Merino Wool, Silk Sari, Raw Silk and Golden Threads

There is an artist in me.  I am sure of it because I wanted it to be so since I was a child, as a teenager, as a young adult and still now as a woman looking towards retirement I want it to be so.  I participated in a few years of art classes at high school, following all the guidelines, principles etc and produced some works considered good enough the school asked to buy my end of year folio.  However there was something not quite right from my perspective, it didn’t feel wild and exciting, like I thought it should be and I was a little disappointed.

So I dabbled here with a little textile, there with a little photography, a bit more in clay, followed by more classes including one where I used art as therapy to reach some dark places in me, jewellery making, then pencil and charcoal. Nothing ever seemed to fit, but something stuck was always trying to get out.

I’ve learnt in recent years art does not have to be perfect.  But it must be a rich, deep form of SELF expression, a contemplation of one’s own truth.  That is what has been lacking, it’s not been the me I know speaking through the mediums I’ve tried.

“To me art is making mistakes; it’s the undetected magnificence of everyday life and the pleasure of creativity.” Unknown.

This quote I came across a while back invigorated me.  Recaptured in my mind the wild of my garden, something I created which is becoming a beautiful fabric of wonders.  Observing the magnificence of my garden and responding to it as a living, breathing system has given me that simply amazing pleasure of creativity.  And it’s a glorious mess of nature.

So now without perfectionism, without exams, without expectations I am heading for another rollercoaster ride.   Last weekend I produced the magic of felt for the first time.  It was tactile, I had a blast and am back on the artist train again.

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Oh Joy!  My heart is crying out for more.  Colours, clay, swirls, paper, faces and trees, trinkets, feathers, paint.  And more felt, fabric, ink.  I am ready to play again, like a child.

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The Amazing Power of Scent

I don’t know about you, but for me a scent can send me spinning off into the dark caverns of memory, touching old thoughts, transporting me into hitherto forgotten scenes or awakening old emotions.

Sourdough bread, for example, that warm, wild and yeasty scent evoking memories of security; an incense bringing into sharp relief the memories of laughter and a precious friend’s welcome home from a trip to Nepal; a rose reminding me of a special time and place of joy or lavender, the rare times I spent with my grandmother on the other side of the country.

While working towards my decluttering challenge I picked up a book, long unopened, fanned through its pages breathing in the mustiness and was transported back years before the speed of the internet, email and mobile phones made us all a part of a new world and easily accessible.  Private time readings as a child, teenager and young adult was salve to my soul.  Many hours were spent in other worlds with a variety of characters, all while curled up on my bed with a late winter sun pouring through the window.

I decided against moving on those books just yet.  With autumn arrived I still have things to do in the garden, but those books …. well I am going to reread them all again before handing them over to the local charity store so that others can share the same stories.  I am going to have an amazing winter without TV, with the computer and phone turned off, and just dive into those worlds again with the cat curled up and a hot chocolate by my side.  I can smell it now.

365 Journeys in One Year

Hoarder and messy, that’s me.  I love to collect things – books, bowls, timber boxes, rocks and shells.  Just to mention a few.  I am not sure why I do, perhaps when looking at or handling it I find myself in another world.  New worlds are easy to fall into through literary channels.  But think about rocks and shells; a sea fossil found in the Australian outback thousands of miles from the ocean.  It’s fascinating stuff and it takes my breath away considering how they got there, what it must have been like when there was a huge inland sea instead of red sand dunes and spinifex.  But all that is about to change.  All my precious, and not so precious, treasures are going under scrutiny.  I want to simplify my life and removing the work in storing, dusting and cleaning these things or moving them to get to something else is going to reduce some stress.  I want to become a minimalist.  Not overnight of course (can such an event occur!).  Just little by little, until I find that balance where I can enjoy more time ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’ as one blogger recently wrote of.  This year, to begin with, I am testing myself with a 365 declutter challenge – one thing goes – every day.  For those of you who have no appreciation of a hoarder’s nature I do not expect you to understand.  365 may not seem like much, but the time involved in going over each item, reflection of special times, places and people, being transported all over again is not a small challenge.  Imagine.  365 journeys in one year.