

Creating is an organic process for me, I sit & doodle & an idea will take shape on the page as I pull inspirations from my memories of things I discover on my walks, from music, words & poems I hear.

The finished painting with the words of the Celtic Blessing running around the sun. And a first for me, I managed to upload my first ever  (a wee bit dodgy in places) video me doing watercolour washes over the tree trunks.
(You can see another wedding commission design I did a while back
based on the Scottish thistle  here )

April 06, 2014

Art & Design treasures ~

Loving these images, sunsets reflected in broken glass
by photographer Bing Wright ~ see more here.

They remind me of stunning stained glass windows.

April 04, 2014

Easing into the day, gently . . .

Do you rush into your day headlong?
Setting a Morning routine to ease gently into the day
Oh my, I used to do just that, my mornings would be such a jumble & a rush
 1. Diving straight into the studio deal with my e-mails  
2. Going off on tangents, being distracted by a piece of work or research
3. Forgetting to drink my morning coffee
4.  Rushing about feeling stressed and out of sorts
5. Surfacing several hours later having not done half of the things I had meant to!

 So I decided no more, "what would I really like my morning to feel like?"
Relaxed, waking up to the day slowly,  taking time to ease into my day.
 So I set about making it happen, and now I start my day with a lovely studio morning routine
I make sure I take an hour out of my morning to

1. Put on some calming, music from my You-Tube channel
2. Light one of my homemade candles
3. Drink my coffee from one of my fave little mugs I have collected
4. Light one of my favourite incense sticks a "Nag Champa"
5. Spend just half an hour with my sketchbook doodling or writing in my journal.

What a difference! By making just a little gentle "me" time in the morning,
it allows me to settle into the day, find my feet and  relax.
My whole day takes on a different feel and I'm ready to go.

Do you have a morning routine that eases you into your day, I'd love to know what others do!

April 03, 2014

Spring and new things are sprouting . . .

"Sweet April showers do spring May flowers." ~ Thomas Tusser
 I love the sound of April rain pattering on my umbrella!
I know, it's April already, how did that happen?
All these different weather happenings reminded me of a wee poem from my childhood

Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather, Whatever the whether,
Whether we like it or not
~Author Unknown

I'm also loving my woodland walks & feeling Mother Nature really stirring now
everything is sprouting and i am endlessly fascinated by all the different greens,
they are inspiring ideas for a Spring painting too.

 We have a wonderful daffodil lane by the cottage, a row of brightest sunshine
and even on the cloudiest day, it always makes me happy.
 And of course I had been keeping my eye on the wild garlic, and soon had some picked. We used some of the young leaves to add lovely flavour to a salad & I'm going to make pesto too.  Here is a link to an easy recipe for ~ Wild Garlic Pesto
Things are sprouting and growing and Spring is most definitely here at last.

I have been sprouting things too,  exciting new ideas here in my studio!
They are not quite ready to share yet, but I can give you a hint  . . . 
I am putting together a whole series of "creative play" workshops!
Do you have any thoughts on what you would love to "play" with creatively?