Wednesday 22 August 2012

folk tales, peeling walls, and wolves in nighties.

The last few days...

I've been enjoying the (temporary) solitude of my new studio. Wandering the halls like a cat, poking my whiskers into each corner...

down each hallway...

into unexplored rooms.

Finding walls which remind me of Pompeii,

or of lichen on the granite tors of Dartmoor.

Landscapes of the imagination.  Full of mystery, of story.

I ordered this book on a lark.  "Thistle & Thyme" by Sorche Nic Leodhas (1898-1969) an American librarian and storyteller of Scots descent who retells Scottish folk tales in a delightfully playful way, capturing the cadence of the language, and the wit and imagination of the folk who first told these wonderful tales.

As I was reading one of the stories to my boys, I slipped quickly and unwittingly into my Grandfather's heavy Scottish brogue.  The author has captured the music of the language beautifully.

These stories take place in a wilderness and landscape which I'm craving in soul-deep way.  An ache and a whispering song in my bones.

For now, though, there is no shortage of outdoors.  A rare wood fire on the top of a hill with the shadowy bulk of the Alps and an incoming lightning storm in the distance.  Returning home that night with the smell of woodsmoke in our hair.

Meandering back to the studio...and my first studio purchase - a kettle for the makeshift tea kitchen.

Everything sorted, painting has begun.

The studio desk.  View out the window.  Green idyl to the right; non-stop traffic to the left.  So it is.  (The key ring one of Ren's lovely leather creations from her shop Fairysteps.)

Meandering back to stories.
As I was organizing, I came across this doodle in a sketchbook. Wolves in nighties.
Guess I was kind of wondering what they do when they're not, you know, eating grannies...

Just adding it in the name of silliness.

Think I'd better stop now.

Saturday 4 August 2012

the old and new in a house with antlers on it

The path to my new studio
lined with old, soul-feeding trees.

The house, ca.1850, where the forester for the Perlacher Forst once lived, complete with wooden shutters and antlers.  My new studio waits behind the top left window.  

At the edge of town in the Fasangarten.  Where the pheasants used to roam.

I adore old houses.  Their secrets.  Their twists and turns.  Each flake of paint a fragment of forgotten memory.  


Doors within doors.

The old green walls of my room.

A neutral, new white after a few hours.  

Old window clasp.

Apples just out of reach.

The spider who kept a careful eye on my paint roller.

The floors.  Wide beams with hand-hewn flooring nails.

Beautiful collages made of the remnants of old newspapers that had been pasted to the floor years and years ago. 

Stairs that twist up to an attic.

A room to store paintings.  And to talk with ghosts.  

A new phase in an old-souled house.