Interviewed with Mel

Mel has done me the honour of interviewing me with 5 questions. How it works is that after I've answered my questions, I open the floor up to anybody else who would like to be interviewed! If you leave a comment on this blog saying you'd like to participate, then I will ask you some questions, and in return you will do the same for others! Anywho, here are the questions Mel has fired in my direction! =D

1. As an artist, you need to be deeply connected to your Creative Self. What kinds of things do you do to nurture that part of you?

Hmmm. Well, for a long time I was put under pressure to perform artistically (due to university). This totally damaged the connection I did have to my creative self. It's only recently I've been able to get back into art making, and that is due to having to be a LOT more nurturing and compassionate to my creative self. I've done this by trying to be very lighthearted, and just giving things a go - I've come to realise playfulness plays a large part of being creatively healthy. I also go for long walks or just spend time alone, solitude helps me to refuel, whether it be outdoors in nature or at home in 'my corner' listening to music.

2. What is your current favourite medium to work in and which would you like to further explore?

I'm a bit of a Jack of All Trades and Master of None when it comes to art I'm afraid! I've dipped my toe into so many things and liked different things about them all. I guess it must be watercolour recently, there's an air of spontaneity and uncontrollability about it which keeps it fun and challenging. Also, I just love all the colour! *drool*. I would've liked to explore ceramics more, but it's impractical for me. Instead, I'm about to embark on using metal clay (check out the link for some info). It's a relatively new, exciting material which means I can mould metal like clay (gold, silver, bronze and copper now!). I'm hoping to make my own jewellery with it in the near future, so watch this space!

3. From where (or whom) do you draw your greatest inspiration?

My spirituality plays a large part in my art making. I get really excited when I can make something so physical, so mundane and earthly take on an emotional and spiritual aspect. Like how a simple earthenware tea bowl can encompass ideas of honour, reverence, frugality and emptiness. So I guess my inspiration comes from the natural world and people - how a simple action or thing becomes a subtle and succint expression of the divine, like the crest of a wave, a faded tattoo, or the yellowed pages of a book. (Did that make any sense to you?!)

4. My borrowed question: If you could invite any three people to dinner - either living or dead - who would you choose and what would you be eating?

His Holiness the Dalia Lama would definately be on the guest list - I envision him as being so wise and warm hearted! And we'd have a really thought provoking conversation about the situation in Tibet. Secondly, I'd invite Taliesin, the legendary 6th Century welsh bard, who is believed to have sung at the court of at least 3 celtic british kings. He would regale us with his mythic tales, and would also teach me about celtic Briatin and druidry. Thirdly, the brave Joan of Arc. I want to know how such a young woman led the french against oppression - such an amazing person! I'd love to have dishes that correlated with my guests that we could all sample - Tibetan food, celtic meat, and french cuisine! Lol. That sounds like my kinda dinner party!

5. Since you've been working in a school environment, what do you like and dislike about the way that *art* is represented there? ie. how it's used or not used.

I certainly dislike the way it is underplayed within the curriculum. It is mostly considered a less important subject and doesn't get the respect it deserves. I also find it hard that the art work has to be levelled and graded for the curriculum, many kids are insecure about their creative skills, and this only makes them feel it more so. However, I am happy that it is a part of the curriculum - for those kids who are less academically inclined, it can be a welcome respite, and there is nothing quite like seeing a pupil proud of their own work. I'd like to see art become a more cross-curricular subject - it's often seen as being in it's own little box cut off from the rest of school studies, but it can have a very enriching effect on other subjects (i.e. maths - geometry and optics, science - life drawing, boilogy, nature, english - theatre, calligraphy, manuscripts, etc, etc). We as educators in arts should be willing to use it more imaginatively and flexibly within the school structure.

Hope that was interesting for you all! Right, if you'd like to be interviewed, feel welcome to leave a comment and I will deliver you some customised questions asap!

Summer's River

Ah, bliss.

For the past couple of days all I've really done is paint. I have the place to myself because the other half has gone on holiday with his step-dad for 11 days. I also have no work for a week because the schools are closed for half term break! So, this week is BLISS.

This is my most recent painting, which I've called Summer's River. It's a photo that I took in the summer, the sun was out, the river banks abundant with lush foliage and the water laden with lichen and reflecting blue skies *sigh*. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of time and effort this painting took. It has a few flaws (like you see that bush in the water? And the patch of darkness just upper right of it? I tried so hard to get them right but it wasn't to be!). I do like the part nearer the bottom though, where I tried to paint the water. Either way, I'm happy, because I really really did try my best and worked hard at it, which is all one can do at the end of it! I hope you all like it, let me know what you think!

Here's a photo that I'd like to share with you all - I took it in a friends garden, and it had just stopped pouring with rain. This little rose was just begging to be photographed!

Pagan Values Month: The Witches Pyramid

Hiya everyone,

For those of you who haven't heard yet, Pax has taken the initiative and proposed June '09 as Pagan Values Month. Wonderful, no? Here is a copy of Pax's call to arms . . .

"In June the sun is at it’s height in the Northern Hemisphere and nearly hidden from view in the Southern Hemisphere. Midsummer and Yule, festivals of fire and of light.

Let us then use our hearts and minds and words, invoking the fires of inspiration; let us write of the virtues and ethics and morals and values we have found in our Pagan paths, let us share how we carry these precious things forward in our own lives and out into the world.

Join me, in the month of June 2009 in writing about Pagan values."

Of course, I've jumped at the chance to join in on such a good cause. I hope that some of you out there feel the same, and I'm really looking forward to reading everyones posts.

I've decided that my own post will be based around The Witches Pyramid:

To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Be Silent

Whenever I've read about it anywhere it always seems to be in relation to spellcasting. Although it is a good basis for effective magick, I've always felt it to be a rather empty and shallow take on something that I think could be a very powerful invocation to live by. For Pagan Values Month, I will write four posts (one for each part of the above statement) about how I think these words embody the values that we as Pagans both uphold an strive to enact in our own lives.

Anyways, I hope you'll all pop by during June and check out my posts, and do go have a look at who else is participating, it's bound to make for some interesting reading =D.

(P.S. You like the button above? I made it for Pax and anybody else who is joining in to use - cool huh?!)

Tagged - Happiness!

Mel has tagged me to make a list of 6 things that make me happy, and then tag 6 others to do the same - only 6?! It shall have to do . . .

- Stargazing in August, watching the showers of meteors burn into life and fizzle out just as quickly.

- When I'm sleeping and then being unexpectedly woken by the feeling of my boyfriends arms curl around me.

- Having the room to myself, sitting in my corner, turning up my ipod and feeling the thumping music take over!

- Watching fire dance and writhe in a candle flame or bonfire.

- Walking home from work and seeing foxes and ravens, or spying an overhead heron (or, once, a badger!).

- Having fun in a group of old or new friends, and having an inward moment where I realize that these guy are as much my family as a my biological family.

Right, you are under no obligation to do this, but I hope you like it!



Recent completed art-ness

You may remember the ceramic vase I was making a while back - well, it's finished now! About time too! I'm still in two minds about whether or not I like the glaze that I've put on it. The thing is when I was asking the instructor about what glaze I wanted, she kept on saying that I couldn't use the ones I wanted for some reason or other, so I ended up settling for one I didn't originally want. I wanted one that would give a lot of texture, and it certainly has done that. The colours remind me of the beach - slate blues, jaded greens and worn stone . . . .

I've also completed my first proper watercolour painting EVER. I've done quick studies and experiments, but not actually set out to do a complete picture. I'm quite pleased with it, despite it's flaws (I'm still learning after all!). The scene is from a photograph I took at the Country Park, on a magnificent, atmospheric stormy day. The clouds on the right could've been painted much better, and the water isn't quite how I wanted it, but I'm still happy. It was extremely hard to get the water looking like water, I spent more time on that part of the painting that I did on nearly the whole thing! I do like the line of tree silhouettes though. What do you think?

My inspiration has gone for a walk recently, but I've long learnt that just working at it is better than just moping about waiting for it to return (otherwise I would never get anything done!). I've newly started to use some metal clay to make some jewellery, which is exciting. I'll post some pics when I have something substantial to show. Hopefully my muse would've returned by then too =).

Pay It Forward ---->

Hiya guys,

I saw this over on Samantha's and Mel's blog, and couldn't overcome the urge to participate! I'd have commented on their blogs to receive something from them, but I was too late! Anyway, this is what it's all about . . .

I will make a handmade gift for the first 3 interested people who comment on this post. I have 365 days to do it in…What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise! The catch is that you must participate as well: you must have a blog and before you leave your comment here, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going.

DISCLAIMER: There is now a No-Strings attached policy in regards to this initiative, so don't feel too pressurised about having to make something in return! (As instigated by Mel).

So if any of you are interested, just leave a comment (if you're interested Jan, just comment on your blog if you still can't comment on mine! LMAO). I can't promise perfection, but I can promise something that I will make with lots of affection, something totally you-orientated that I have made using the scavenged info from your blog (stalker-esque, I know, lol) and my maverick art making endeavours.
Edit: I'm boosting the number up to 5 people, 'cos hey, I can! =D

About Me

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United Kingdom
I am a pagan, special needs teaching assistant, BA Hons Drawing graduate, artist, amateur tarot reader, half-welsh, big sister, eldest daughter, lover, volunteer, bookworm, intense dreamer, nature and animal lover, over-protective friend, ex-barmaid, fledgling activist and general eccentric. Nice to meet you =D.

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