|Bookcase behind my writing desk (there's |
another smaller one to the left, on
the windowsill, with art boxes as well)
I've spent the week since returning home from Ireland in some sort of mental limbo - working during the day but then sorting paperwork and rubbish on a grand scale. I know in my heart that I need to make changes in my life; not the togetherness I share with my dear husband, but in what I still want to achieve. I was overwhelmed by the response to my open studio adventure and know I can now spread my wings, and am proud of what I have managed in 'spare' time. I am thinking this through and, regardless of what needs sorting and discarding in the rest of this rambling old house, I am first reorganising my office into an integral work-space. For the last twelve years, since we 'retired' and I started to write free-lance, this small bedroom overlooking the village green has had computer and office at one end. Gradually, in my madder moments when I thought I could maybe try to sketch and create collaged junk-journals, I introduced a few art supplies and books. Work overtook everything however as commissions grew and art has taken a back seat. Not any more!
|'Welsh Idyll' - a piece created for a magazine article|
From now onwards, the two will be interwoven. I won't go into details, but my 'writing' desk is now also where I now work at my laptop, I can see the trees and the sky, feel the sunshine on my face, and have my favourite reference books on the subjects about which I write, and some of my working notebooks, in front and to the side of me. It's not yet completed, but the vacated space where the 'big' computer stands and where I piled reference material and heavens know what, will become somewhere to lay out sketches to dry - and I can bring upstairs my second printer which will also copy in colour when I want to reproduce images for cut-and-paste.
|A mixed-media stitched fabric 'herbal', in progress (though it was actually finished!)|
I am fortunate to have a workroom / sewing room also that doubles as a laundry room but that is underground and has no daylight, and little actual space - it's mostly storage and laundry. It will take me a while to change everything around: a twelve-year itch, if you like, but something that I feel is vital to keeping my spirit young, even as my body fades. I have been trying to catalogue the TYPE of things I love to create; to analyse not so much processes (though actually those as well) but also subjects. Top of the list is that I must work in fabric AND paper, use images - my own wherever possible - incorporate threads, perhaps knitted and crocheted, and certain types of ephemera. Not bling, but what I can only describe as organic, rooted in the earth. And no matter what, I just MUST gave words - my own word-whispers and poem-spills. Topics include landscape, gardens and natural history, travel trails, and history.
|A single page from a map-trail |
(there were eight in all, backed
with calico, and decorated with
napkins and my own sketches
My ongoing projects (many started and waiting to be finished) comprise the following: a) handmade paper-scrapbook type creations, b) ditto in fabric, c) ditto in paper-AND-fabric (oh dear, how boring and repetitive that sounds), but all using a twist on various techniques that, whilst learned from tutors or gleaned from books, magazines and other people, nevertheless are never copies but my own twist on things. To that I would now add my illustrated sketchbooks and notebooks where I try to think images before words, and my attempts at creating from, say, perhaps a single word or artefact and jumping in whether it be junk-journaling or a collage or ...
The images shown here are representative of what I exhibited recently; and to all this, I would now add the burning desire to experiment with new techniques and materials; in fact to move myself upwards and onwards, never forgetting that we only have a limited time on this earth, and I never know when mine will reach the point of no-return.