The World Turns To Ice

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Rain and more rain

A primeval mist is hanging over the Greenwood today as the rain pours down. Today is a day for cake and breadmaking.  I don't have to go anywhere.  My dog and I went for a long walk this morning before the weather changed.  There is definately a feeling of approaching Autumn in the air.  I am hand knitting shawls/big scarves for Christmas presents which will be fastened with the mixed-media brooches that I am making.  On days like this I really appreciate home with its warmth and comfort. My kitchen is cosy and I shall get myself a chair and sit and drink tea and eat freshly baked blueberry, raspberry and bilberry muffins while I watch the birds at the bird table.

The joy of a simple life.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Friday 13th

My lovely Grandad Tom Silk was born on a Friday 13th.  How could I be superstitious about such a day? Whenever that date appears I think of him and what could be luckier than that? Rest in peace Grandad and God bless.

Midnight and a Million Stars

Last night, we were told, was a night for seeing shooting stars.  I am not sure whether I saw any.  The brilliance of the sky was such that even the passing moths were illumined by the light of the stars.  I only spent a few minutes gazing at the night sky but it was an unforgettable sight.  How we walk around blinkered to the beauty that is all around us.  I read recently somewhere to think of the effect upon us all if the stars came out only once in a thousand years, how we would be astonished by the wonder of it all. It would surely be a life changing event.  I went to bed with my curtains open wide so that I could immerse myself in the glory of it.

Today I shall take note of the passing clouds and tonight I shall be gazing at stars.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Coming soon

Within the next week I shall be posting, what I hope will be, the first of many blogs on 'Finding Inspiration'.  We all go through times when inspiration is hard to find and I would like to share with you some of the ways that I try to trigger the imagination.  Some of these won't be original ideas, they will be those that I have found along the way so you can explore the web pages/books of the people that have inspired me.  Please add your comments and share those who fire your inspiration.  We could build a community offering mutual support and inspiration to each other for when we go through the 'dry' times.  Coming soon..........

Busy week

All work on the domestic front this week.  I have a new condenser boiler fitted which will, hopefully, be a lot greener than the old noisy boiler that was taken out.  To keep out of the way I belatedly Spring (Sprung?) cleaned my sewing room and started painting the walls.  It looks and feels so different.  I shall WANT to work in there now and not just rush through with blinkers on.

I did manage a walk down the Country Trail - see main blog photo.  Signs of Autumn are beginning to appear.  The blackberries are ripening and should be ready for picking this week, rowan berries are red already and hazelnuts and acorns are now clearly visible on the hazel and oak branches.  On Sunday I crept into the field and found some corn that had been battered to the ground in the recent rain so I took a little bit to make a corn dolly to mark the Lammas Festival.  Later in the evening I was watching a programme on TV which showed a log book  from days gone by of a transporter ship taking criminals to Australia.  Do you know that you could be transported for stealing corn?!!  OOOerrr, I could have been despatched off to Oz for making a corn dolly!

Later this week I passed the same field, which was looking particularly golden and beautiful in the sunshine.  The farmer was making the most of the weather and was about to get the harvest in.  Before he began though, he and his two children were sitting under the shade of the combine harvester having a picnic.  It looked such an idyllic scene that I thought that he probably wouldn't have minded me taking my little bit of battered corn.  I hope not anyway.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Lughnasadh or Lammastide

Now the Summer is at its height and the gathering of the harvest can begin.   Bonfires are lit to honour the Corn Mother as she gives birth to the grain, her harvest child. 'Demeter, the Corn Mother represents the ripe corn of this year's harvest, and Persephone represents the grain-seed who lives in the dark throughout the winter and reappears in the Spring.  Persephone's descent into the underworld is a mythical interpretation of the seed lying in the ground during the dark Winter months, and her appearance of the young maid, or the new sprouting seed, in the Spring', (from 'Sacred Celebrations' by Glennie Kindred).

I went to see a perfomance of this story by the Kindle Theatre company which was set in Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean.  The audience were all guests at the wedding of Persephone and the King of the Underworld and the story moved through the caves which were all lit up by candlelight.  It was one of the most magical things that I have ever been to.  I wish I could bottle the effect that it had on the audience and somehow reproduce that in my artwork.

Lammas is a time for feasting.  I am reminded of the harvest feast in Thomas Hardy's 'Far From The Madding Crowd', particularly the film with the lovely Alan Bates playing Gabriel Oak. How important it must have been then to get the harvest safely in, something that we don't even have to think about today, living in the West.

My little soulmate, Jasper the spaniel, and I are off for a walk now.  Perhaps I can find some corn on the edge of the fields to make a corn dollie or a garland. I like to try and keep these old traditions going if I can.

Feast Days

Yesterday was the feast day of St Joseph of Arimathea.  Did he really come to Glastonbury and plant his staff on the Tor?  Did it really grow into a tree and does it really flower every year on Christmas Eve.  I like to believe that its all true but that is because I love myths and legends, folklore and feast days.  They add depth to our everyday lives and remind us of who we are and where we come from.

I have included a page from my sketchbook which shows a painted sketch of Glastonbury Tor.  I am not a good painter but I like to think that is because I have never really practised it. I hope that one day I will decide to prioritise painting in the way that I have done with textiles.  I would love to be able to paint well.  I remember reading that Vincent Van Gogh decided that he wanted to become a painter when he was young and, at the time, he wasn't particularly good.  He had the will to push himself to paint and draw every day and through effort and practice he became a great artist.  A good artist would be a sufficient ambition for me but if greatness was thrust upon me I wouldn't complain. As you can see, I have a lot of practising to do yet!

Drifting through the day

Sometimes I need days when I just drift.  I do nothing big, just go with the flow.  It recharges energy and gives space for thinking time.  A slow day in 'soft time' as Gill Edwards would say.  Only the basics get done but I feel that, if nothing else, I have achieved contentment and time well spent.

There are other days that are equally slow, nothing much gets done but they are completely wasted.  Those days when you go around in circles dabbling at this and that; spending far too much time on the internet kidding yourself that you are doing something useful and I'll just have one more game of solitaire! Days described by Horace Mann as:
  'Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes.  No reward is offered, for they have gone forever'.

I had better get on with it then.  Happy Sunday.