Thinking and not thinking

Just sitting here listening to thunder rumble around somewhere not that far away – isn’t May a frustrating month for weather? No sooner have you turned off the central heating for the summer when temperatures plummet and the rain decides to give you a months worth in one afternoon. Oh well.

Anyway, I’m just sneaking another post in before the end of the month.

Last week found me heading north to the Midlands twice in three days. First I popped up to Warwickshire to meet my brother at Baddesley Clinton. I’ve been lots of times, but it had been over twenty years since my brother’s previous visit, so it was a pity I thought that the upstairs wasn’t open to visitors due to a lack of volunteers. As he’d driven for three and a half hours to get there I thought he might be more disappointed, but apparently not, and certainly the lovely peaceful atmosphere in the house and gardens was as rich as always and we enjoyed our stroll around.

On Wednesday of the same week, the OH had a pressing need to be in Stafford with his work, so we took the opportunity to stop off in Lichfield – famous for its three-spired cathedral – which neither of us had ever visited.

The Lichfield Angel – an Anglo-Saxon carving, probably from the original shrine to St Chad. I adore him!
The cathedral’s history depicted in stained glass – I rather liked this.

I stayed in Lichfield while he did what he had to do. An interesting town, I rather liked it, although I think you’d have to say that the cathedral is the main attraction. I’m glad I’ve been – another tick in the book.

The rest of the week has been mainly domestic, with various trips to the Hidey-Hole interspersed. 

In the Hidey-Hole

I’m still very much enjoying using collage in the pieces I’m making, although I can feel myself beginning to push some boundaries. One piece that had been collaged within an inch of its life just failed to come together and eventually, I got out the gesso and went at it. And the result? Oddly enough, the next morning I added a little crayon and splattered some ink, and voila! Suddenly it felt finished and actually quite satisfying. 

This is the piece that I practically painted over!

I know things are on the move artistically because I’ve been on a YouTube deep-dive again and this is nearly always a sign that I’m looking for something, even though I can’t quite tell you what it is I’m looking for. Do you know what I mean? I’m sure I can’t be the only one.

Anyway, as ever, I’m torn between that image in my head of the kind of art I like to see and the actual art that seems to materialise when I get down to work – and I’m not commenting on the skill or otherwise of the execution here, no, it’s more fundamental than that – it’s more to do with mental images of elegant, sophisticated colour palettes and expressive moody landscapes that I appreciate and would like to be able to create and the fact that when I put paint to paper nothing like that ever appears – instead I seem to have to bring out bold, scribbly, colourful abstracts.

Here you get an example of the kind of colourful scribble which flows so freely when I let myself go.

But I was reminded by another artist on YouTube that the only way to find your voice is to make art – thinking about it alone creates nothing, you have to make something. And it’s that something that leads you on. 

I’ve been reading a lot lately about thinking and not thinking. It feels really radical to attempt to think less, to at least let thinking happen without becoming wrapped up in the thoughts, but I’m getting better. Now, I can see that thinking about what you are going to create is fraught with possible dangers – for instance, the fear that you’ll criticise your work in your head before you even begin. When I don’t think, my work looks totally different from what my thinking mind admires, but at least what I create is genuinely mine. 

The current work in progress – nothing subtle here is there….x

There’s no conclusion here, it’s just a process, but I want to share the experience – letting go of expectations – letting go of the desire to work in one particular channel, and instead allowing what wants to come to happen. 

Ah well, that’s me for now. Tomorrow will be June – I do hope the weather picks up and we can get some proper warmth into our bones. Wishing all happy and well.

Until next time,

Anny x

Author: Anny

English countryside, old places, making art.

One thought on “Thinking and not thinking”

  1. There’s a lot here that resonates – especially the vision of what you aim to create and what you end up with – and what you go looking for too. I really like the reworked collage.

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