Warm Weather to Walk


At last, some warmer, sunnier weather. Here’s a view from Ide Hill, Kent, where we walked a part of the Greensand Way today, after stopping off for a nice strong pot of tea at the Cock Inn.

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Drawing-in the Withdrawn – Drawing in Meta-Meaning Mode


“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger than reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”  Anais Nin (Goodreads)

“The arts … a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”  Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country (Goodreads)

“This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I [create]? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose…” Rainer Maria Rilke (Goodreads)

 

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Eco Print on Silk – Oak Flowers and Leaves


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Threnody: More Eco Prints on Silk


Threnody: Goldmund

“Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of
interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better:
that we can become oak trees.”    
E F Schumacher

Threnody was a new word for me. It means lament.

I wrote recently about some eco prints on silk I made from windfall oak flowers and young oak leaves from a park I often walk through.

How the park will soon become housing and the trees felled, so they may never see another Spring.

So my eco prints will become epitaphs for this park, its trees and the birds and other creatures who live there.

Then I found this beautiful music Threnody by Goldmund – composer and sound designer Keith Kenniff. He is also Helios and Mint Julep.

A new composer to me. A new word and a new composer.

Here are more of the eco prints on silk I made from the windfall oak flowers and young oak leaves I collected from this park.

Enjoy the haunting and apt music.

 

 

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Eco Print on Silk: Oak Flowers


Oak Leaf Flowers: Eco Print on Silk

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Oak Flowers on Silk – an Epitaph


I pass through this park regularly on my way to the allotment. There’s a path that runs between the railway line and a row of mixed trees, shrubs and brambles. I’ve got to know this path well and the greenery has furnished me with bountiful material for eco printing purposes.

I am on nodding terms with chimes of wrens, quarrels of sparrows, murders of magpies, pandemonia of parakeets, kits of wood pigeons and flotillas of gulls. Then there are the skulks of foxes.

I am greeted with enthusiasm by a good number of dogs regularly exercised in the park. There’s Jerry the springer (and his venerable and jokey master, two black labs in jaunty red harnesses and there are deceits of dogs of every pedigree under the authority of their professional dog walkers.

Oak Flowers

Little did I know that my eco prints would become epitaphs for this park, for it is to be developed into housing. Where there is birdsong will soon be a shrill of scaffolding, a grumble of machines.

I pray all this won’t begin until this year’s fledgings.

I recently posted a blog Soil Soul Society in which Satish Kumar gave a talk about being the change in urban areas, of finding ways of planting and growing – by creating and maintaining personal gardens (so often concreted over these days for parking space for a second, third or even fourth car), by taking up plots in allotments, or instigating community gardens.

There’s a shortage of houses, they say. We also need green spaces around houses, so we can get away from each other, chill out, think, get some air. Feed ourselves, for which we need soil, the fertile soil that is being more and more, buried beneath new houses.

Eco Print: Oak Flowers on Silk

There may not be another Spring in this park, so here is a bouquet in tribute, of flowers of oak, on silk.

There may never be another flowering of the oaks from which these flowers blossomed and fell almost into my hands as I walked beneath them.

 

 

 

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Posted in Allotmenteering, Art, Eco/Natural Dyeing and Printing, Ecology, Printmaking, Walking, Walking Art | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Twitter Art Exhibit 2017 – Success!


Sold! 

I’m pleased to have had the news that the work I entered in this year’s (2017) Twitter Art Exhibit, to raise money for Molly Olly’s Wishes, a charity for the aid of terminally ill children, has sold.

The work is an encausticised eco print on a watercolour postcard. I created the print using found leaves then added a layer of uncoloured encaustic, which I made from beeswax and damar (tree) resin.

Can’t find a video of the opening night of this year’s Twitter Art Exhibit, which took place in the UK this year (Stratford-Upon-Avon). The very short video above is from the opening night of TAE 2016, which happened in New York, but you do get some dizzying shots of the abundant artworks hung around the walls. Perhaps the photographer was having too much of a good time.

🙂

 

 

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Posted in Art, Eco/Natural Dyeing and Printing, Encaustic Art, Mixed Media, Printmaking | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hope: Satish Kumar Talking at 42 Acres, Shoreditch, London, April 2017


As promised in my blog Soil Soul Society, about the inaugural 42 Acres talk in their new London venue, here is the You Tube video made at the event, which I attended. I particularly liked Satish’s comments on Hope towards the end:

“Hope is not something which means that I am going to achieve Utopia tomorrow. …   Hope is … I can do something to make a difference. I can take a journey. I can take a few steps to make a difference.  … Hope is not a kind of blind faith that something will turn out … God will change it … [Hope is] active participation in the transformation of the world. That is Hope.  … until the last breath of my life I will be there being as active as I can  … I die in action, participating, rather than dying in worrying about the world.  I want to die in action, not in worry.”

Food for thought and encouragement.  Enjoy the meal.

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Soil Soul Society: Satish Kumar Talks at 42 Acres London


42 Acres describes itself as “… a retreat space nestled within a secluded Somerset valley.”  And it has just established a beautiful centre in a deconsecrated church in the heart of Shoreditch, East London. The other night I attended the inaugural talk at their new venue. It was a very intimate gathering and Soil Soul Society was delivered by Satish Kumar, the peace and environment activist whom I have long wanted to meet and hear in person.

Born in Sri Dungargarh, in Rajasthan, Satish became at nine a Jain novitiate then at 18 ran off in search of relevance, becoming a campaigner for land reform. In the 1960s he was inspired by Bertrand Russell in the cause of peace. At 26, he and fellow peace campaigner E P Menon walked 8,000 miles from Delhi to Washington via Moscow, Paris and London (without money, living only by the generosity of strangers) in support of nuclear disarmament. At the end of their journey, they delivered a packet of peace tea to the leaders of the world’s four nuclear powers.

Until retiring recently, Satish was also editor for many years of Resurgence magazine (now Resurgence and Ecologist) and his talk was the first of a new collaboration between 42 Acres and The Resurgence TrustResurgence “… was founded in 1966 by John Papworth, a well-known peace campaigner with connections to the Committee of 100 and the Peace Pledge Union, but rapidly broadened its critique from the nuclear nightmare generated by the Cold War to pollution, intensive farming and food production and the related political problems of centralisation, bigness and the growing separation of economics from ethics.” David Nicholson-Lord)

Soil Soul Society – a new trinity for our time is the title of Satish’s latest book. He talked about the importance of soil – which is fundamental to survival as without it we cannot feed ourselves – and on how it is also important and possible to take up the cause of sustainability in urban areas like London. And of being the change that we want.

As one who is in the process of trying to be the change and in the process of being made to fail (for reasons I won’t go into here) I wanted to know how to overcome this perennial problem, but Satish answered the question before I asked it. He talked of  remaining hopeful and optimistic. I also found the answer in Satish’s book in the form of this poem – a favourite also of Mahatma Gandhi – by Rabindranath Tagore:

Walk Alone, Walk Alone

If no one comes at your call, then walk alone
Walk alone, walk alone, walk alone
If no one comes at your call, then walk alone
If no one speaks, unlucky as you are
if no one speaks,
If everyone looks away,
if everyone fears
If everyone looks away,
if everyone fears
then open your heart,
find words for your thoughts
and speak alone
find words for your thoughts
and speak alone
If no one comes at your call, then walk alone
If anyone, when the path gets tough,
loses the will to go on
If anyone, when the path gets tough,
loses the will to go on
Then bloody your feet with its thorns
and tramp alone
Then bloody your feet with its thorns
and tramp alone
If no one comes at your call, then walk alone
If they offer no light, unlucky as you are,
If they offer no light
If in storm and rain and on dark nights
they shut their doors
If in storm and rain and on dark nights
they shut their doors
then with the lightning
kindle a fire in your ribs
and blaze alone
kindle a fire in your ribs
and blaze alone
If no one comes at your call, then walk alone
Walk alone, walk alone, walk alone
If no one comes at your call, then walk alone

The 42 Acres talk was filmed for the Resurgence Trust and will be added to Resurgence’s You Tube channel. In the meantime, please enjoy the above presentation of Satish talking about Soil Soul Society in Exeter.

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Melvyn Bragg on Richard Dawkins


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