Sometimes an owl just needs to say hello.Lately the owls have been around adding another dimension to the night.
This one was sketched using the computer programme Paint and the touch pad. The result surprised me as I have not played on the computer for a time, also enabling me to update the blog as there are still issues with uploading new photos .
For now sketching has to be put aside as this is a busy time for crafting with felt.
It was an early start . Dawn was slowly breaking. About to open the car boot I noticed a pretty pattern laid on the bumper bar.
Slowly I turned in a small tight circle observing what was immediately in view. So much was revealed.
This tiny patch offered awesome inspiration. Presented there was a collage of textures and tones,shapes,and sizes. All the basic rules we apply to art, skillfully combined so naturally.
Last spring I wandered around the lanes of Fitzroy in Melbourne, intrigued by the street art and graffiti .
The above picture has a message that can be overlooked if eyes are pointed only straight ahead and focus rests only on the tags.
Style and technique ranged from powerfully realistic to naive simplicity, as for instance in these feline renditions. What also intrigued me was the play of textures, how the art and surface, shadow and light worked together.
Nature paints too.
But nature has the last say, when she whispers” Life is beautiful”.
Last year we were heading to the coast to catch the ferry from Waterford back to England, our last day before making the crossing.
It was a wild day, a gale blowing , overall grey,with misty veils, bleak and soggy. The day dampened spirits; there was so much more we would have liked to explore yet had a very tight time constraint so that the trip had been quite pressured trying to fit in too much in too little time .
Time has let that experience simmer and start to come together and weave a tapestry of beautiful memories igniting the desire to go back and discover more about places visited, to learn more, to understand better and to connect to the heritage and ancestors as well as to infuse the imagination with creative ideas, sowing seeds to be nurtured and nourished till they flourish and take form.
On our way out of Killarney, travelling along the N22, we were awed by this roadside sculpture of a rearing unicorn which reminded how powerful the ancient history, myth and magic is interwoven in the landscape; constant reminders of connections that go beyond time, words and imagination.
From the grey moist screen a village appeared, a village that was such a delightful surprise, for all was not as it appeared to be. Often things we see may appear to be “real” or are they? Fantasy and reality entwined.
We had happened upon Ardmore. As we arrived the rain was so heavy that it screened most of the bay and surrounding cliffs. We were not aware of the ruins or the links to early Christianity in a time before Saint Patrick had arrived .
It was only the immediate street and houses that straddled along it and a small waterfront that captured out attention. We learnt that a tidy town competition had inspired a local artist to “dress” the cottages .
I guess reality would be of a harsh life as a fisherman but here it was rather whimsical, the stuff that “Once upon a time” begins a tale of adversity,struggle and courage to defeat inner dragons and rescue the beauty that has been imprisoned. It was like stepping into the pages of a story book, and one would wish that the ending is a “happy ever after”.
This village sparkled sharing colour,whimsy and pride of place.
A village given over to art and beauty, perhaps a disconnect to the harshness of the past in an attempt to create dreams of a brighter future. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes the village emerged from a grey watery shroud sharing colour, dreams and whimsy.
Music , art, street performance was to be found in every city. It gave vibrancy and life, lifted moods and revealed just how creative people are and need to be able to acknowledge, nourish and give expression to that spark with which we are all gifted. It is an important and vital form of communication. Art in its many aspects enlivens, sustains and colours our lives and sense of well being. It is necessary as a means of communication and also to attempt to understand better our own psyche and the human condition. It is a way of reaching out and reaching within. It teaches. shares, inspires and motivates. A sense of awe and wonder, a good belly laugh, clapping hands to a rollicking tune, a beautiful object , dance, poetry and song, a soft touch, all make us appreciate and enjoy life more fully.
In delight as we journeyed through England, Ireland and Europe we discovered not only music but street theatre, mime and pavement art as well as dance and sleight of hand. Drums and pipes and guitars played. The tango was strutted out across a city pavement, a juggler amused his audience and an audacious, cheeky and very talented mime artist in Florence held his audience enthralled and begging for more as guffaws and snickers filled the square. Afterwards a classical guitarist entranced the crowd further.
In the canals of Venice there were gleaming gondolas ,many lavishly decorated and sumptuous to see. The towers, shutters, cupolas and the flaking paint on old buildings all added charm. Older cities have such wonderful hand crafted buildings , revealing that many skills have been lost and often no longer appreciated.
It amazed me to see graffiti in historic precincts and on important structures, such as the Ponte Vecchio that straddles the Arno river in Florence. It actually shocked me to realise and to feel that there was no appreciation and no respect, no understanding of the importance and value of preserving these monuments for future generations.
There were warning signs about fines for defacing public monuments and artworks but it seemed that in many cities there is an undercurrent of disillusion and disconnection. There the expression of art as tagging and vandalism perhaps is a counterpoint. Maybe by defacing structures people are revealing their frustration and inadequacy to communicate in other ways, which perhaps they feel gives their reactions relevance and validity which this poignant statement found in Bratislava suggests.
Watching, guarding, thinking, relaxing; I found this bird -man resting on a bench in the chicken pen at St.Kilda Community Garden in Melbourne. What a wonderful guardian they have. I met him just after Christmas 2013 and totally smitten.
Art was incorporated everywhere in the gardens. Each plot had a unique identity. I was very excited to see the care, love and creativity expressed there. Such an amazing place and a wonderful inspiration. Although located in the the city it was a place that was sacred with its heart beating strongly in exultation encouraging creativity, nature and self sufficiency.
Immediately opposite was the funfair, Melbourne’s historic Luna Park; brash, noisy, manufactured and artificial enclosed by black asphalt and high walls. Trundling and rumbling around on high wooden trestles was an antique roller coaster, accompanied by screams and yells. It was very loud in there compared to the peace across the road. The hard surfaces and flashing lights, advertising and contrived fun were a glaring contrast to the lushness of the garden and individuality of the art and decorations adorning it. The two co-existing side by side seemed totally incongruous, yet both characteristic of the St.Kilda genre.
St.Kilda has a chequered history. Once home to the gentry with gracious and elaborate mansions, it became the fun district for the city at the turn of the Twentieth Century and later better known as a notorious red light district. Since the 1960’s a Bohemian hub has flourished. It is eccentric, interesting and has a lively and vibrant buzz.
Stretched out behind both locations is the bay, also offering a cacophony of sounds, colour and movement as families congregate on the beach relaxing, chattering, playing games. The boardwalks seem to be an intermingling of different motions with skateboarders and bikes as well as walkers. Out on the horizon stretches a line of container ships and closer to shore bobbing sail boats. Such a richness of sights and sounds as well as links to days of yore.
Did the experience enrich? Incredibly so. Many new ideas and a lot of contemplation has resulted, as well as a deepening of love for the city and the diversity of experiences it offers.