Forgive me if I sound a little flat. For flat is how it feels.
It is lockdown number 2, and I have run out of jobs that need doing that I clearly don't intend to do.
I realise now that the main goal for these few weeks is to get through them in a reasonable state of mental health.
And to that aim I have three priorities
I joined an on line art class; 'Where Drawing Meets Words' with The Royal Drawing School
I wasn't sure what to expect, but the title felt manageable.
Words and pictures, stories and illustration.
I have long hoped to illustrate a childrens' story that I have written about a mountain, and this class seemed like a good step in the right direction.
The book 'Uncommon Genius' was recommended by our tutor as a guide to creativity; I ordered a second hand copy in 'GOOD' condition.
This is it. You can be the judge with regards the condition.
It tells me that creative people, amongst other things
All of these things less easy to achieve when locked down.
We worked on the story of Little Red Riding Hood, making a storyboard as if for a book.
I had forgotten what a gruesome tale it is.
'Make a cardboard mock-up of one of the scenes, and then draw or paint from that' was the point at
which I realised that I was not working within my 'talent zone'.
I made a dead wolf, with stones in his belly.
He is consigned to the bin.
I never did draw him.
I did, however see how others in the class were able to make very realistic drawings and to visualise the lighting and shadows for their drawings.
I am just not there yet....
I decided to make scenes from my mountain story instead. I was being kind to myself, and avoiding total failure..... putting sanity above risk....
I was happier playing with ink. I made some very nice stones.....
My ink rain was a disaster. I blew ink across the paper with a hairdryer. It was a mess.
So I chopped it up, at which point it became something completely new.
My blown ink became snow scenes.
I agree with the 'Uncommon Genius' book that every mistake has potential.
I am also reminded that working in an abstract way is my 'thing'.
So for now my story remains without pictures, but I have a direction of travel.
The writing element of the class was liberating.
Writing about a picture.
Cutting out phrases from the writing.
Turning these phrases into poems.
I chose to write about this painting by Victor Pasmore. We were asked to describe the scene and also repsond to questions posed by the tutor. Taking those written words and cutting them into phrases I formed a poem.
A Winter morning ( after Victor Pasmore “A winter morning” 1944)
A paved garden.
Sun low on the horizon
warming the early morning sky
Tangled trees overhang a purple shadowed, dull green lawn.
Fallen leaves spill sideways onto the cold stone path.
Wind whistles in the whip-like branches
A hum of engines from the river beyond.
Indistinct grey-white objects hanging at the distant lawn’s edge appear misplaced.
Sheets masquerading as headstones in the morning mist.
An upturned terracotta pot lying untidily in the corner wonders
“why am I abandoned;
almost invisible in this dark shadowed place?”
Birds on the clothes line and leafless woody stems perch patiently.
Waiting for worm time.
A balustrade enters, stage left
wondering who will pass this way today.
Later, when the warm sky has faded to steely grey
a man in a long tweed coat descends softly into the garden in brown laced boots,
causing the birds to fly away.
He passes silently through
the muted simplicity
of just another winters’ day.
A lesson in observation, and ways to find words.
Which brings me to walking; one of the best ways that I know to find my state of flow, where ideas formulate and I can begin to create.
I walked in the winter morning light.
I walked the streets picking up litter.
I walked on the beach picking up litter.
I have walked more miles in the last month than in any other month this year.
The highlight of my walks was a murmuration of starlings.
And where is my other half I hear you ask?
Well he is in trouble..... for leaving me alone in our bubble.....
Alone in a bubble
I am alone in a bubble
Other half’s in trouble
he’s left me on the shelf
all by myself
in Bromley town
while he’s on a plane
for ‘work’ (again)
it’s been so long
he’ll no doubt explain
Dubai, no less.
I must confess
I lack the will
to lie very still
on a posh sun lounger
in stifling heat
looking over my shoulder
is it worse
here or there?
Do I even care?
I’m much better off
in this half empty bubble
Waiting for a needle
to release us
from this overrated story;
this year of purgatory.
Roll on 2021.
But I have got so much done while he has been away for just a few days....
I have nothing to do but make stuff, write stuff and walk......
The art classes are over, but I am filled with new ideas. Christmas is coming and the gold paint is out.
I leave you with a poem/drawings based on a work 'Tremolo' by Agnes Martin,
Agnes also liked a bit of gold paint, along with her pencils.
(after ‘Tremolo’ by Agnes Martin 1962)
and a blank white sheet.
evenly spaced graphite journeys
with irregular endings
above the line
in happiness and love
I wonder how often she sharpened her pencil?
Not long until we are unlocked.
Until then I'll keep walking.....
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Caroline Fraser - an ordinary life
on life, suburban living, art, creativity, photography, book art and travel.
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Welcome to Caroline Fraser Photography
Colourful abstracted and traditional photographic landscapes, book art and workshops. Capturing the moods and beauty of nature whether in wild open places or in small sanctuaries in suburbia.