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- Eco Print on Cotton with Silk Appliqués June 11, 2019
- Eight Years Blogging – Writing Chaos into order from the Forest of Souls: Part I May 19, 2019
- My Entry for TAE19 (Twitter Art Exhibit 2019): Windfall April 11, 2019
- Brambly Personage and its Iron Blanket April 10, 2019
- Brambly Personage April 9, 2019
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Wisdom is the complete willingness to be the plaything of chance circumstances”.
I’ve been blogging for over eight years. The anniversary has come and gone. That’s a long time and a lot of words. I’ve been taking stock: what I’ve been doing all this time is turning – writing – chaos into order.
This realisation tied-in neatly with my one New Year’s Resolution for 2019: to clean up my room. It’s one of the 12 Rules in Jordan B Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. I was already into a physical de-chaosing of my new home when I first heard of Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at Toronto University, clinical psychologist and, according to The Spectator: One of the most important thinkers to emerge on the world stage for many years. When I saw the subtitle to 12 Rules I nearly dropped my paintbrush (I was de-chaosing the kitchen ceiling). An Antidote to Chaos, I read. I laughed out loud.
I should be good at processing chaos. I’ve experienced a lot of chaos. I had an extremely chaotic childhood. By the age of 16 I’d moved schools and homes eight times. I even went to the same school twice. The first time I was taken away I was in a class one above my age group. Not the second time. I have a faint memory of a quarrel between the headmistress and my parents, the first time I was taken out of the school. The chaos didn’t stop in adulthood. I’ve had to do a lot of lock, stock and barreling.
And so there I was, painting the ceiling in the kitchen. And to compensate for the boredom, not to mention the neck pain, I was taking what substitutes for a spoonful of sugar – reading breaks – between brushstrokes. And that’s how I serendipitously came across the newspaper article headed: How dangerous is Jordan B Peterson, … “Who the hell is Jordan B Peterson?” I thought.
Just sent off my entry for TAE 19 (Twitter Art Exhibit 2019).
This year it’s being held in Edinburgh and to raise money for Art in Healthcare, Edinburgh, which is an organisation working closely with healthcare providers in hospitals, GP surgeries, community care groups, hospices, healthcare centres and other bodies involved in the provision of healthcare. The charity runs carefully tailored art workshops throughout the year and has a large collection of contemporary artwork, displayed in healthcare premises across Scotland. Funds raised by TAE19 will enable the charity to extend its workshop programme, the aim of which is to bring the power of creativity to people in times of need.
My contribution to TAE19 is this postcard-sized (6″x4″/16x12cms) eco print on watercolour paper – Windfall – I made last year and have been letting mature in a drawer; mature meaning put it aside for a while to ensure the permanence of the colours. I achieved the print using eucalyptus, bramble, St John’s Wort leaves and elm catkins. Appropriate to the health theme, all the plant matter has medicinal properties.
It will be on sale for £30 at the:
Out of the Blue Drill Hall
32-36 Dalmeny Street
Edinburgh EH6 8RG
Opening: Saturday 11 May 2019: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Show runs: May 11-13, 2019
After the show ends, sales will continue online.
At last, the papier mache cast I started at the beginning of the month is done. The top layers are of batik paper.
Next? You’ll have to wait and see.
So will I.
I finished my tiny sketchbook the morning of the 14th February – St Valentine’s Day, though instead of a bunch of red roses I was gifted with a paint and varnish scraper.
I drove into town to post my book off to New York that afternoon. I was relieved it fit back into the tiny envelope it came in, as the eco printing process swells the paper. For once, I wasn’t racing right up to the deadline; there was still a whole 24 hours remaining.
There were themes to choose from in undertaking this project. I chose Tiny Maps (well, I would, wouldn’t I?) And I called the sketchbook, Tiny Maps of Trees. Appropriate, as the eco prints were of leaves and as in the leaf, so in the tree.
Which is an adulteration of a quote As it is above, so it is below; or: As above, so below, derived from a passage in the Emerald Tablet (attributed to Hermes Trismegistus or Pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana). I’ve already written about my friend Hermes. It’s near the end of the blog post so you can skid past the first bit about the ghost-infested fridge.
I’ve added a description of Tiny Maps of Trees to my personal page at The Sketchbook Project. Here’s the final paragraph:
Just as there are no two leaves alike, there are no two people alike; under pressure, one individual will react differently to another. So the leaf is also a metaphor. My ‘Little Maps of Trees’ can also stand for ‘Little Maps of People’. A tree cannot stay healthy without its specific, individual leaves; society cannot stay healthy without its specific, individual people.
Make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and a chocolate biscuit or twenty and enjoy.
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. W.B. Yeats
Marks and traces.
I like the less-defined eco prints. Something has come and gone and left only its metaphysics behind. Its most utilitarian aspect.