Slow down, breathe easy, make a poem of your life. Don't let life rush by; reflect. Look for beauty and rejuvenate your soul.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A Bird for the Future

The last day of AEDM. Like any anticipated period of time, this month promised to be long, reached the halfway mark and sped to its end like a runner sprinting his final lap.
For my last offering I have illustrated a short poem I wrote a while ago as a poetry workshop exercise, so it is nice to make use of it in another group setting, so to speak.

Here is the poem:

An Unknown Bird

The future threw a flash of colour past my window
Like an unknown bird caught in sudden flight
And finding my own wings, I rose and followed,
Forgetful of the day I'd planned -
A new one in my sight.

I feel this is appropriate for today for two reasons.
Firstly, those few snowflakes that fell around my visiting fox yesterday increased overnight changing my plans for today. This is the scene outside as I write. I know lots of you have snow too.

The second reason is this: this blog was still new when we began AEDM so now the month is over what will this blog become? The future is full of promise so please do stick around (like snow) and see what's still to come!
This month has been great. Thank you to everyone who has visited me here and offered such encouragement. Thank you to Leah for stretching me so much at the beginning of my art journey.
Let's follow that unknown bird into the future together!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Fox In Snow

Over the last couple of days I've tried my hand at a couple of bookmarks. I will need to laminate them if they are to be of any use, but in the meantime here they are:


The first is a little more golden than the photo suggests. The second is a birds-eye view of a bird. Although it makes me think of a fish. And an alien. So it is my bird-fish-alien.

So why did I name this blog post "Fox In Snow"?
Because when I woke this morning I spotted this fox resting in my garden. And a little later we had a snow shower, just visible in the last snap.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Droplets from the Sky

The sky is an endless source of fascination and beauty, always changing, whether blue, cloud-heavy or red with the sunset. Here are two droplet poems fallen from incredible skies:


Crazy sky scribbled
into abstract art
by the hand of God
and the setting sun.

After the Storm

Stormclouds ruptured by Silver
Sun-rays - like a Second Coming
Without the Trumpet Call -

Why don't you try capturing a sky in a few words? Aren't we human beings amazing? We can hold the entire expanse above us on our tongues (sorry, that last bit might be a little weird :) ).


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

What An Angel May Bring

The final week (for now!!) of Willowing's Art, Heart and Healing course gave us the task (or opportunity as I prefer to think of it) to create an Invitation Angel. This encourages us to be open to (rather than demand) something more in our lives. My angel immediately, though simply, offered LOVE.
Here are two photos of her taken in different light:

Now we all love a beautiful feminine angel, and I delight in mine. But actually she is a million miles from what I believe a true angel to be. An angel, for me, is a strong, powerful, awesome warrior and to the extent that one may ascribe gender to a heavenly being, male. He is to be feared - in a good way. Now a male presence like that would be something to celebrated as much as my gentle, beautiful love angel. He would be determined to bring love too.

How interesting to explore how radically different figures might carry the same message. The wonderful thing about this AEDM month (apart from the art I'm doing in it) is the inspiration that will be carried over into the months to come (I'd like to try painting my male angel).

Which leads me to another thing. It will be over soon (remarkably quickly, don't you think?) and that begs the question, what will this blog look like post AEDM? I am anticipating a certain melange of things - a continued display of Art as it happens , and of Poetry which is more where I started and also a return to my search for Beauty beyond the obvious (like my angel!). I also hope to explore some Philosophy of Life (such as the angelic guises in which love may come) and I really hope you will want to join my exploration because it will be so much more of a growth journey with your thoughts linking with mine.

So please hang around next month too and join in the journey. Let's go arm in arm together!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Mulberry Tree and Night Crows

Willowing has a monthly challenge and this November we were invited to try our hand at a painting inspired by Van Gogh. I took his "The Mulberry Tree" and "Wheat Field With Crows" as my inspiration and came up with this:

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Heart of Darkness

Yesterday was a dark day for me and I wanted to paint with black. So I decided to experiment further along the background route I began a few days ago and this is the result:

Needed to add a little colour to the black, then I found this old eclipse photograph which I turned round and discovered it looked a little like a heart, so suddenly I had my wording and the painting came together. Suddenly the darkness seemed to have something bright at its centre. Hope where I had expected to find only bleakness. Psychologically interesting.

Today I'm back to working on bigger projects, but until we next meet, here's a droplet poem for you:

Upon your absence

O my sweet, sweet love have you
fallen from the edge of the earth
as you searched wide for me?
Or have you in madness
just fallen for somebody new?


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Messy Art Is Great!

I've missed a few days posting, but have been busy with art and general creativeness, so it's time for a catch up. I'm not displaying a piece for every day I've missed - some of my work is still in progress (isn't that great!), but here's what I've got so far:

I said, having painted Eve last week, that I needed to learn how to paint backgrounds. Well I got down and messy and loved it - threw the paint on, didn't panic when I wasn't happy, just threw on more until I was. This is what turned out:

I overcame two lifelong aversions: tearing up books and losing control. It felt great!

I've found that it's ok to mess up photos too. It's exciting to be going mixed media too:

I'm 20 years older and greyer than this photo, but who cares - it's how you feel inside that counts, isn't girls?!

And finally a little poem droplet:

Dragon's Breath

If I could breathe the fire of dragons
I would not need to catch my breath
At the thought of you.

Louise X

Thursday, 11 November 2010


I promised something more substantial today and here it is:

This is Eve. I have wanted to paint her for ages now, but I haven't dared attempt her - not believing I could paint faces. Thanks to Willowing that is a negative belief I have been able to prove untrue. And she is my first blonde. My other success in this painting is the speed with which I produced it - from first sketch to finished product just two days. Now I know speed is not the point here and I want to cultivate a greater care in this new venture of mine, but in this instance it simply shows me what is possible.

Now what I am not happy with is the background. I need to do some serious practice with this. I need to get a lot braver. Look out for my progress...
The colours are another problem - both the background and the serpent. But you know what? I've learnt that's ok. I don't have to get everything right first time round. It's not about perfection; it's about expression.
I know I will paint this picture again sometime - different colours, darker background. I'm looking forward to it, though it won't be for a while...

What I am happy with though is my tree and Adam on that serpent-Eve pathway to where? Heaven or Hell? What do you think?

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Snowflakes - AEDM 10

A very hasty stamped pink snowflake design today. Working on something more substantial for tomorrow...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Poems and Pictures

I've missed a few days, but have not been idle! So below are 4 offerings from ADEM days 6-9.
Day 6 brought a droplet poem:


The slate tiles that we generally call clouds
roof in the sky, but provide
no shelter from the storm they herald.

Day 7, a face:

Day 8, another poem written on the train on my way home from work in London. Due to disruptions I spent longer travelling than I did working yesterday. Glad I had a poem to write!

Train Home

As the cramped carriage hurtles homeward
how can you tell
if the man whose knees mirror yours
has a tender tongue or a harsh hand?

How can you tell
if the woman whose eyes hide behind dark orbs
nurses open wounds, carries secrets
or basks in a moment of serenity?

Today, day 9, I have painted a tulip with watercolour crayons:

Hope you like these. X

Friday, 5 November 2010

Whimsies & ADEM 5

I did it! I hoped to finish my Willowing whimsies today and I have! I've been working on them for the last week and a half and I love them. I hope you like them too. They are my art every day month offering for today too. Two birds with one stone (thinking about it that's not a nice expression is it?)
These are my lovely girls though who are very nice: the one ready to lead the other home. Sometimes that's just what we need...


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Yellow Leaves - AEDM days 3 & 4

I didn't manage to post yesterday - crisis time at home kept me away from the computer - but I did carve out a little time for a quick painting inspired by the gorgeous trees at the top of my road.

Trees were the only thing I could paint when I was at school, but I'm afraid I'm well out of practice now, especially when squeezed amidst a crisis.
Today I'm working on my bigger art project for Willowing which I'm hoping to maybe finish tomorrow and then show you...
So today comes my first little droplet poem on the same autumn theme:

Yellow Leaves

Hidden wind chimes sing accompaniment
To the leaves that fall in yellow
Showers from the beeches at the roadside.

If they're short enough I'll tweet my droplet poems too. (Link to my twitter page at the bottom of this blog). X

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Rose - AEDM day 2

Wow! I know it's only day 2, but so far I am doing this. This is another of my new stamps, coloured with ordinary coloured pencils.

It's not to late to join Leah's Art Every Day Month! Thanks to those who visited yesterday. If you didn't do pop back to see day 1 to find out what I'm doing this month - it's all about mini art and droplet poems. It's great to travel around the blogosphere and see all the creativity out there!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Mini Art and Droplet Poems

Call it a sign. Call it serendipity. Call it an opportunity.
Like many opportunities I almost passed it by. But then I chose not to. This is what a beautiful life is all about: grasping opportunities, embracing what they bring.

Last night I stumbled across Art Every Day Month due to begin today, 1st November. It being the eve of the month it was a perfect time to sign up, so why did I hesitate?
Because it seems like a big ask - Art Every Day - even for a month. And I am still doing Art, Heart and Healing. And I am so new at this - a baby artist, not a month old.
So I hesitated. Then I took the bull by the horns and added my name, commiting myself to the opportunity.
Being still a babe in arms, the steps I take over this next month will be baby ones. But that's ok. Making something manageable, makes it possible. So with perhaps one or two exceptions, I intend to embrace baby art.

Yesterday my eldest daughter and I let ourselves loose at an art store, beginning our stamp collection and stocking up on a few other goodies besides, some water soluable wax pastels, some shiny bronze mosaic tiles.
So I will practise using our hoard on pieces of mini-art, small experiments. Here is today's offering:

The original is only an inch across - I've just added colour to a stamp. I know now I won't manage to do the art and post every day, but I hope to offer you a fair selection with some frequency.

Of course my first artistic love is poetry and that comes in mini versions too, so I would like to try my hand at that as part of my art month, interspersing the art of words and pictures as the month progresses.
Back in the summer (remember the summer, now the nights are closing in early?) during my holiday in Normandy, France, I picked up a wonderful book at a vide grenier (that's an empty attic sale, garage or car boot depending on your origins). It is called "Il pleut des poemes" and it is an anthology of mini verse, collected together by Jean-Marie Henry and illustrated by Zau. Each poem is a snippet - two lines long, six at the very most. A brief picture in words. Here is the introductory poem by Jean-Pierre Simeon:

Le poeme est une goutte d'eau,
il donne au desert l'idee de la fleur.

A poem is a water droplet,
it gives the desert the thought of a flower.

(my translation)

So here's to mini-art and droplet poems! (Glasses clink, can't you hear them?)