Today I was treated to a lovely trip to Mottisfont House with some friends. We were going especially to see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition which is on there at the moment. But arriving a bit early we wandered the gardens to see what else was happening at Mottisfont this weekend.
We found a special Land Art activity being set up for families. Based on the work of such artists as Andy Goldsworthy, we were encouraged to collect natural materials to make our own “art”. Our results were not spectacular but we had fun and it helped us see our beautiful surroundings with new eyes.
We did eventually enjoy the inspirational work of Kaffe Fassett inside the House but when I returned home I stepped into the garden feeling the urge to play with leaves and flowers! It was such colourful fun collecting and arranging stuff on our old wooden seat. Who needs paints, fabrics or embroidery?! 😊
This blog, started in January 2012, was originally inspired by Writing our Way Home, and their idea of writing “small stones”
I usually write a month of small stones to kick start each year in January. However I am currently following WOWH’s email course of October small stones and am finding great inspiration for just sitting still, and paying attention to life in all its variety.
Today’s quote was from Henry David Thoreau
“You only need sit still long enough in some spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns”
I didn’t need long in the garden this morning (it was drizzling!) to find this inhabitant exhibiting itself to me and inspiring a small stone.
Tight buds hide centres
of yellow mathematical arrangement.
Opening to wind and rain, rusty petals
stretch random sequinned fingers
towards the clouds, defying greyness
with their fiery flowers.
The weather forecaster describes it as unsettled. This morning heavy rain woke me at 5.30 a.m. pounding against the roof and windows. And then by the time I got up to make tea the sun was shining. Now it’s raining again…
Yesterday I made brief foray round the garden while the sun was shining and uncovered some rhubarb. Protected by an old composting bin and “forced” to grow in the dark, the resulting colours are quite shocking! As the rain returned I was able to conjure up a bit of the Mediterranean by squeezing oranges to mix with the rhubarb. With the addition of a good deal of sugar, the resulting sweet pink jam/sauce tasted good on ice cream and yoghurt.
The art journaling course this week had an “on location” assignment – create a page with three elements which captures the feeling of being in your own home. Not easy! Just following where ideas took me I produced a page. It took a bit of collaging to arrange, and size and scale weren’t straightforward, but a kind of linking narrative emerged.
Life at home at this time of year can still feel a bit restricted and constrained, but it certainly has bright moments if I stop to notice them.
If I’m honest I have to admit I sliced open this watermelon because I thought it might be good to draw, not because I particularly like water melon. Won as a part of a fruit basket raffle prize, it is not a fruit I would normally buy to eat.
I was not disappointed with the bright pink flesh hidden inside the green skin, but I didn’t find it easy to capture the shape and colour, and the juiciness of the fruit. In fact after I had finished I realised that the slice was sitting in a little puddle of its own juice, and I had missed that altogether on my picture.
I have spent a month looking and drawing what (I thought) I could see in front of me. It has been an interesting challenge and changed the way I look at things. I have loved exploring the line and shape of my surroundings, and watercolour is such a quick and delicate way to capture shades and tones.
But when I took a spoon to the melon I discovered it was much juicier and sweeter than I had expected and distinctly fragrant! There’s more to life than what we can see…
More senses (and artistic mediums/media) needed.