“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
Here’s another from my latest batch of eco prints on silk. I took the batch outside to photograph. I thought how well this print looked placed next to the hemispherical conglomerate brought back from a fossil-hunting trip to the Isle of Sheppey last summer.
Sheppey is a noisy seaside resort of caravan sites and kiss-me-quick hats, but is also known for its fossils and we brought back a bucketful of rock crystals, like these in the second photo.
Next time I go I’m bringing back some of the mud from the flats that, mixed with sand, make up a lot of the beach. I will use the mud for dyeing, especially as a resist. I haven’t tried dyeing with mud yet.
I found walking the beach at Sheppey out towards the sea at low tide so scary I turned back, afraid of being sucked under, though there were heftier lads and lasses than I cavorting happily where I feared to tread. Well, that’s a neurosis exposed!
I’d forgotten about my stash of rock crystals and got a some out I’d cleaned a bit had stored in a tin box. It came to me in a flash that they were to be included into artworks; specifically, I have been looking for something to add to the second panel of my little triptych-in-progress encaustic/eco prints. I was calling it Found:Unbound, but am changing that to Spreads.
(The reasoning behind this is for another day, another blog).I’ve been playing around with little bits of pebble and sea-smoothed china to include but none convinced me of their right to inclusion. I saw how the rock crystals will work on both physical and metaphysical levels.
Part-done works litter my working space, this can be for very long periods of time, in some cases, years. On my worktable I will place something next to a work, take that away, place something else there, rearrange everything to this side, or the other. To the casual eye, it can look like nothing at all ever happens. I should do some time-lapse photography. It would prove that there is motion and change, but that this is slow. I think my artistic mindset is in tune with that of the Slow Stitch movement, which came out of the Slow Movement, which came out of the Slow Food Movement, a revolt against fast food or more pertinently, the fast food lifestyle.
From the Slow Movement web site: “It is important to note that the Slow Movement is not about doing things slowly. It is about finding the right speed with which to do something in a way that values quality over quantity, long term benefits over short term gains, and well–being of the many over the few. In the long run, many Slow Movement proponents would argue that slow can ultimately be faster, and certainly better, as we make decisions and act in ways that are more thoughtful and considerate than purely efficiency driven processes.”
My Slow Art is slow; that’s because it’s about developing an artistic vocabulary, which is vital, no matter how long it takes. Without appropriate words, one cannot speak, but only babel. I’ve done a fair amount of babelling in my time and that’s a fact.
Out of the Slow Art movement has developed an annual Slow Art Day, with venues around the globe. The Slow Art Day in 2017 is on 8 April, my birthday, where you will find me, I hope, at The Ashmolean, in Oxford, looking slowly at five works of art. I’ll also get in a bit of real ale bevvying as Oxford is also real ale country with a vengeance.
Maybe I should book a hotel for the night.
Have a slow day!