Thursday, 11 June 2009

Inspiration (Thank you Mark)

Those of you that know me, or have been reading my blog for a while, will know that I am happiest when I'm busy and when I'm being creative (Whether that creativity is starting a new project, finding a solution to a difficult problem or actually putting pen/pencil to paper) but I've been feeling a bit off since we got back to the UK. At some point in the future I am either going to be starting uni or starting work so I'm not going to have as much time as I do at the moment to do the things I love. I should be making the most of the time I have now....except I wasn't!! I was starting to fear that perhaps my get up and go had actually gotten up and buggered off but I am delighted to tell you that it hasn't buggered off at was just hiding (naughty get up and go!!) and I have a fellow blogger to thank for helping me find it :-). Let me explain

When we first moved into our new house I had a grand plan...we would turn the 2nd bedroom into an art room come study. We bought a lovely old wooden bureau from a charity shop in Swindon which I could use to store all my art stuff, I would set up my drawing table next to it so everything was in easy reach and then we would get a desk for the computer and printer which both Chris and I could use....brilliant!!. Except the stairs up to the third floor have a very narrow and sharp turn.......yep, you guessed it.....if it ain't flat pack it ain't going up!!! The bureau? well, it looks great in the living room but where the hell was I going to put my drawing table (We were discussing the possibility of putting it in the shed at one's not a lovely shed like Debs's old and decrepit with broken windows!!) and how was I going to be able to create anything when I had no space to call my own!! Now, this seems like a really small problem....and in the grand scheme of things you are absolutely right......but I can't tell you how much it upset me!! (Ridiculous isn't it!!......At least I know!!).

Anyway, I saw a comment on one of the blogs I normally read which made me laugh so I clicked on the link and went for a nosey!! I am so so glad I did!! Views from the bike shed and My little i are great blogs (both written by the lovely Mark) and after reading a few of the past posts I added them to my 'I read these' list and started following them. Mark, it turns out, is a very talented artist (I particularly love the paintings he does of the sea. Click here to see his work) and he recently blogged about the fact that he has a collection of 'postcards' which are actually postcard sized paintings that he does when he's on holiday (he likes to try and paint a postcard a day which I think is a great idea). He mentioned that a gallery had made some prints of one of them to publicise one of his exhibitions and he had a few left over which he was offering to bloggers if they were interested. I e-mailed him to say that I would love one and that I really liked the style of his paintings and in his response he sent me a link to the website of his friend and mentor John Skinner. I had a look and was blown away by his creations.....between his paintings and Mark's I was starting to feel inspired and over the weekend found myself online looking at different painting styles and techniques. I decided that I would spend Monday doing the stuff that needed done and that on Tuesday and Wednesday I would paint!!

On Monday, the household stuff out the way, I tackled the living room and re-arranged the furniture (Chris was in Amsterdam for work so I had the place to myself).....and to my astonishment I managed to find a space for my drawing table....where it didn't look bloody awful and where it wasn't in the way!! (I didn't think it would fit and my gob was well and truly smacked that it did!!). Oh my god this is going to sound so stupid....but I got really excited about it and felt like me again for the first time in ages!! And then when I opened my e-mail there was a message waiting for me from Mark.....not only was he sending me the print he was sending me a selection of his original postcards to choose a couple from, a book written by Sara Hudston called 'Switch off the light and let me try on your dress' which was based on conversations between her and John Skinner (You can buy it here) AND a book called 'Drawing and painting people - A fresh approach' by Emily Ball (which you can buy here). Isn't that amazing!!! (I will return the postcards and the books when I have finished with them)

I spent all day Tuesday and most of yesterday painting .......trying out different techniques and generally making a mess!! I even had a look through Chris's old photographs and did a painting just for him (well, he has been putting up with me being a moody cow!!). Here are the fruits of my labours....

Below is the one I did for Chris. I will give you money if you can guess what he said about it....

And yesterday afternoon the postman delivered these

I already know which postcards I'm going to keep (and am planning to get a frame for them this weekend) and I read 'Switch off the light and let me try on your dress' last night which I found absolutely fascinating!! I can't wait to get going on the 'Drawing and Painting People' book but am going to have to pop out and buy some more paper or canvasses before I do!!

So really the point of this post is to say Thank You to Mark who inspired me and helped me find my get up and go!!


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Wow, wow and wow, on all counts! Loved the introduction to Mark and John's work, love your paintings - and am so delighted to hear you have rediscovered your get up and go!
Wonderful! xx

Anonymous said...

Fab Paintings- by everyone! You've discovered colour now!

I couldn't begin to guess what Chris said about your painting - but I sincerely hope it was complimentary, or I'll have to stand on a box and sort him out! He really wouldn't be scared, would he...*sniggers*

Love Mum x

Blu said...

I know just what you mean about the desk being in the right place. It is so important to have the space just so!

Love the images you have created.

Blu x

JJ Beattie said...

I love your paintings hon and I'm delighted to hear your get up and go has reappeared. I didn't ever think it had gone far!

Mark said...

Well done Carol - I'm pleased you liked the books, and my paintings too, of course.

Your comment that you 'felt like me again' resonates with me. So often have so little time to do those things we 'really want to do'. In the end you have to make the time - and when we do, we feel truly alive.

I especially like the painting of the head - it has the most interest and variety. You have lots of talent to do these so quickly. Fantastic stuff.


Carol and Chris said...

Absolute Vanilla - Not half as delighted as I am!! I'm now feeling rather perky (Did you hear that? I think I just heard Chris groaning with despair!!)

I'm glad you like the paintings...I had fun attacking the canvass with paint :-)

Mum - I know....I'm using colour!! Who would have thought eh!!

I'm not telling you what he said just yet but it had something to do with birds....go look at it again :-) (No, he wouldn't be scared in the slightest!!)

Blu - I am so glad it's not just me!! When I was writing about how upsetting I had found it I was convinced that everyone would think I was bonkers!!

You know what this means now don't you....I might just get round to using one of your fab photo's as inspiration :-)

JJ - Awww, thanks hon!! I felt like it had gone far....gone off to find itself by climbing a jungle covered mountain and then had managed to get itself a bit lost!!

Mark - I think your paintings are fab (Mine will probably never even be in the same league but that's ok) and I'm looking forward to working my way through the book.

I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comment about feeling truly alive...being creative is such a strange thing isn't it!!

The painting of the head is the one that I spent most time on, I think it was about 9 hours (once I get going I tend to forget about everything else), and feel happiest with. (Sorry, am going to have to do it....wooo said I had talent!! *does happy dance*. Aherm, now I've got that out my system I can continue :-D). I'm going to need loads more practice but I think it's not a bad starting point. Perhaps I'll try doing some different facial expressions in a similar style...

Anyway, thank you for providing me with the inspiration to get up off my arse and do some painting :-)

C x

Debs said...

I know exactly what you mean about needing a place to write. Before I lived with R, I had a corner in my bedroom, and loved it.

Love your paintings. You're so talented. I would love to be able to paint, but am completely hopeless. What a clever idea, postcard paintings.

HelenMHunt said...

What a heartwarming post. You sound so enthused. I love it.

cheshire wife said...

Your enthusiasm really came through in that post. I hope that you continue to enjoy yourself.

Carol and Chris said...

Debs - You just need a wee space you can call your own don't you!!

Awww, that's a lovely thing to say :-). I didn't think I could paint either...those are my first attempts!!

I like the idea of the postcards too and I think I may try to do the same :-)

Helen - I feel all enthused!!

Cheshire wife - I really enjoyed doing the painting and bought more paper yesterday so am hoping to do some more this afternoon :-)

C x

ladyfi said...

brilliant news! So glad you have re-discovered your inner creativity!

Love all the paintings!

Carol and Chris said...

Ladyfi - So am I...I was concerned that I was going to have to go through the rest of my life as a moody cow!! (ha, I'll probably still go through the rest of my life as a moody I just need to find another reason :-D)

Glad you like them

C x

LittleBrownDog said...

I wish I could find my get up and go. At the moment I just feel as though I'm on a treadmill. Lovely paintings, though. And I love your art room - it looks really inspiring. I wish I could stumble upon nice pieces of furniture in Swindon junk shops - all I seem to find is dusty old pieces that look as though they've seen better days.

Great inspirational blog (and thank you for your nice comment on mine :-)

Carol and Chris said...

Little Brown Dog - It sounds like you need it for protecting yourself against randy, vegetable wielding thriller readers!!

We got the bureau in the Sue Ryder shop in the Brunel's definitely worth popping into every so often as they sometimes have real gems (we managed to get a solid oak dining table and chairs for £150) and the money goes to support a local hospice!!

C x

Lane said...

What a totally and utterly lovely post. I'm so glad you found your enthusiasm again. It just shines through.

Love your paintings! Colour!

Am off to check out all the links that led to your 'happy place' now:-)

Snowbrush said...

Better to be "a weird little beast" with creativity than a normal beast without it, eh? I envy people who create art. I suppose we all have it in us, but then we all have music in us too, but not all of us can do it well. This is why I write. I feel it is something that I can do well, and I've done it so much that I'm comfortable (not complacent though!) in doing it.

Milla said...

well I so enjoyed this. It took for-bloody-ever, as I kept clicking on all the weeks, but some hours later I've remembered to click back and back and finish. I loved the description of creating your own area, both the prosaic (flat packs, stairs etc) and the need for it from a creative point of view and cheered along (silently, steady on, I'm not mad) when you got the internal kick up the behind you needed. Sad thing is, like LBD, it's made me realise I Want Some Too!!

Carol and Chris said...

Lane - I really feel like I've been given a new lease of life!! Tis good :-)

I know...colour...I'm still a bit shocked to be honest!!

Hope you enjoyed the links

Snowbrush - Absolutely :-). I envy people who create art too...I look at their work and think 'ooohhh I wish I could draw like that'. I envy people that can write too...that is something I could never do so *takes hat off to you* for being able to do it so well!!

Milla - Awww...thanks *grins*. There was no way I could have written the post without putting all the links in but I'm glad you came back and finished it!!

hehehe, I am mad..and I do find myself talking to the computer when I'm reading other people's gets embarrassing when there are other people in the house (Note to self: Must stop doing that!!).

I'll do my best to send you some over the interweb :-)

C x

Ann said...

Carol, so glad you got your Mojo back, sometimes we lose ourselves, and cannot find who or what we are, and it takes something or someone to help.
Very happy for you.

Lily Sheehan said...

Glad your feeling yourself and your get up and go was still lurking. Those are great paintings. Your v. talented!!

Carol and Chris said...

Ann - Me too!! I'm really not the 'sit about doing nothing type' and was starting to get a bit worried about my lack of motivation!!

Lily - Thanks honey. I'm now planning to never let it out of my sight again...who knows where it would scuttle off to!!

I'm really glad you like them. I'm now bursting with ideas so there will probably be a few more appearing...

C x

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