Time and the bell have buried the day,
The black cloud carries the sun away,
Will the sunflower turn to us, will the clematis
Stray down, bend to us; tendril and spray
Clutch and cling?
Fingers of yew be curled
Down on us? Ater the kingfisher's wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.
from Burnt Norton (written 1935), one of Eliot's Four Quartets
Chosen at random ... from a random book -
from the shelf -
opened to a random page -
The book is the Folio Society edition, 1968, and has stood unopened for many years.
25 May 2016
24 May 2016
The vitrines are crowded with artifacts, mostly pottery, from all the dynasties of Egypt, as far into "now" as Roman times. We were suprised at how many visitors the museum had.
I sat down in front of some convenient jugs and filled a page with their shapes. These are coiled pots and were not always perfectly symmetrical -
The patterning of the snail shells spoke to me -
Michelle used several page spreads in her handmade coptic stitch book, then did something simple on the first page -
Janet moved on from single objects, here combining several in a well-chosen scene -
23 May 2016
The more I think about this topic, and about the drawing project, the more that everything says "Home" to me.
In the photo of the rescued birdhouse, other elements of Home are the doormats, the threshold, the post waiting to be picked up, the way the hall flooring leads in ... what I know that flooring leads past, and the way it changes into carpet just beyond the stairs -
These drawings, coloured with coffee, are of my first London home - the shared kitchen -
Ah yes, art ... this is towards an art project. So what might it look like? I'm drawn to this reflection, or layering -
I'm drawn to paintings of uninhabited interiors, like this one by Mark Entwisle
Hammerskoi did similar, based on a place he had lived in ... a sense of quiet, with interesting light and spaciousness.
Later today, before class, I am to have a tutorial and, given the distinct lack of work done outside class, and the still-woolly nature of my topic, I'm dreading it. However - perhaps these are the very circumstances in which a tutorial can be most helpful!
Let's start with last week's class. I'd photographed the bird houses and put them outside the gate for people to take -
then drew them (big) with conte and charcoal -
and captured some very crazy - whimsical, even - thoughts about birds bedded down in feather duvets in the privacy of the birdhouse, rather than exposed in nests -
One of the sheets of paper had a tear, which made a door in the book/house structure - I saved that "for later" and started with the smaller pieces -
This fold-awayable, open-upable, inside/outside book structure is my go-to option at the moment. Why fight it? Much can be done with a sheet of paper and a few folds!
Nests inside (with a very dark area at the centre ... rather like the dark hole where the birds enter, or disappear) ... On the outside, using an eraser to take away the charcoal. Not really "nests", more like strange spidery things...
Underneath is a pattern of negative spaces from rubbing away the excess charcoal before using the rubber to draw with -
Once I noticed what was happening, I was a bit more careful about where the paper got put for the next bit of wiping-off. I like the way it almost looks like a pile of papers, and their shadows.
But how does it work in combination with the book/house structures ...
Research, still. Pootling about. Not getting anywhere much, just at the moment.
Too much thinking, not enough doing...
But nice to get feedback from last time, attached to the sheet of "aims and objectives" we fill out at the beginning of each session -
More to think about.
Meanwhile, one of the birdhouses didn't get taken to a new home, so I'm keeping it, for now anyway -
Seeing it in the photo makes me wonder where else it might comfortably sit ...
22 May 2016
Not all that long ago I showed some photos of my flat amid the chaos of renovation. Much has progressed in the two and a half weeks since the room was stripped. Now it's been insulated, rewired, replastered, and a skylight added -
This stage was preceded, of course, by this sort of thing -
Elsewhere in the flat, the chaos remains, with all the contents of that room, and others, needing "rationalisation" - basically, paring down to 10% (at a guess) of what has been and is hidden in cupboards and odd corners. The aim is to put back into the room ONLY what should BE in the room. So, I've lost my convenient hiding places for the books I might never get around to reading and the swathes of fabric I might never get around to sewing.
Good, they need to go on to other places, new lives. But the hardening of heart needed to let them go is a wretched process.
At the moment I'm concentrating on the books. This lot, some 3 dozen volumes, went to the Oxfam Bookshop early in the week -
As it was a sunny day, I put another dozen books "on the wall" and they disappeared in no time.
Which left the rest of the books that had been gathering dust under the desk, on Tom's carefully custom-fitted shelves - a practice piece, it turned out, for the bespoke shelving and cupboard-building that makes up a large part of his "carpentry" livelihood.
|On the left, the keepers; on the right, 44 books looking for new homes|
And the sorting is the easy part - without a car to carry many bags at a time, getting the books (etc) to the charity shop takes time. So much easier to put them on the wall on a sunny day, and enjoy seeing them disappear.
This is from one of the older books (1929) that went out -
21 May 2016
the park "early" on a Saturday morning. The cafe is full of young families, and there's lots of football instruction going on -
In the wild areas, cow parsley in bloom under the trees - no time to stop for a photo though.
20 May 2016
19 May 2016
|"pieces of the tree's jigsaw" (via)|
New Gravity by Robin Robertson
Treading through the half-light of ivy
and headstone, I see you in the distance
as I'm telling our daughter
about this place, this whole business:
a sister about to be born,
how a life's new gravity suspends in water.
Under the oak, the fallen leaves
are pieces of the tree's jigsaw;
by your father's grave you are pressing acorns
into the shadows to seed.
From A Painted Field (2004),Picador £6.99 (via)
Robin Robertson (b. 1955) is a poet of austere and meticulous diction, tempered by a sensuous music [says www.poetryarchive.org]. He was born in Scone, Perthshire, and brought up on the north-east coast of Scotland but has spent much of his professional life in London where he is currently Poetry Editor at Jonathan Cape. Robertson came late to publishing in terms of his own work, his debut collection A Painted Field appearing in 1997. However, the assuredness of his poetry made an immediate impression [the book won several awards].