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 M O N T H L Y B L O G ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ JANUARY 2018 CHILDHOOD AND VIVID IMAGINATIONS I wasn’t really into sketching and drawing as a child. It’s only latterly that my zest for making art has become apparent. It was at school at around ten years old that I first remember creating a complete piece of art, before that it was more like play. One day we were each given peppers to slice and then draw and paint. I sat down and just got on with it. Before I knew it a half slice of red pepper shone back at me. Seeds lined the inside and the neatly sliced, pale green stalk stretched out the top. I remember looking at it thinking, 'Woh that looks just like a pepper, that’s so cool' but not really examining how I had managed it. ﷯When we were much younger, more than drawing and painting, my older sister and I spent any time away from school running around following our vivid imaginations. She would create fantastical games and I was always delighted to join in and be a part of them. Once we went on an imaginary trip to New Zealand to see the geisers- in hindsight she must have learnt about them at school or seen a book on them. I look back on it now as if we really took that trip. We stood side by side in the garden staring open mouthed at these make-believe geisers. In my eyes I was there, really seeing them. Hot springs were shooting out of the ground and spraying up into the air. There was a copse at the end of the garden where we’d explore for hours. It was breathtakingly beautiful to me, with reflections in pools of water, boughs of trees fallen and stretched out so we could tightrope across them. In winter when the days were shorter, I remember an orange glow that cast through the trees and created patterns and shapes on the ground. We picked up toads and stared into their goggly eyes. We played with leaves and sticks, shone conkers until we could see our faces in them. We would break open rose hips and try to put the white powder down each other’s tops, the infamous 'itching powder'. We’d suck on honeysuckle flowers, pick blackberries and take elderflowers home to crush and strain for cordial. ﷯One year I was given my own flowerbed where I planted a single sunflower. It blew me away when it grew, reaching above my mother's head. I thought I had witnessed magic. I could look at books we had for hours, the incredible 'Bramley Hedge' where mice lived in trees decorated like houses with shelves for pots and pans and crockery. Comfortable, squishy chairs were dotted around the rooms where the mice would sit wearing glasses reading a book or sewing clothes. We had these large, heavy, hardback books full of stories and pen drawings of fairies- maybe that's where my love of painting huge flower heads began- mythical beasts and creatures. I’m right back there now. We're so lucky to have memories and imagination. I wonder if everyone sees things in the same way. For me it’s like photo albums and film reels that I can flick through. It's so much faster than how we search for images now, even with a quick look on Google or a few words to Siri, hoping it'll understand, it takes time. In my mind's eye people can come alive in an instant. I can imagine their voices, their laughter, their mannerisms. Colours and patterns beam from everything. Back in the real world I want to be able to paint faster, to put down all the wonderful things flitting in and out my head. I have so many pictures ready to leap out. I’d love to be surrounded by all these images instantly manifested as paintings, recreated in front of me. But at the same time, I realise I must practice patience. The process itself is just as important as the result and in fact equally satisfying and enjoyable. That shoots me back to the real world and back to my painting. Luckily the Hellebores I’m working on at the moment are so beautiful to paint I’m not far from where I just was. THIS MONTH I W A T C H E D....... 'Joan Didion' on Netflix, 'The Centre Will Not Hold'. A fascinating look at the writer Joan Didion, an author who worked for Vogue in the 60s. She is a masterful writer and is a completely unique observer of the world around her. `To watch the trailer, click on image below: Picture taken from www.signature-reads.com I L I S T E N E D T O....... A couple of great podcasts. First, 'The Creative Leap' with Cat Byrne - a creative designer who discusses the subject of turning your hobby into a job. This particular podcast features guest, Luci Burgess-Farewell from www.bylucinda.co.uk. Lucy is a creative virtual assistant, designer and creator of branding, website and launch design packages. Secondly, the podcast, 'In Good Company'. I loved Otegha Uwagba's interview with Lana Elie, founder of luxury e-florist Floom. I M A D E......... this Raspberry Yoghurt Cake - recipe by Diana Henry. Delicious! Click on image below for recipe Picture taken from www.houseandgarden.co.uk  R e c e n t B l o g P o s t s March | 'Intimacy of a Self-Portrait' February | 'Contemplation of a Flower' January | 'Childhood & Vivid Imaginations' December | 'Throwing Away Art That Went Wrong' November | 'The Creative Process' October | 'The New Craftsmen' September | 'The Italian Garden, Westonbirt'

My sister and I dressing up aged 4 and 5

On another adventure.  My sister is completely absorbed in something she's seen in the hedge!

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