I’m in a fallow period at the moment art-wise and I know that this is a normal and necessary part of the creative process.
Julia Cameron in “The Artist’s Way” first talked about artists needing to refill the creative well and it’s a concept that is quite well understood now I think. We cannot produce quality work if the well is dry, so there are times when you just have to down tools and recharge and when you emerge from that, it’s time to re-discover a sense of wonder and curiosity.
That’s where I’m at right now, I’m observing, absorbing, photographing and occasionally sketching my surroundings. I built a website recently for a lovely jeweller in Orkney whose main inspiration is the sea and seashore finds. She has inspired me to be more mindful of the treasures to be found along the shore and I’ve started looking at shells with a fresh eye.
The variations in soft and subtle colours are so beautiful and a real eye opener on how to work with a limited palette.
I have the tubes of paint picked out in my mind already – zinc white (softer and more transparent than titanium white), yellow ochre, raw umber, paynes grey for cockle shells and limpets, and some ultramarine and maybe a bit of permanent rose to get the purples for mussel shells.
I love the little fragments as much as the full shells, they are just as beautiful to me, even though they are broken and incomplete – a metaphor for ageing if ever I heard one! So I shall just keep my eyes open and be receptive to the amazing natural beauty that surrounds us here, and soon enough, it will spill out onto paper or canvas. Watch this space …