The unfolding of my days now includes this nightly ritual,
no matter what time I have between getting home and going to sleep, at least part of it is spent between the pages of this book. I make the time, eke it out, surprise myself how much page can be covered and how many doodles will flow.
It’s a dumping ground for thoughts and feelings, fragments of information, part formed thoughts. Ends of words that doodle off into a cat’s face. That sort of thing.
Clothing that’s not quite wearable any more, fabric scraps and snippets, material I’ve dyed, painted, embroidered, cut up and sewn up and all the projects and garments that haven’t quite made it, that haven’t quite played out, but they’re still lingering. Then there’s the trimmings and buttons and beads, the threads, the wools, the fibres….
Lingering, for the longest time.
I just needed the nudge to know what for.
And the nudge happened recently! I’ll tell you more soon, but there’s something enormous in the making: a turning point in my days, a purpose I couldn’t see until so suddenly it showed up to me. It keeps showing up in my dreams, and I’m waking up in a full on spin of ideas.
And they are manifesting as these bizarre little creatures.
these folks will know this old trick: Squash that inky stencil between future pages of the book in which you’re playing and get the two-folded benefits of not wasting a drop of delicious colour and planting the seed for a creation yet to be born. That’s where this page began:
And another familar trick: glue in a load of the offcuts of paper that are littering the work table. Much of this was soon to be lost under layers of heavy paint. But that’s the nature of the ephemeral.
Life’s little upsidedowneries; they entertain, baffle, bemuse.
I considered not posting this page, tbh I was just relieved I took these first pics before I got too far in, so at least I had something to show for the week if I couldn’t bring myself to unveil the way it went from here….
Mmmmm yummy Golden fluid acrylics: I have like about 5-6 of these weeny little bottles. They are expensive, but they are so lush. Delicious. Mmmmmm…. And just a few little drops scrape out soooo much colour:
I love! I love these colours, I love the blending, I love so much about these paints. I recommend them wholeheartedly.
So maybe that’s exactly why it all seemed to fall apart when I began gluing other stuff all over this start to the page.
Eurgh. Hasty move.
But y’know what, I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve got good at letting go and moving along, overcoming those WHYDIDIDOTHAT?s and getting straight into the next OOHBUTNOWICANDOTHIS!
This week though, try as I might, they weren’t coming together for me. And then suddenly it’s the end of the week and I’m all WHAT!? where did that go? Cue: Massive flurry of activity.
So when I tried with some more of the lovely-insided envelopeand a bit of Inktensity I just wound up covering over a load of what I had liked with something I liked a lot less. A lot less 😦
In a frenzied state of compulsive collage and paint scraping I hit it with all I could muster before I ran out of day. And I got this:
I didn’t like it much. And then I went to bed.
This morning I got to taking the photos and as I was looking at them, something odd happened:Do you get this sometimes?
A thing can be a thing, then with no warning, it becomes its opposite: It flips, reverses, and it nearly never gives you any warning.
All that was rushed, ugly and scratchy the night before was now curiously deliberate looking.
The colours that were chosen by serendipity: what’s on the table in front of me…
they’ve flipped from hideous clashing mismatch to interesting contrasts.
In combination with taking photos at odd angles, I do believe this is really warming up to be something I like.
Even the ubiquitous eyes have evolved. And now I’m looking at it here, I can’t help see how the purples go with the purpley background on screen, Well whaddayouknow.
The two Water paintings have been progressing along since I last showed you. The biggest development has been that they are now populated with deities.
I’ve invited in the spirits of some gods and goddesses from all parts of our history and mythology.
In keeping with the themes, these are rulers of water and creativity.
Over the last couple of weeks they’ve merged into the swirls. As they become part of their environment and with the water theme very much established I’ve released the color rule of only blues. And zingdoesn’t the blue become suddenly so much bluer!
The thing I wanted to tell you about now is monkey related:
Since I spent a weekend in conversation with my daemons, they’ve been magicking themselves into apparency here,there & all over. This week they’ve manifested in a semi-Cubist, heavy handed biro scrawl, merged, their tribal Día de Muertos faces peering out from the recesses of the page.
We’ve been sharing the available space in this mind for a few decades. It’s refreshing to shift the power balance between ‘them’ and ‘us’ (for want of better terms).
So when I read the post from Danny Gregory this week, asking for tales from our Monkeys, another bunch of dots connected: Monkey minded me, the battles with my daemons, and all the reasons it took me so long to go to art school.
I dedicated a corner of a page to the Monkeys (they were chief trouser-wearers and direction-choosers in my life for way too long. They get a corner to play in now. I get the rest of the page. That is ALL) A place to start unscrambling some thoughts:
These are the bare bones of those thoughts:
My monkeys bewilder me with their faultlessly formed logic.
They have faith only in the opinions and the hard-hearted snipes of the the hardcore cynics. They know why I can’t and what I can’t and all the reasons why.
They will poke at me with pointy sticks if I turn my back on them for long. They stand in my way. They say: don’t show yourself, not your real self, cos then the haters aren’t hating the real you. You tricked the haters, the mean kids, the ones who know. You win. See?
The monkey’s logic is flawed at a level so deep I sometimes forget : Do not trust the monkeys.
It was the Monkey’s determination that as art isn’t a real job, and work isn’t supposed to be fun, and all the associated hooey, that defined my existence until quite recently. A large part of life (by my reckoning) is unpicking the knots that we spend the preceding years tying ourselves up in. Unattended monkeys will continue tying knots.