Eve Fumes at that Snake – and on Paying Attention

I did something very silly. Shocking.

Earlier in the year, I decided I was only going to post blogs to which I could attach the completed artworks that arose from the ideas expressed in the blog.

And in so doing, brought my creativity to a grinding halt.

Because my blog has always been my out-loud diary. It’s been a place to ruminate, to cogitate, to fulminate – and all sorts of other -ates. To lay down ideas, to pursue these ideas (or not).

There will always be a far greater number of ideas than artworks. Ideas come in tidal waves. And only a few of these will precipitate an artwork. Not only that, but artworks don’t ever arise from a single determinator. They are multi-determined. They are palimpsests of ideas garnered from many sources – what I like to call, poetic walks.

Sometimes, a single idea might be a progenitor of an artwork, but in itself will never determine the end result. An idea is a speed-of-light thing. It is pure energy. An artwork has to materialise that energy that the idea flung into the physical universe.

An artwork is slow in coming, because the material world is slow. An artwork is about finding a form or forms which stand in for energy. And I can tell you, I have found only one such form so far in all my poetic walking.

And so, in effect, the silly thing I did was decide not to record any ideas, not to ruminate, not to cogitate; not, in effect, to have any ideas to pursue. I won’t go into the minutiae of the negative thinking process that led to that decision (for indeed it was negative thinking and that’s one poetic walk I needn’t have taken). I’ll just say that it was done unconsciously and when, only a short while ago, this dawned on me, I was shocked to the bone. I mean, I’m so aware, aren’t I? So spiritually and psychologically on-the-ball?  Evidently, and to my chagrin, not. I’m embarrassed, angry. I’m Eve and fuming with anger at that snake.

And yet. All this time, I’ve been bombarded with signs and signals telling me to pay attention. Pay attention. Pay attention. Pay attention. (I’ll write about these signs in another blog)I’ve been driven half mad. Pay attention to what? I’ve argued, with no-one in particular. And at least, I seem to have somehow scraped together enough consciousness to have noticed these signs.

Nevertheless, 2019 has gone off at a tangent  and scattered far and wide my artistic plans. An opportunity came about for my husband to cast himself loose on the high seas of self-employment; of going into business as a marine consultant (please excuse the pun) and my role in this can be described by the title of Director of Administration. While he was working out his obligatory three months’ notice, I was beavering away at designing business cards, letterheads, setting up a website and the sundry other background activities that help him into the water and once there, to keep him afloat (more puns).  (So, if you feel the need coming on to hire a marine consultant, you can contact him through Crena).

On the artistic front, outside of the design work I’ve been doing for Crena, I’ve been setting-up structures to underpin my artistic progress. These have included the renovation of the garden with a focus on preparing spaces for dye plants; and sourcing and buying the plants.

The garden renovation has resulted also in two plots for growing veggies, one with two raised beds (separable into four beds each, the other, four (also separable into four beds each). That’s 24 veggie beds, to feed two people. Guess who’s having a glut of courgettes and beans right now?

I have blogged already about my participation in How Far Does The Hand Reach?  My contribution for which was recently exhibited at Studio20 in Norwich (England) and is set to tour to venues around Britain and the wider world.

And I’ve blogged about my participation in The Tiny Sketchbook Project  which toured from New York to London, to Paris and is now back in New York.

I want to go back now to a poetic walk I began just before I sabotaged myself: Forest of Souls.

But I’m back. Damn that snake; those snakes.




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Walking Covehithe

Walking Covehithe, the village that’s disappearing into the sea


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How Far Does The Hand Reach? Botanical Signatures Textile Art Exhibition, Norwich, England, July 18-20 2019

Invitation to exhibition.

Some of my work is figuring in Botanical Signatures 18-20 July at Studio20, in historic Norwich, England.

The exhibition has been put together by Maria Clarke-Wilson, who is completing an MA in Textile Design at Norwich University of the Arts and this exhibition brings together her textile art, designs and collaborations she has worked on over the last year. Presenting unique textiles created using naturally dyed and printed fabrics from leaves gathered from the plants growing near her home.

How Far Does The Hand Reach is a global collaboration hosted and curated by Maria on Facebook and which brings together a botanical printing community of 103 textile artists from 28 countries. A unique piece of collaborative textile art will be having its first public display in Norwich before it sets off on a world tour.

Alongside the collaboration you will be able to see a diverse selection of botanical prints sent to Maria from around the world. You can follow the story on Instagram  @textile collaborations.

Here’s a video of Maria at work at her studio and gallery Botanical Being :



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Little Maps of Trees is at The Other Art Fair London

The Tiny Sketchbook Project, which includes my tiny book of tiny eco prints Little Maps of Trees, has just been on show at the SLOW Galerie in Paris.

It’s now walked poetically to London, where it’s on show at The Other Art Fair, King’s Cross, from today July 4 through to and including Sunday July 7.

See my previous posts on Little Maps for more information about the work.

I’ve made a slideshow of Little Maps of TreesIt’s on my art web site:  www.annisikartworks.com

If you’re going to The Other Art Fair in London, do please check out my tiny work and let me know via my Poetic Mapping Facebook page.

It will be heading back to Brooklyn on Monday where you can check it out for viewing at the Brooklyn Art Library, New York, when it’s not out on tour in the Bookmobile.



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Eco Print on Cotton with Silk Appliqués

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Eight Years Blogging – Writing Chaos into order from the Forest of Souls: Part I

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.

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My Entry for TAE19 (Twitter Art Exhibit 2019): Windfall

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.




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Brambly Personage and its Iron Blanket

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Brambly Personage

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Mysterious Personage – Papier Mache Cast Finished

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.

Posted in Art, Collage & Assemblage, Sculpture | Tagged | 3 Comments