Poppies

There is a whole cluster of poppies in poor soil round the corner from where I live.

These are tall oriental ones. But we also have Welsh poppies which are yellow and orange. We have grown ladybird poppies which are red and black and we once grew a Himalayan poppy, (mecanopsis?) which is bright blue.

So inevitably they get into my photos and paintings…..

Poppy, poppy, I see you flutter, blue sky, red headed beauty

Poppy, poppy, mediaeval sleep enhancer, narcotic, danger.

Poppies, poppy, seeds for flavour, thriving on old building sites.

Poppies, poppies, memories of war, petals fluttering down upon our heads.

Papaver, poppy , horticultural star. Giver of colour and Sun.

Smile

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I came across this last week. It was something I doodled when I was at work and I had it stuck on my computer for a few years…. that tiny little hand/paw trying to hold things together…the mouth stretched wide, with huge jaws…

It says smile,  but really it was a grimace, a smile through gritted teeth. I was feeling very low but didn’t want to tell anyone. It was about work, and people, but I used to just get on with things. I wouldn’t let them know they were getting to me. I would just look at this drawing and smile.

Sweet smile you tear at my mouth,

You pull the sides upwards into a rictus grin.

Corners pulled up like a weight lifter raising kilos above his head.

Crocodile smile?  No, more of a dinosaur grin…

Ancient, creaking, trying not to give in to atrophy.

Smile for the camera, twist your lips, show your teeth.

No don’t cry! Grin!

 

Kaleidoscopic

One of my favourite things to do with photographs is to put them through the google layout app that allows you to take a photo, flip it and flip it again. You end up with strange abstract patterns, of symmetry and asymmetry, depending in how many photos you use.

I treated the goose photos two different ways. The large goose has been tipped and twisted 4 ways do that there is a pattern of S shapes. The other is 4 vertical panels, all the same size. That I have called “get your geese in a row”. The third picture is of partly completed kitchen cupboards “kaliediscoped”…

The fourth picture is two photos of almost the same view. Both were flipped,  but I made sure they did not line up for a change.

The fifth us of the pilings supporting the cafe at a local lake. The cafe seems to float above the lake and these pillars help to support it. The final photo was of oriental poppies at a local pottery….there seems to be a stepped path up through the foliage.

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Red glasses

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A couple of years ago I did a doodle on the computer of me wearing my old red glasses. The idea was to draw it as if I was using a scraper board …. you know scratching through a black surface to reveal a metallic coloured base layer.

The red really stands out on this drawing (which has been duplicated in layout).

I think artists need to experiment, even if its just  little ideas that get the cogs going in your brain!

Red glasses hide your eyes behind

Thick glass, makes you think?

Makes your thought opaque, hidden,

Eyes glint under the red frame,

Pale thoughts unbidden.

Will they see the real you,

will they feel your thoughts?

Reveal yourself by showing your eyes..

The pain, the fear, the dark.

Last year

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Last year the garden was lovely, full of flowers. This ceramic head I made 20 years or so ago was full of nasturtiums and lobelia. It sits on the wall by the back door, its glazed in st Nicholas glaze if I remember rightly. Greeny grey in colour. It was hand built with a flat back and I used wet hand towels to support the face while it was drying out ready for firing.

The space inside it is not very big, so plants that can survive drought conditions are best planted in it.

We are getting our hanging baskets this week and I will try and plant some pots up with begonias, pelagoniums, bizzie lizzies and fuschias to cheer the walls around them up.

I would like to do some more pottery heads, maybe green men masks to make the yard more interesting.

Meanwhile in the main garden the trees are getting out of control. We had some work done earlier in the year but the remaining trees and shrubs have gone rampant because they now have more light.

Still if it works and we get more birds like a chaffinch and a couple of robins, plus nesting blue tits who’s chicks have now fledged , I guess I don’t mind too much!

Choir

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I sing in a couple of choirs, one which is all female and the other which is a mixed choir. Both of them are acappella, which means unaccompanied by a musical instrument, except perhaps to give us our starting notes.

Summer time is when we do most of our gigs. Both choirs have things coming up. The mixed choir is singing locally this weekend, we will be singing for about 50 minutes, so we need to know a variety of songs. The gig on Saturday will be mostly Summer songs, for instance, “Summer is a coming in”. Some of us know the songs off by heart, and others will be using song sheets.

Both choirs repetoirs are very varied, the female choir knows more international songs like “Meliswe” which is Hoza I think? We also do Maori, French, Creole, Croatian, among many other songs.

I have to say singing in a choir can be wonderful when we get it right, and sometimes a real struggle while we are learning a peice. Recently we sang with another choir (a lung health choir) at a production of a play for four nights. We were singing to add atmosphere to the play, and we sang an arrangement of “cloudbusting” by Kate Bush, over and over again. 12 times on one night! This was while the audience were being led round the auditorium and getting the spooky, cold feeling of the place (we were at an old chapel that is being restored and it was probably the coldest May for years).

The female choir is doing a walkabout in a few weeks round the town centre, singing and then moving on. Our normal choir leader is away on that day so some of us are taking responsibility to lead the choir. It’s not something most of us have ever done. So if you see some confused women singing out of key….it might be us!

Angel

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Angel is one of my first digital drawings. Drawn with Photoshop with a textured pen brush.

I was trying to draw something in an icon style, but with a modern twist.

Angel

Angel on high looking down, what do you see?

A world, a sky, a planet…a heaven?

Angel sing choral songs up high….

Music of the spheres, music of the sun.

Angel look down on me, give me peace,

Let light in and darkness out.

Angel keep me safe, sure, loved.

Hold the world in your hands,

Keep it safe.