Saturday, 26 October 2013

Hunting and Gathering


This was the week that saw that crash of a desk of mine cleared and made functional once more. At last, creatively speaking I feel like I can breathe again. It has meant a feast of foraging through 'my things' and reading, lots and lots of reading. I'm one of those that hoards magazines and books. I like revisiting them, like catching up with old friends that give you that cosy feeling. I'm one of those that when I do find the discipline to chuck magazines out, I tear out favourite articles and store them in a large and deep shoe box with paper binders that categorise the subject matter. This is why I use words like 'feast' and 'forage'. There is, for me, real joy in re-reading articles that I have owned since my late teens, ones that are tear stained and coffee stained. Ones with oil stick and faint pencil notes added, ones that I guess reflect the unravelling of my interests and concerns and the bones of my identity as an Artist. It is helpful to re-visit because I am one of those who forgets easily, one who needs to occasionally see it all laid out in front of me in order to see and then store the greater picture. 

It has been a good week. I like week's where one thought leads to another and suddenly all those disparate notes you made pull together and start to make sense as a whole. I like using something repetitive like stitching, to allow my brain time and space to process all of the foraging and feasting. 

Sometimes there is no better tonic than stitching whilst watching some of your favourite winter staples and if you live in the uk and it's autumn and you know that bad weather will prevail for time and time to come, well you tend to embrace it. Cups of tea and blankets and central heating head and too many carbs and too much sugar, they become glorious survival tools. This I can testify to, again and again and again. The occasionally limiting weather does also mean that those boys of mine are having to re-learn the art of sitting quietly and for the last few days I have been routinely challenging them to find indoor activities that engage them for more than say 3 and a half minutes? Oh and ones that don't involve me being at the centre. After all, I must pace myself because I suspect there are many, many games of draughts and tiddlywinks and ludo and monopoly to be had, not to mention chess which I love the idea of being great at but which in truth I really don't get and to be honest I get a little testy when the 8 year old explains the rules for the umpteenth time. In those moments I take a deep breath and fantasise that I'm 'Bodie' from The Wire and I imagine myself spitting through the gap in my two front teeth as a display of my discontent. I don't actually have a gap in my teeth but if I did, I would! 

I am charged and ready to take on the half term break, half of us are carrying the wheezing virus and half of us are trying to run and take cover from it. A little 'start of holiday' shouting has already been done, a little breakfast in bed brought by one hubby and one son has been done also. So now to get up and face it head on, half term I'm coming for you! 

And after!

One of the finds from my desk. I was thinking of my hubby when i drew it, he's awesome!

Another find from my desk. This one looks like my sister when she was around 17 and had a 'curly perm'. *mysisisgonnakillme

You know when you're moving stuff around on your desk and then you pick up a bunch of papers and they're stuck together and they make a kind of collage. I like that.

Sometimes the smallest things brings inspiration

Found on a rainy monday morning, amongst the rubble that was my desk

I've been reading a lot this week. Some words just stay with you. Some words you just have to hand stitch.

Elliott was working on an Autumn/Winter project and practicing sitting more still than usual!

Love that 'conker' looks like 'corker'.

Illustrating 'The Gruffalo' as he was watching!

'The mouse'

Elliott drawing from Dad's anatomy book, please note the internal organs.

Zach drawing pictures to give to his friends

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