Monthly Archives: August 2012

Looking back

By chance, in my studio yesterday, I picked up an old notebook of mine, from 12 years ago. I read it last night and this morning, and I have been struck by the many references to animals and the work I am doing now – or rather, which is emerging, being manifested now.

I am reminded of the animal quilt I sewed, with little animals hanging from it as if on little umbilical cords. I thought at the time that my work was like little children hanging from the walls. My work has matured since then, is more autonomous, less raw, more resolved.

In my old drawings I see horses/animals with legs made of leafy plants; they were never developed then, but they are now.

– and this paragraph: ‘Art is like gardening. You have to learn to wait for flowers to reveal themselves. and you have to prune, to mulch, to clear away, and to leave alone sometimes. Especially with trees.’ I don’t know whether this is a quotation I borrowed or not, but it is amazingly apposite for my thinking now.

I was reading about Genghis Khan… the OVA, or monuments on the tops of hills with poles on them holding horse’s skulls – places of pilgrimage (but didn’t I also read those warriors slaughtered their horses mercilessly).

Twelve years ago I felt I was wearing a bridle, with blinkers on, with flowers on the inside of the blinkers – maybe I should make this bridle now?

I loved the writing of Rumi then too: he wrote, ‘Art is the salve that will heal our heal our eyes’.

Watercolour. How I used to sit beneath my horse’s front legs. She would stand with her head over me. Shown at Artsway 2009.

By chance, in my studio yesterday, I picked up an old notebook of mine, from 12 years ago. I read it last night and this morning, and I have been struck by the many references to animals and the work I am doing now – or rather, which is emerging, being manifested now. I am… Read more »

The Juliet Gomperts Trust; studio work on linen

The Juliet Gomperts Trust are generously funding the materials and frames for the watercolours which I’ll be showing at Newlyn. This is making an enormous difference to my working life as it means I don’t have that financial worry hanging over me. I am so grateful.

The studio work has been going well; I have been working with watercolour and gum arabic on gesso-primed linen. Discovering new things about support through animal protection. Three nights ago I dreamed that my beloved dog gave me her beautiful skin to help me. In the dream I knew she was dead and in the Earth, yet she was also with me in the dream, and not dead. The skin she offered me was not bodily, but energetic, subtle. I have been working intensely on the quality of the gazes between species. Turning blood to milk takes a long time, as Rumi said.

The Juliet Gomperts Trust are generously funding the materials and frames for the watercolours which I’ll be showing at Newlyn. This is making an enormous difference to my working life as it means I don’t have that financial worry hanging over me. I am so grateful. The studio work has been going well; I have… Read more »

Spanning the Material Field no.2

Found a great book in Oxfam, St. Ives, some months ago. Finally had time to have a proper look. It’s called Himalayan Art, by Madanjeet Singh. There are some wonderful little paintings depicting humans and animals. And some interesting dream accounts and stories. …”According to this story, Gautama’s mother Maya Devi dreamt of a white elephant entering her body from the right side…according to the dream interpreters ‘the child of her womb will assuredly be a holy child and grow up to achieve perfect wisdom’.”

“Tsahna was a lazy individual who was disowned by society because he was fond of sleeping… he lived in a cemetery, and at last he met a Yogi, who told him to ”imagine that you draw all the phenomenal objects into your spiritual self, then meditating on an ocean, perceive that your awareness floats on the water like a duck’….”

“He also taught Godhava to meditate at every dawn by concentrating on the songs of the birds and identifying himself with them.”

“Kukuripa was a Brahman who became a Yogi. Once when he was on his way to Lumbini, he found a stray puppy and took care of it for before 12 years before he went to Heaven. The gods entertained Kukuripa lavishly but he was unhappy without his pet. So he came back to earth and, as soon as he touched the dog, she was transformed into an angel. She then taught him the Tantras of Prajna (knowledge) and Upaya (method) and thus both achieved salvation.”

I was working today on a piece with a deer and disembodied wings. A tree is a companion; above,  an animal-bellied budding-breasted cocoon is appearing. I think there is a story in there but I don’t know what it is yet.

Works in progress in my studio, August 1st 2012

 

Found a great book in Oxfam, St. Ives, some months ago. Finally had time to have a proper look. It’s called Himalayan Art, by Madanjeet Singh. There are some wonderful little paintings depicting humans and animals. And some interesting dream accounts and stories. …”According to this story, Gautama’s mother Maya Devi dreamt of a white… Read more »