Meetings.

I think I have been to more than my fair share of meeting in my life. It started with staff meetings in schools but they were OK. The colleges were a different matter, in the many years that I worked in further education we seemed to be fighting for one thing or another. In the fight for survival in the brutal days when colleges were being cut like corn, we fought for academic recognition. We were continually writing course submissions, negotiating with different examining boards, meeting up with course moderators, it was unending.

Now… I have a problem I just can’t resist doodling or designing in meetings. I tried to keep my mind on the subject in hand but once I had made the first mark I was away. The design ones were straightforward enough but the doodles, I never knew where they were coming from. I have hundreds of them.

I can draw reasonably well but that can sometimes become a hindrance because the best drawings often come when your conscious mind is left behind and you are just free flowing. I suppose that your years and years of looking come in useful because you have a headful of images at your disposal.

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I made the shrine, bottom left. I had see the ex votos in cathlolic churches. If people thought they had been cured or saved in any way they often painted primitive pictures of the scene eg been rescued from drowning, being gored by a bull etc. If their sight or their hearing had been cured there would be a wax ear or eye. Little trinkets were often left, or bits of jewellery. I had just had two new hips. In my piece they were represented by large legs, from dolls, sprayed gold, the shrine was made of textiles in red pink and orange, like a little Punch and Judy set up. It had lots of small gold bells. Someone bought it to give to a friend who had just had the same op.

I don’t actually like selling things much, because when I make them they are an expression of me and what I am thinking at that time. They are like my children going out into the world, I just hope they will be looked after and not thrown on a tip if someone gets tired of them.

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At the time that I did this one I had become entranced by the beach huts. I was interested in the fact that such a basic shape could have so many forms. I had photographed them all individually. When the great storm came I also photographed the destruction and the scattering of the personal things that people had left in them There was an uplifting side, the council took the pieces to the car park and many people collected them and rebuilt, a heartening example of peoples resilience. Sadly nowadays you have to have the council approved standard model but people still customize them in imaginative ways.

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I made the curved form with the tower out of clay. I encrusted it with textures. In my head it was derived from my drawings of the derelict tin mines at Chacewater. The thing is… that things that have happened long in the past resurface again. images have to be given time to ‘cook away’ in your inner being. If they are important to you they will emerge in a different form.

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The above drawings were mostly ideas for textiles. I subsequently used quite a few of them. But the there were the ‘out of your head’ variety, nothing to do with design.

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I used to teach the life drawing classes, so the naked form was in my head, I don’t know whether anybody glanced over my shoulder, Drawing hass always been so important to me. There is hardly a day when I don’t draw.

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Sometimes the accidental juxtaposition of the words and image add something to the whole. I often write little things that I am thinking too. See above. Who was Lilian?

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