Saturday, November 10, 2012

from the archives

... the archives of my brain that is.  Although, I imagine it might be more like the library stacks in there... a little bit dusty and smelling of old books.

A friend who was at the exhibition opening the other night, looking at Wayfarer
Wayfarer by Loretta Grayson
asked me if I was going back to some of my older ideas/imagery... which was pretty observant, because I definitely was.  The curly clouds and sky from about 6 years ago had been taken out of the archives and dusted off. 

Night Clouds 2 by Loretta Grayson
Night Clouds 3 by Loretta Grayson
(Incidentally, the colours, hills and cloudy night skies in the above pieces were also re-invented in this one)
Flight Path by Loretta Grayson
 It seems the idea of being lost at sea and treading water (or in this case, attempting to navigate my way in a flimsy paper boat) isn't new to my work... although at least now there seems to be less sinking and more soaring/traveling.  This piece is from several years ago... and when I look at it today, I'm pleased I now have more lighthouses in my life (but that's a topic for another painting/post)
Treading Water by Loretta Grayson
Interestingly, while I knew that Treading Water had influenced Wayfarer, it wasn't till I uploaded it just now that I realised it also contained the original idea for this piece from last year.
Small Neat World I  by Loretta Grayson
... and then there are the images from other artists, writers and poets that end up in the archives, all mixed in together, and sometimes not catalogued very well.  So sometimes I don't remember them, and when I do, it can be a bit of a shock because it raises that deap-seated fear of accidentally plagiarising.  Like this one, by my friend Karina Devine (who I work with) from a few years ago. This week we were looking at this image of one of her beautiful paintings from a few years back, and it certainly seems that this piece has been stored away by my brain somewhere... my little Wayfarer appears to be sailing the same sea!  (although her little boat looks like it would a much safer and more pleasant vessel to be travelling in)
Little House being a Boat by Karina Devine
I'm definitely not the only artist inspired by paper boats and the idea of wanderlust... here's an etsy treasury I made recently. Lots of inspiration here.
Last but not least, there are the words that I keep for future use... I find that I collect words more than sketches in my journals and I often go back to them when I'm looking for inspiration.
I was reading Wind in the Willows when I painted Wayfarer, and it's named after the chapter Wayfarers All.  There is a beautiful scene in which Rat meets a sea rat, who recounts wondrous tales of his travels.  Rat returns home in a dazed and hypnotic state, ready to take off on an adventure, and his friend Mole has to hold him down. 
I loved this wonderful way of portraying the idea of wanderlust... I sometimes think that if I had wings like the Wind in the Willows swallows I quoted in this post, it would be very hard to keep me in one place.
Interestingly, as a cure, Mole encourages Rat to get to work on his poetry...

'It's quite a long time since you did any poetry,' he remarked. 'You might have a try at it this evening, instead of - well, brooding over things so much. I've an idea that you'll feel a lot better when you've got something jotted down - if it's only just the rhymes.'

The Rat pushed the paper away from him wearily, but the discreet Mole took occasion to leave the room, and when he peeped in again some time later, the Rat was absorbed and deaf to the world; alternately scribbling and sucking the top of his pencil. It is true that he sucked a good deal more than he scribbled; but it was joy to the Mole to know that the cure had at least begun.

- Kenneth Grahame. Wind in the Willows

My cure?  I'm not a poet, though I do love to read other people's poetry.  I guess I will keep folding little paper boats with letters to the universe and sending them on their way.  And I will keep absorbing all those beautiful images, sounds and words.


tinajo said...

Beautiful work you´ve showing here! :-)

shirring elastic said...

Just passing over here and your beautiful creativity happened to stop me here for a while. The "treading water" is just awesome.