Category Archives: symbols

Bored of the inspiration board…

inspiration board

It was time for a change. My studio inspiration board had gotten very cluttered, very colourful, very chaotic…full of images, colours, words, photos, and kids art. It was busy and bright and bold. But mostly busy!

But instead of feeling inspired, I started to feel cluttered and crowded. I wanted space to think. I wanted less, not more. So I took it all down, without thinking or reviewing, or analysing any particular item. I put them in a suitcase with my other papers.  Then I put back up six items. Not six on purpose, just because these six images felt right for right now.

None of the images on the board are mine. One is a beloved print brought in Wellington a few years back that had been rolled up in a drawer  – a watercolour sketch of a hummingbird. Another is a postcard of Paris – both for my dreams to go there one day, and also because it was from a dear friend. Another image is a magazine advertisement image that I like. The final blue image is a photo of the sea found in yet another magazine. The blues are intoxicating beautiful and a reminder of the inherent beauty in nature and beaches.

My “Start Something” paper mantra returned to the wall (as always) and finally, I added the brochure from the “One” exhibition – held in 2013, as a reminder of my past achievements and future plans.

When I look at the wall, I feel optimistic and calm and I can hear myself think. Right now, I like that.

Sometimes inspiration boards need a little inspiration too!

Advertisements

Sorry is the hardest word.

sorry

Why is it so dam’n hard to say I am sorry? It is such a short little sentence.

It shouldn’t be so hard…. Especially to say to those we love. Yet it seems hardest then.

Maybe the roses, greenery and rosemary picked from our garden, tied in a bow and left for them to find, will help me to say the three hardest words to say…I am sorry.

 


The romance of roses…is it dead?

red roses

As you know, I love roses. I love them even when they are dying, like these ones. There is something beautiful, yet slightly macabre about gorgeous red roses in their final stages of bloom.

Maybe it’s a cliché but roses really are like a metaphor for love in real life….first, the precious rose-bud like the thrill of new romantic love, then there is the full blown blooming gorgeousness of long-life-together-kind-of-love represented by roses in full bloom. Then, finally the graceful and bitter-sweet love found in appreciating something and thinking it beautiful through its final stages of life, while decaying and dying…somehow fragile yet still achingly beautiful. I am sure a poet wrote about it….


A symbol of home…

feb 2014 mountain

I don’t typically take a lot of photographs of the mountain. But you can’t deny it’s majestic presence and its imprint on the psyche of anyone who lives here.  Ask any child from around here to draw  where they live and the familiar conical shape with its ‘too perfect’ snow cap (for most of the year) is almost without exception, the first thing they draw. It really is the sign of “home” that we all recognise.

I was doing observational painting today with a group of children. It was so inspiring and enjoyable to see their passion and enthusiasm for art, nature and painting. Surrounded by spectacular trees, a stunningly wide river, lots of rocks and grassy meadows, a garden full of vibrant flowers…what did they mostly paint when asked to  paint a symbol representing where they were ? What inspired them most? Not the river, or the flowers or the trees… No, they tended to look beyond the obvious. Many cast their eyes into the distance and found the sign of home, their mountain.

 


Encountering the lights…

lights in park 1

The Festival of Lights has been occurring in our local park for 60 years today. Last night I took this photograph. It’s not a “typical” festival of lights image, but more like a wild abstract painting. As I have said before, one day I would love to see some of my wild and hugely abstract “light” images on display large scale in a gallery or strung down the side of a massive building, displayed on an enormous scale.

With this image particularly, I love the colour and shapes, but mostly I love the movement of the light that is captured…the way the light makes a cross symbol (or resembles an evening gown?) and the image looks to be fluid and moving, like a dancer.


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?


A heart to heart…

heart

A week has gone by…so much for my daily advent calendar! Life has taken over – children’s school ending celebrations and events, Christmas functions, preparations and festivities, family gathering’s and children’s parties have caused me to push my blogging aside this last week.

My intention to do a daily blog was most honourable…but it dawned on me that I live a full life – full of family, friends and festivities. So, no apologies…just acceptance. I accept that my daily post for my alphabet advent calendar has not quite managed to work in reality. I quietly smile though, as the reason for my “failure” is my wonderful, crazy-busy, full life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So…today is 17 December, and today’s advent alphabet letter is the letter Q. A glass heart on the Christmas Tree…Quite spectacular. A gift from a friend. Quite special.


B is for Christmas Bells

B bells of marsland hill

The bells ring out on Marsland Hill every day and what a beautiful sound they make. I would like to hear their daily ritual but do not live close enough and have to settle for catching them occasionally by accident when in the area.

But, nothing sounds more like Christmas than the sound of bells ringing, pure, loud and joyous, so today’s Alphabet Advent calendar on day two, is the letter B for Bells at Christmas time…


leaving a mark…

symbols

Symbolism runs deep in human species, and the same symbol can mean entirely different things to different people, at different times, places, cultures, beliefs and customs. I don’t really know what these symbols mean to the person(s)/artist(s) who made them… they are familiar but strange, they feel personal but universal…modern but ageless…urban but primitive.

They are permanent marks on the landscape. I wonder if they are a sign, a message, a story, or a reminder of something important – something the maker wanted others to know? Why do we humans, feel a need to leave a mark…from the first hand print on a cave wall, to now…we have a compelling urge to say “I was here”.

All our hearts carry primitive marks, held privately, and known only to our own hearts…unique symbols of love, loss, victory, grief, courage? But if we were to display our ancient symbols – what we stand for, what we are, who we are, where we are from, what we have done, loved, lost, survived…what if they were on display?

What would my symbol look like?


%d bloggers like this: