Friday, 22 March 2013

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

Endings and Beginnings

It has been a very difficult week following the death of my beloved dog last Friday.  The constant companionship of more than 13 years leaves an indelible mark on the soul and a vast empty space in everyday life.  She was a very gentle, happy creature, that loved people and, as such, was very popular with both first time and regular visitors to the studio.  It seems a cold and empty place without her and our cottage also has lost an element of "home".  I find myself challenged by my own words (24 Feb) to "rise up and start again, even through very tough times".

It seems particularly gloomy today as the snow and cold have returned and Spring is temporarily put on hold.  However, I do know that when the sun reappears, the flowers, the birdsong, the light and the warmth will make me feel more energised and less lifeless than I do now.

Even amidst the sadness there is always some little spark.  At the end of last Friday afternoon, when we were completely wrung out, I sat down reluctantly to check my email and found a newly arrived message notifying me that my painting "The Bright Field" had been shortlisted for the Adrian Henri Poetry in Art prize.  It's an honour to be considered for an award such as this, particularly one which is specifically concerned with the inspiration of literature, which is something that I love.

I know that I will eventually get my energy back and go forward from here, but things will always be different.  In my experience, when you lose someone things are never the same but you do eventually move on again, carrying something of that person's character within your own.  The positive influence that they have had on you stays with you and partly shapes who you will become and what you will achieve.  It makes me think of the very old text that says that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single grain, but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.

It was a pleasure to have known Rosie and an honour to have been entrusted with her care throughout her long and happy life.  She was the best of friends, and her cheery and loving personality will stay with me always.

All text and images ©2013 Carol Saunderson

Monday, 4 March 2013

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.


I'm pleased to say that we've had a lot of sun this week-end.  I walked to work and back on Saturday, which is now possible due to the longer hours of daylight - well technically it's always possible, you just need a very good torch!  It was lovely to feel the warmth of the sun and experience the quiet and the solitude (my elderly and increasingly frail dog stayed at home with my partner). The stream that runs down the left-hand side was bubbling loudly as the water table is still high.   I watched the pheasants and partridges running across the pale-coloured earth. Those partridges can really shift!  A couple of weeks ago I listened to a programme on BBC Radio 4 which is called Ramblings.  The subject of the episode was the meditative aspects of walking and how having some time alone, in silence, in the landscape is good for our mental well-being.  It talked about the increasing number of intrusions, largely by technology, into our everyday lives.  I certainly appreciate a walk of that kind for that very reason.  There's no chance of a phonecall or text as I lose the signal the minute I start to descend the hill after passing my neighbour's cottage. It's strange to think that so many people are never really alone now.  If I don't get some solitude each day then my brain becomes overloaded.  I love people, but need a space to breathe. 

Shortly after my neighbour's house I pass my favourite tree on the lane.  It's the only pine along the route and always makes me feel as if I'm by the coast, either North Norfolk or Italy - either will do!

Having talked about the intrusion of technology, I am always interested in it.  Due to the kindness of a friend I have recently acquired a smartphone and found a really brilliant app.  I enjoyed basing my last painting on a poem, so I downloaded the app from the Poetry Foundation.  It will randomly select poems for you or you can search the database.  I've already discovered poets of which I was formerly unaware.  I can see that there will be more poetry-inspired painting to come!

By the end of Saturday's work the pale-coloured earth and the shapes of the trees in the lane had found their way into the painting.  That peaceful walk feeds my soul!

Art &Psychology Facebook Page

All text and images (except Art & Psychology) ©2013 Carol Saunderson