A week’s holiday in September took me to the North Devon coast traveling between Westward Ho! and Lynmouth. A few happy days of coastal and moorland walking. What intrigued me most, and has stayed with me in my minds eye, was the shoreline around Westward Ho! In particular the pebble ridge made from fine-grained sandstone. These are much larger than the pebbles I find along the North Somerset coast and at first sight appeared to be a uniform grey. However when I stopped and looked more closely, I discovered the delicate tones of weather bleached pink, blue and orange amongst the pale grey. And closer to the water’s edge the wet pebbles revealed deeper layers of maroon and brick red. And as for the moody low sky and the deep blue/green sea……..Such an inspiration for future paintings.
Alongside my friend Emma, of Do Yoga, I helped deliver a Yoga and Mindful Art workshop at Weston Artspace. As so much of my own artwork is developed in a mindful way, allowing others to experience the joys that creating art can bring is very important to me. And combining it with yoga creates a perfect body, mind, spirit experience. Both benefit from an openness of heart and mind.
After an hour of gentle flow yoga with Emma, using the circle as a theme for our asana, I took this idea to encourage some loose free-flow art. We used music to give us an anchor and to aid our focus. With gentle words of encouragement along the way it was beautiful to watch all the participants letting go and experiencing something of a flow state as they created. As one of them said afterwards, it was a very immersive experience.
And at the end to work as a group to create our collaborative piece was simply exhilarating.
To coincide with the launch of my new website I’ve decided to write a digital journal. This is both for myself, to clarify my thoughts and processes, and for anyone who is interested in reading how my work and other ‘stuff’ develops.
August has been so busy, with many visitors from wide and far, that my painting has been put on hold. The upside of this, is the time that it has provided to reflect on the direction in which my work is heading.
Since the North Somerset Arts Week show at Clevedon Pier I’ve been creating new larger scale pebble paintings. In June the opportunity presented itself to join an online art course led by Tara Leaver called ‘Free Up Your Art’. This came at the perfect time as I was beginning to feel trapped into becoming more and more realistic in my work, it was starting to feel too tight. The course allowed me to let go and work in a far more abstract and intuitive way. I loved it!
Having new possibilities has raised so many questions……. Would working more abstractly still communicate the sense of the small intimate landscape? Or would my paintings simply become examples of pattern, form and colour?
It’s only through uninhibited experimentation and mindful reflection that these questions will come close to being answered. As I write I feel a palpable sense of excitement about the creative possibilities to come.