Saturday, 27 April 2013

Workshops Begin

Last weekend marked the start of my new season of studio workshops.

The Creative Process is one I'd offered several times before so it had been prepared and tweaked and honed and previously very well received. I had notes and inspirational book of quotes to hand.

I had taken hours to tidy and prepare the studio for my visitors. Everything was in place: boxes and baskets of myriad fibres; fabric and threads to inspire; stacks of papers for drawing and printing; jars full of brushes; old yoghurt pots for decanting gesso, glue and paint. Canvases were sitting ready in the corner awaiting their first tentative markings.

In the kitchen downstairs, a tasty, nourishing lunch awaited. Hot and cold refreshments were laid out in anticipation of workers needing to be comfortingly restored with the additional aid of shortbread and juicy grapes.

The scene was indeed well and truly set.

And I was nervous, really stomach quiveringly nervous just as I always am before a workshop begins.

That's because it matters a lot to me that everyone who has invested time and money to be in my studio feels looked after and nurtured as individuals, just as I encourage them to nurture their creativity and value the opportunity they have given themselves to play and explore.

Last weekend I was joined by Julie from County Durham, Lorna and Kathleen who live near Edinburgh and by Ruth and Mari who had flown over from Switzerland.

The weekend flashed by but there were quiet moments when I realised with some incredulity that I had made this all happen. Because I wanted to share my passion, these lovely and very varied women had chosen to spend time with me working in my studio.

How lucky and privileged I am!

Thank you Julie, Lorna, Kathleen, Ruth and Mari for such a good weekend!

I so hope you all enjoyed it too.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

A Maggie Line

"It's a Maggie line!" - shorthand instigated by my husband Kim, describing my obsessive preference for bendy, non-parallel soaring and sinuous lines usually observed in nature and enthusiastically photographed for future enterprises.

Tree branches entwining skywards.

Markings and rivulets left behind on lowtide beaches.

Strata of stone layers on exposed rock formations.

Random discoveries of tumbled pebbles.

Twisted gnarled water-seeking roots revealed.

Creases in the land where hills enfold fields.

Crackings on mountainsides as water takes its course.

And with the last snow and drifting of a couple of weeks or so ago, we saw the achingly stunning white folds and billows, creating yet more "Maggie lines" to wonder at. A joyful beholding of a sympathetic landscape.

Here are just a small sample.

Feel free to click on the images for larger versions

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Opening for the Weekend

Nothing unusual in unlocking the door to my studio, except now I am forced to see it with the prospect of visitors walking around, taking notice of what's on display, being able to stand back for optimum appreciation.

So now I have to transform my space and remove most of the evidence of my everyday working abandonment. When I work I am messy, careless and immediate. I allow no time for the tidy replacing of tools and materials. This in itself would be a fine illustration and conceivably quite sociologically of interest to those who would favour the artist in their natural habitat, but issues of health and safety must take their toll and force me to clean up my act.

So it is a necessity to tidy away and order my accoutrements at least just enough to allow for the visitor to walk through the door and not immediately stumble over unfinished canvases, slide on dropped pastels and become entangled and immobilised by windings of thread and fibre.

It's a tricky balance to achieve between maintaining the enticing romance of the tortured artist's garret and the safe and comfortable access of a public gallery space!

So I'll be delighted to welcome you to my studio this weekend. You'll be able to see a selection of my work, some previously seen and some on view for the first time. I won't even mind if you notice ill-hidden piles under tables and the teetering stacks of fabrics and paints. These all just serve to lend enchantment to the view!