Friday, 24 May 2019

Chicken love and other life lessons.

Ambient sounds she said.  Add ambient sounds to your animations.

So I sat outside my gate this evening and watched the sun set, enjoying  the exquisite ambient sounds all around, especially the happy blackbird in the old walnut tree right above me. I had my first lesson in animation this evening.

Will you email me your little demo I asked my extremely talented teacher?  She paused. I know you she said,  you'll want to put it on Facebook.  Humm!  I'll need to edit it she decided. We laughed.

 Actually I was thinking of sharing it here, but I haven't succeeded.

Pinterest pic.

I've been given homework. Approximately 62 drawings and some recordings of  ambient sounds for next week. That's fine. That's the nature of animation, masses of drawings with small changes. The little film will last 20 seconds ! I've wanted to make animated films all my life.

In the next blog you'll see the outcome.  In the meantime, here's the reason I've been quiet for the last however many weeks - drum roll - introducing my brand new website.

Back to the present moment.  Adventures in Andalucia.. Living with chickens (and foxes).

Yesterday at 11am, tiny 87 year old neighbor Louisa was on the other side of the fence, mostly hidden by the jasmin bush. She witness the whole happening. She doesn't miss a thing. Her memory is better than mine. She loves my chickens. She's chicken savvy. She pokes little bits of cut up lettuce though the fence for them every morning.

Louisa's stoical about the dog bite that happened on Saturday.  Her 60 year old daughter cried when she told me  the story. The bandage on her left leg is pristine white. She's wonderfully cared for.

Yesterday's chicken story, for sure, will now be the latest news around the village.   

Village news, Louisa’s version:  

Madre mia ! Margarita’s hen flew over the fence and perched on her shoulder. Dios mio she didn’t want to get down!  No puedo creerlo ! They gazed into each others eyes. Margarita started talking to her.  It looked like the hen  was listening and  telling her something too ! Madre mia de mi vida, nunca, jamas he visto algo asi ! 

 My version : The characterful speckled hen flew 4 feet onto the wire fence.  She wobbled there (as if on a tightrope), then cautiously walked onto my outstretched arm. She’s  done this once before. From there she hopped onto my shoulder and gazed into my eyes. Some strange but friendly noises continued for some time. We communicated mutual awe !  

She didn’t want to fly down. I had to shake her off. 

This is the same hen who nearly got eaten by the fox and the two dogs a few weeks ago, but survived. He name is Dotti Malaika.

I have never, ever seen anything like this in my whole life said elderly Louisa  -  we both laughed a lot. I had never heard her laugh before. 

More about this incredible little hen soon !

Friday, 1 March 2019

Beyond words

I've spent a week writing  my new Artists Statement., here it is.

It's been hard because I've  always felt art is beyond words.

I  have themes and colors which change over the years.  The  driving energy, the  feelings which come into each drawing arrive of their own accord.

My hope is you find something of your own story  in my drawings. Something uplifting.

I started drawing  aged  three.
In these first autobiographical wax crayon drawings I’m a healthy, smiling small nurse  in  a Scottish hospital  ward surrounded by sick ladies glued to their beds .  Adopted by two pioneering women doctors, I was told to be proud of my ‘half’ Jewish heritage. The other half of me is Irish Dutch.

My recent  art has unfolded  in ‘chapters.’

*Nomadic years - paintings from Alaska, New Mexico, Bolivia , Peru, Spain. 1998- 2014

*Expressive arts images - healing cancer 2015 -2017.

*Belalcázar  Monastery – drawings inspired by research into  Spain’s Golden Age -1492, -Sephardic  Jewish ancestors. 2016- 2018.

*Jewish ancestors - drawing and digital images inspired by discovering long lost Lithuanian grandparents. 2018 – .


*Sketches and life drawings 1998 – 2019.

My art is serious and I guess I am too, but humour and playfulness always have a way of  slipping into my life.  The new digital drawings are all about playing with line and colour. Using these techniques I’ve come to understand and use and share healing aspects of art.
In drawing, I usually start by mark making  then quickly,  inevitably create chaos.   Gradually and mindfully I find ways to access that  energy which doesn’t care about the outcome of the image. Sacred  world  music helps this happen.   In 1996 I deleted the words good bad and should from my vocabulary.

Often the drawing/painting chaos can last days or weeks or months.  Then suddenly, something extraordinary happens.  Characters appear -  timeless stories emerge.
People say they see aspects of themselves in my drawings -  parts they don’t usually notice or talk to.
Rafael, The Fauves , Egon Schiele ,Toulouse Lautrec and Scottish  friend John Bellamy’s drawings were early inspirations.  I spent 6 years passionately studying art at St Martin’s Art School in London and at Edinburgh  College Art College.
20 years ago equally passionately, I began the process of unlearning.

“There is no discovery without risk and what you risk reveals what you value.”   Jeanette Winterson 

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Adventures with Colour.

New Creative retreats starting in May.

Exploring, and using  colour in new ways. A  adventure into colour making.  - destination unknown. For passionate hobby artists and  professionals.

Like the idea?

Whatever kind of art you make at the moment, the  pledge is that you will go away  inspired to be braver, more curios, bolder, risk taking , and with your inner critic quietened.

The retreats will be fun, exciting, unblocking, inspiring you to start using  new techniques ,ideas, and attitudes to your art making whether you’re a passionate hobby artist or a professional.

 The idea is to provide a safe non-judgmental  place where you can meet and greet  your most creative self.   Self-sabotage will be used as your inner compass.

Your inner critic will lose total
control .  I know that’s quite a claim but believe me , it’s possible.

I will teach some basic drawing  and colour mixing skills, the rest will be playing with a wonderful variety  of materials and techniques, some in the studio others  in nature.

 You can call it expressive art if you need a title.

Dates and prices to follow.  Please see the ‘old’ website for back info.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

New retreats in Spain 2019

Meet and greet your most creative self! 

New Creative retreats starting in March 2019. 
7 days in Andalucia, small groups, individual tuition and masses of encouragement.

For people seeking a new  relationship with their inner artist, for people feeling stuck with their ideas and techniques. 
For experienced  artists  wanting to go beyond what they create at the moment.

Are  you willing to take risks,  surprise yourself, tame your inner critic, have fun, not judge every brush mark? 

A week of experimenting with expressive  arts to  completely loosen you up.  

Nuture  your inner artist with sunshine, blue skies, lovely food, in nature in southern Spain.

'Play is the highest form of research.'