Archive for June, 2008

Late night stitching – gentle tracing, finding threads and gently lacing through the folds of cotton printed, binding off and sighs contented.

And the flipside.  Fingers pricked, knots and knots and stitches picked up where they dropped and then continued, through the night, and dreams of dark woods, playtimes, frolics, cuddles, flickr.  Fun.


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Tandem session

Big session – still underpainting really, but coming together.  I sometimes wish I could stop right there – not that it is complete by any stretch of the imagination, but there is a delicious tension and softness in those first colours that go down that changes when the painting becomes more careful and deliberate.

I almost always think, when I stand back at this stage, that abstract would be a delightful thing – if only I wasn’t so drawn to the figurative.

I am quite excited by these two paintings.  I can’t wait to build distressed paint texture into them – to increase and deepen the shadows in the cupboard and the fade it out completely to black on the bottom edge.

Today is the first day of school holidays.  Hurrah and much excitement, and much nervous laughing from me – who needs and wants to paint so much at the moment…  I seem to be holding 2 conversations constantly at the moment – one to fill in silence with a girl who is discovering the thrill of conversation and of making me repeat whatever she needs to hear, and one with a boy who has a deep and marvellous imagination that must be fostered.  My poor head is struggling to find space of its own, yet I know that I am lucky that they both want to be near me and engage.  Delightful.  Dizzying….

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I like to paint two paintings at the one time.

It keeps me less precious about the detail until it’s really important, and also (because I must be essentially quite lazy), it makes me use leftover colour mixes in the other painting in areas I might not have specially mixed them for, which is always interesting.

Two works on the go at the moment:

I see you – a painting about my daughter and her little friend (who happens to be a boy). They are so uninhibited in their play and love an audience – it’s very charming to watch.
And it was – fuelled by an awesome photo on Flickr of a dark cabinet at night with light streaming in through the window. I have asked for permission to paint from it and was granted that yesterday so it’s all systems go. The addition of the girl, is my own.

Full day of painting ahead of me – I’ll let you know how I go.

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wellies, oil on linen, 2008

Been a lot of that at our house this week.  Out in the backyard, painting a chair, repainting the chair, repainting the chair again.

It has been a lot of fun – it must be said – in our old clothes and gumboots, just Zara and me, and the chair – which was rescued from a hard rubbish collection over a year ago.  It’s a delightful chair – sturdy and feminine and not too girly.

Today we sanded it – rubbing back the top layers to show what is underneath.  My favourite part.  Stripping back layers, revealing the wood in parts, deconstructing the perfection that is artificial and subjective, and celebrating the wear it has borne and will live through.

And then varnish – which may again be rubbed back.  I like the idea of waxing it heavily, but – as immediate custodian of the future it may perhaps not be wise.  The next owner – or the current one in a fit of redecoration may find wax difficult to remove or paint over.

It lives, it glows, it is perfectly imperfect.

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“I have to tell you, you look so much like xxxxx it’s spooky.”

“You look just like my masseuse.”

“You look just like my sister-in-law.”

“You look just like this woman who catches my train – do you have a sister?”

“You look just like….. somebody else…… what’s her name……..”

Does this happen to everyone? Does everyone have an unlimited number of doppelgangers in the world? Are there really a ‘fleet’ of us wandering around – not aware of each other’s existence?

In the last year I’ve even been shown a few of these people, and I have to say I think I look nothing like them, but it makes me wonder how much of ourselves we think we see when we look in the mirror. I think I know what I look like, but perhaps I don’t. Perhaps when I see myself I look at my perfect ears and broad shoulders, and what is most apparent is the fact that I am an hourglass pear with very straight hair and glasses. Or the fact that I am on the short side. Or the way I walk, and that I have an earthy energy about me. Perhaps I have no idea what I ‘look’ like.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter anyway.;)

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the confidante

The confidante – new work, oil on linen.

Sometimes a work just comes and must be completed immediately.

Sometimes a work sits half-finished waiting to be clarified before I can jump in again.

Sometimes it goes somewhere unexpected and the waiting time was just long enough for me not to feel precious about it, and I think this is the nicest way for things to go.  Sewing projects are similar for me – I get to a point, rethink it, go a different way, and those unexpected details and ‘faults’ are the impetus to find a new direction.

And so it is with the angels.

I have no idea why – but another angel popped up in my work last night.  It isn’t a religious thing, it’s a freedom thing.  It’s a serenity thing, it’s an ownership of the universe thing.  Some of my angels are troubled and questioning and I find that comforting in some way – that the learning never stops and the seeking and evolution continue.

Life without evolving would be so boring don’t you think?

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and fuzzy and warm

I am just so digustingly proud of myself today that something awful is sure to happen to me.

Soft, soft, soft wrap-around vest in charcoal and black mohair and cotton.  To be worn in a variety of ways.  A gift.  So exciting.

I will definately be making another of these for myself. 🙂

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