I have just finished reading 'My Name is Asher Lev' and am about to read it again. It is one of the best books I have ever read; understated prose that cuts deep and describes something of the pain and yet necessity of creation.
Like most people I have a selection of electronic means to help me remember things I have to do and places I have to go, but I still find the trusty post-it note a very useful tool for marking pages in books and jotting down ideas. The adhesive does not work well on MDF, and runs out of 'stick' fairly quickly anyway. I have invented the Memory Stone! Once the strips fail to adhere to the stone, there is a handy hole to hold them until dealt with. Visible reminded rather than notes hidden in diary pages.
Had an encouraging email today in response to one of my 'make your own opportunities' proactivities. Further research required, but quietly hopeful.
Today is the last day of my 'sabbatical'. Am hoping that I have the self-discipline to continue the journaling and drawing habits that I have developed in the last eight weeks. One sketchbook- journal is almost full (I will acquire the second volume at WD tomorrow) and I have a goodly number of ideas to work on in my upcoming studio days. Onward and upward!
Mooching in the second hand book bit at TimeMachine yesterday I came across this; it is an absolute delight! About a small boy with an unstoppable urge to draw and paint, living in a family and culture who do not understand and somewhat fear his gift. The best lines so far? 'I grew up encrusted with lead and spectrum-ed with crayons. My dearest companions were Eberhard and Crayola. Washing for meals was a cosmic enterprise.'
On Saturday I modelled for an 'Oil Portrait for Beginners' class. Five portraits; what was interesting is that the one with the best likeness was by someone who had not drawn or painted 'since school'. I had forgotten how tiring 'sitting' is; my derrière was quite sore at the end of the day!
On another note, I am still having problems with Blogpress on my iPad. I cannot upload photos directly anymore, but have to go via the old web based editing, which has lost me the ability to share immediately with FB and Twitter and forces me to use Picasa to upload photos at all - at least from the iPad. Has anyone out there in the blogosphere had the same problem? And, more importantly, found a way to solve it? I have reinstalled Blogpress and checked the settings in OS, but no joy. It is a minor problem I know, but irritating nonetheless!
Very pleased to have found an old stretcher of exactly the right size and an IKEA linen curtain to cut up and use as a mount. I did have to remove a (hideous) old painting of mine, but managed to do so without making any holes in myself. There is still a distinct odour of vinegar, but it should dissipate by the time to exhibit. I have entered it for The Sussex Artists' Award. Now the waiting game. And a trip to the beach later as a reward.
The weaving is completed, the tapestry cut off and the finishing stages in progress….
The outline of the figure is saturated with vinegar and a pinch of salt - a friend of mine in Metals Conservation at WD recommended the addition of salt to stabilise the verdigris. The sample wrapped wire I tried yesterday turned green in a few hours; I am hoping it will be as speedy here, especially if I keep wetting it. It has to be photographed (on a mount) and uploaded for a juried exhibition tomorrow, and the tufts still have to be trimmed and the warps stitched down on the reverse.
I have to say that I am pleased with the way the image has worked as a wrapped line - there is at least one other drawing that I may treat in the same way.
I decided that, instead of being dissatisfied about not having a 'proper' studio (and having returned The Boy's room to him. Mostly) I would embrace the fact that I can work at home and learn to enjoy it (#homestudiojoy) It has meant a bit of moving stuff around, but I could now accommodate the scaffold loom if I needed to for big work, I have the whole of the dining table as a creative space, the Ashford loom is by the window in good light and a cool breeze,
and my most referenced books are near my arm chair.
I have been beach combing again; yesterday at Prinsted (top of Chichester Harbour) and today at Bracklesham (open sea, and a feisty breeze). The brown stone and crumpled metal are Prinsted finds, the holey and heart shaped stones at Bracklesham. We (doglet and I ) also found ourselves in a promotional video for the beach cafe; huddled in fleece, doglet anchored to my chair - a fine example of the English seaside on Midsummer Eve! I feel it likely that we will end on the digital equivalent of the cutting room floor. I have not been to Bracklesham for a few years and had forgotten how bracingly good it is.
Derrière continues apace; I set myself the deadline of entering it for a juried exhibition. I need to finish the weaving by Tuesday at the latest so that there is time for the verdigris to develop along the wrapped wires… I lost a couple of days earlier this week on a mission to London; on Wednesday I braved not only the North Circular but also the South Circular and the Hanger Lane Gyratory - mentioned so often in traffic reports. I realised as I toddled round from Barnet to Barnes that I know people at many points only just off the whole route; I gave royal waves in their general directions.
Now to return to the loom for the evening; Rachmaninov's Vespers on R3 from a couple of weeks ago. Isn't iPlayer radio a wonderful thing?
addendum The long Ghiordes knot tufts will be trimmed much shorter.
"I like to escape the tyranny of the rectangle and to take tapestry off the wall."
My current practice is a long term enquiry into what it means to be truly human; it involves reflections on Christian and Jewish theology, inspiration from poets such as John Donne, T.S. Eliot, R.S. Thomas, Grace Paley, Dylan Thomas, Yehuda Amichai, Seamus Heaney and Malcolm Guite, together with ponderings on news items.