Category Archives: feather

The morning ritual.

bird

She was elegant. Perched on one leg, grooming herself, and completely absorbed in her own ritual, she was oblivious or seemingly unconcerned about those of us watching her…she seemed no different than any woman preening before a special date.

Her feathers glistened in the morning sun, each one highlighted in stunning silvery white.

That she was all alone at the zoo seemed so sad.

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A thought on personal and individual style.

symbols in home

What is individual style? I have been thinking about this and have come up with a few thoughts about it. To me personal style transcends your home, your studio, your art, your creative endeavours. They are all just manifestations of your style. Your style is you. It is what makes you a unique person on this planet. Style is a reflection of your genuine self, your expression of who you are. Style is understanding who you are and being extremely at ease with that.

Your personal style is partly what others see, it is your art and your creations, your thoughts expressed, your home, and your community. As I think about this I see images from my home, my art, my studio and my journals – all different but threads of the same things – old symbols (hearts, circles, crosses), text and use of letters and words, old patina’s and vintage finds. Trees, beaches, bridges, buildings, houses all feature in my style, as does finding old nests, collecting sea-glass, rocks and shells, quirky finds and birds, horses, growing food, and history all interest me. Writing musings, journalling and playing with mixed media, painting big abstract paintings and trying to do photography everyday are my style. Noticing things others might miss and finding beauty in everyday things are my style. My style is thinking in interconnected circles but writing in bullet points.

Your style is also how you live. Being a mum to four kids will always be my first priority. That’s my style too. Like many of us, I am juggling everyday – the divergent needs and demands of a large complicated and blended family, working to earn income, running, and try to find space in my day to create, fitting in all the other messy stuff in between, that’s my style too.

I am a mother to three boys rapidly moving into that strange place between being men and boys, and one 4 year old princess fairy. A writer and keen blogger. I am a runner. I am a photographer. I am an artist. I am creative. I dream of Italy and of visiting Europe one day. I dream of living closer to the land, but also (ironically) closer to the city centre and so I can smell and hear the sea. I dream of my three sons as babies and wonder at their journey into being young men. I love my pink, sparkly princess who has in a thousand different ways saved me from myself through this process with her enormous smiles, delicious cuddles and piles of charm, giggles and songs. All of this, is part of me.

What has running got to do with style? Running is very much apart of who I am now, after I put on my trainers one year ago exactly and ran to the first lamp post then walked the next two. I run to clear my mind, to think straight, to have my body hurt in a good way. I run so no one can see tears occasionally. I run to have a few precious moments when no-one needs me. Running gives me space to plan, dream and plot. It takes time but it also makes me more creative and more efficient. I also see things that I don’t see when driving or distracted by tasks and errands. They are all part of my style.

Is style is the only thing you have left when you strip everything back to its barest state. Or is style is an individual and original point of view delivered with confidence? Or, the culmination of all the parts of a life brought together? Or is style really just having curiosity, a sense of spirit and confidence in yourself?


Outside the comfort zone…

Victorian_print

You may have noticed that I haven’t been doing any photography recently, or any painting. Or blogging for that matter. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been creative. I have in fact been pushing myself in an entirely new but related creative direction – getting to grips with digital media  and learning how to use Photoshop for creative expression.  Here is one of two “creatures” I have had to create from 10 of my other photographs – a composite image. It’s not technically perfect (I am a beginner in this area, after all), but it is part of my creative journey of creating and exploring and learning. True  to my own style, it is full of symbols, includes text, has rich colour, high contrast, and a sense of drama. I hope it creates a feeling that there is a story to be told. It is one of two images that attempt to answer  questions about ancestry and belonging.

Here is the other image. They are very different but both part of the same story.

tui lady for print 27062013

When we challenge ourselves creatively (or mentally or physically) and push outside of our comfort zone, when we shun the familiar and comfortable and when we try something different, new, challenging or difficult – its not easy. It can feel scary, intimidating and weird. You can feel, like I did, clumsy and awkward, and deeply frustrated at times.  But now  I can see the effort was worth it… this is literally “my ideas brought to life by me” through new skills I have learned. That’s a nice feeling for any artist – to be challenged and to grow creatively.


A story from many pictures or a picture from many stories?

digital media image

Birds. Horses. Feathers. Victorian images. Buildings. Beaches. Poetry. Ancestry. Such a strange collection of images, words and thoughts…yet they are not random, but are all starting to come together for a creative project. I can’t tell you how it ends yet, as it’s not finished, but here is a mash-up of the concepts, the thoughts, the ideas and the images that helped to inspire me. Out of all this randomness will come two digitally composed images of a “creature”. Each made from a composite of at least ten other photographs I have taken. The two images will also be linked by a story, a thread of a poem, the use of text and symbols shared between the two images. Will they turn out as I imagine – ethereal, beautiful, whimsical, curiously macabre, proud, strong but fragile…or will my idea (or my technical skills) fail in this project? Will the images make sense? Will they convey the sense I wanted to create? Only time will tell…


Birds of a feather…

feathers

Feathers have been on my mind a lot recently, not least because of a photography project I am doing that involves birds and thus feathers, but also because birds are quite simply incredible and mostly beautiful.

I am a lover of the ordinary birds, not the fancy ones. The cute little community of common sparrows eating bread on my lawn or perched on the fence watching the cat, the thousands of starlings that fly over my house each night heading to some distant gathering place, the few tui’s that perch in the native trees and make the most amazing sounds from up high.

I love finding a feather on my walks/travels, it is a simple joy shared with my three year old. On one occasion recently, we found the tinniest little abandoned nest on the ground…A real special treasure.

Although a feather appears to represent lightness and fragility, they are also the embodiment of strength, flight and protection.


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