Jackie Morris Artist http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog The balance of life as an artist and writer living and working in Wales: or, how to ignore housework. Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:06:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Just what I needed to find. http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/just-what-i-needed-to-find/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/just-what-i-needed-to-find/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:06:55 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7762 Early morning walking. Needing to tidy my head to focus on work. I decided that the best thing to do would be to look at  things from the top. So I walked up the highest hill I could find. The … Continue reading

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Early morning walking. Needing to tidy my head to focus on work.

I decided that the best thing to do would be to look at  things from the top. So I walked up the highest hill I could find.

honeys The day was overcast but warm. Honeysuckle grew along the path.

thorn On top of the hill a stunted thorn tree stood. I need to go back, with a sketchbook, sit, draw.

greydog And I thought about a new book of Where the White Cat and the Grey Dog Walk.

uphigh It is a long way to the top so we sat for a while and looked at the patterns drawn in the land by fieldstones and roads.

bestdoog rosiedog Ivy grazed on small plants. Strange dog.

nortyivy homewards On the way up there were ravens dancing in the air. On the way home a small snake, stretched across the path in the sun, and Ivy must have stepped over it. Beautiful.

snake2 snake1 The sea, so clear, shushed against the empty beach.

sea4 yel rs1Home now. I need to read, write, paint. Eat lunch.

Feel blessed for having seen an adder.

 

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Where do you get your inspiration? http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/where-do-you-get-your-inspiration/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/where-do-you-get-your-inspiration/#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 12:44:46 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7754 Yesterday I posted pictures on my blog of a small lead bear who has sat on my desk for years, travelled with me to events. I said that I had always thought he had lost his piano, but Jane, in … Continue reading

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Yesterday I posted pictures on my blog of a small lead bear who has sat on my desk for years, travelled with me to events. I said that I had always thought he had lost his piano, but Jane, in a comment pointed out that he was sitting at a singer sewing machine making a patchwork quilt, because it gets cold in the winter. So obvious.

mydesk bearquilt And so, a new painting arrives, accompanied by the steady click click clicking of the turning of the handle on the sewing machine as bear poses for me. Perhaps even a story. And meanwhile bear thinks and plays music, solitary bear music on a concertina.

bearmusic Other things wait patiently to be included in paintings, in books.

elephantand storiesMy least favourite, most asked question. “Where do you get your inspiration?”

Answers:

Life.

Keeping my ears open and listening.

The third isle in the supermarket, next to the cereals.

Unexpected places.

 

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Two Bears, one teacup. http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/two-bears-one-teacup/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/two-bears-one-teacup/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 16:20:43 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7741 For the first time in years I have finished all the work I have to do. Well, not quite, but there is nothing that I can move forward with until I hear back from publishers. I have a manuscript with … Continue reading

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For the first time in years I have finished all the work I have to do. Well, not quite, but there is nothing that I can move forward with until I hear back from publishers. I have a manuscript with one publisher, two proposals for new books with other publishers, am waiting for guidance on cover art, but everything else is done. I cannot honestly remember the last time I was in this position and the first thing that seems to have happened is that I went to sleep, and couldn’t wake up.

The over-all feeling isn’t one of panic. That was what I used to suffer years ago. Fear that I would never again get asked to do any work. This time what I feel is tremendous relief. Time to play. I have managed to drag myself from the depths of dreaming and out for walks and in to doodling with watercolours. The first thing to be done is to play with bears. For months a sketch made while doodling, chatting on the phone has hung above my head.

roughsketchNow it has become a small painting.

bearsandteacup There is a joy to be found in working like this. Not having to think about a book, layout, design, editors, marketing. Just painting mindless nonsense for the pleasure of moving some coloured water around on a piece of paper.

batcd There are more doodles above my head. A fox tea party. And a bear who has patiently sat and watched me painting is rather pleased to have found himself in a sketch in my sketchbook. I have always thought he looked as if he were playing piano, but had somehow mislaid it. So perhaps I will paint him one, though I feel a polar bear would be more inclined towards a harpsichord.

ceilingroughs bearsketchSo, I wait, to hear about foxes and lost words and trees and numbers and dragons. And in the meantime I will walk and paint and write and think and sit and watch cloud shadows move over land and sea and the wind blow through the dog’s coat, and the flowers come and go. Soon there will be meadowsweet.

oaktree

 

 

 

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The quiet music of gently falling snow http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/the-quiet-music-of-gently-falling-snow/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/the-quiet-music-of-gently-falling-snow/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:58:32 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7724 Tuesday. After a weekend struggling with the usual monsters, thinking that this year I would have to apologise to Help Musicians, say that they would have to use an old design because I couldn’t draw, had no ideas, can’t paint … Continue reading

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calm

Tuesday.

After a weekend struggling with the usual monsters, thinking that this year I would have to apologise to Help Musicians, say that they would have to use an old design because I couldn’t draw, had no ideas, can’t paint anyway, I quietened. I went to bed with half an idea and let dreams take me. I came up with a much quieter image than any other previous design and unusually it came fully formed with its own title, The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow, and then I went about the business of playing with rhythm and harmony in colour, shape and design.

Yesterday I was much distracted by a Russian company who are using my work and that of many other artists for fraudulent purposes. More of that later. Trying to maintain a sense of calm music in the mind I listened to Robert MacFarlane talking about The Holloways and The Wild Places on the wonderful archive of Hay Festival. And this morning I went for a short walk in sunshine with cats and dogs before breakfast.

tongue longflowercatbreakfastThe summer grass is grown long in the warmth with rain at night. And I am lost in gently falling snow.

morningqmqmf

qmd3qmd2qmd

Painting the snowflakes over the image the brush made the hushed noise that snow falling in a quiet place makes.

 

 

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Monday 22nd June http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/monday-22nd-june/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/monday-22nd-june/#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2015 07:36:23 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7716 Yesterday all day I struggled with work. By the end of the day I knew that I needed to begin again. Clearing the head, looking for something, keeping down the panic. I was trying to paint this, which was a … Continue reading

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Yesterday all day I struggled with work. By the end of the day I knew that I needed to begin again. Clearing the head, looking for something, keeping down the panic.

I was trying to paint this, which was a desperate image to get work completed on time, but had no heart. All decoration and no heart. And I was trying to paint it too big, because the help Musicians cards are always big pieces. They are always full with people and colour and instruments.

helpm

calmNow I am going to paint this instead. 14 years of designing cards for Help Musicians. This one comes complete with the title, The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow. Calm for short. It’s what I need in my life. Hopefully this will work if I can subdue the voices of doubt and gather up some courage. But first, walking, thinking about colours, atmosphere, how to get music into an image.

Listening to Hay Festival Archives. What a wonderful wealth of learning. This one, on Robert MacFarlane and The Old Ways.

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The long walk to work. http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/the-long-walk-to-work/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/the-long-walk-to-work/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 09:37:41 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7706 Stonecrop, foxgloves, nine choughs in a flock, a kestrel, maybe at the nest as young were calling, ravens, buzzard, gorse, burnet roses, beautiful light, breeze.

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p l wa gs iv fg scStonecrop, foxgloves, nine choughs in a flock, a kestrel, maybe at the nest as young were calling, ravens, buzzard, gorse, burnet roses, beautiful light, breeze.

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The past few days http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/the-past-few-days/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/the-past-few-days/#comments Sat, 20 Jun 2015 18:31:22 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7689 This week I have walked dogs over wonderful pathways, on cliffs, along roads, over moorland, where ragged robin grows and skylarks sing and peregrines hunt and cuckoos still fly. I’ve walked alone, with friends, but always with dogs. I’ve seen … Continue reading

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This week I have walked dogs over wonderful pathways, on cliffs, along roads, over moorland, where ragged robin grows and skylarks sing and peregrines hunt and cuckoos still fly. I’ve walked alone, with friends, but always with dogs. I’ve seen butterflies. I walked past a house where a ghostly child watched from a window. She never moves. She’s waiting. For someone.

butterfly house

 

I have sat in a garden with a friend and drunk tea, eaten toast.

loveinthe anns

I have written the first draft of a new book, first in a notebook, sitting in sunshine on St Davids Head, and typed it up and then with great courage pressed the send button. Waiting now. It’s a story based on truth, about a white fox. I found it in Seattle.

fox21

manuscThen I tried to get back into painting, forgot how, remembered again and began what I hope is an acorn that will grow into a great oak of a book.

acorn23 acorniconAnd in between I painted feathers for part of an ongoing project that is being pushed back in time. And to relax I doodled a small cheetah, because it may seem that writing a book in a week is rather quick, but it took 2 years, and a week and also 53 years in order to make the words come out, and it’s not Game of Thrones, it’s only 5 200 words.He is proud of the cherry he carries so high.

cherrymycherrybantamLuckily I also found the rough for the Help Musicians card, which is so late for delivery. This is what I will be working on next week.

helpm

It has a red squirrel in it, because when I was in Abergavenny Emma Corfield-Walters showed me the tomb of a girl,Eva de Braose,  who had a pet squirrel she kept on a fine chain and took everywhere with her. It seems that at one time it was quite fashionable to have a pet squirrel on a fine chain.

So, that was my week.

Hard work. And all the while I read The Rainwilds Chronicles searching for new cover images. How was your week?

 

 

 

 

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A good year for the roses. http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/a-good-year-for-the-roses/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/a-good-year-for-the-roses/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 12:13:32 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7669 Because a fire was in my head I went in search of roses.  The day was grey, but warm and calm, unlike my mind.  I first found these small wild roses years ago when out walking on St Davids Head … Continue reading

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Because a fire was in my head I went in search of roses.

whhites The day was grey, but warm and calm, unlike my mind.

pompom I first found these small wild roses years ago when out walking on St Davids Head with Bella when she was young. A scent filled the air, like something from another world, and there at my feet, tiny white roses. Wild. Beautiful. And this year it is a good year for the roses.

rse Honeysuckle too, heady scent.

hs2 hs On the trees small clutches of moth caterpillars promising havoc for blackthorn trees.pillars Looking towards home there are small islands of fresh heather. Soon they will turn the hill purple.

eh homewards sky2 And roses, everywhere, tiny, low to the ground.

roses2 roses1 As I walked the cloud rolled away, the sky went blue, and the sea.

bl I stopped for a while, chasing words. Rosie flumped down on a rock softened by lichen, patient, while Ivy wandered, looking for mischief and mice.

rs Sometimes it is good to move, away from the fire, get your feet on the earth, find perspective, a way forward that is manageable, healthy.

f t

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Thinking, and playing with the shape of a hare. http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/thinking-and-playing-with-the-shape-of-a-hare/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/thinking-and-playing-with-the-shape-of-a-hare/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 18:06:37 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7660 Too many ideas, not enough time, too much work to do to play, but best avoid the most important work after a very hard week of wrestling the monster of self doubt by relaxing in to meditating on the shape … Continue reading

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Too many ideas, not enough time, too much work to do to play, but best avoid the most important work after a very hard week of wrestling the monster of self doubt by relaxing in to meditating on the shape of a hare. I would love the luxury to draw every weekend. Perhaps I will try to make that happen.

r4 r3Meanwhile a sad story begins to unfold…over time….

one

And I have learned how to make a chocolate pudding using;

One avacado

One frozen banana

Some lime juice and a little zest

Two tablespoons of honey

Three tablespoons of cacao powder

A couple or three tablespoons cold water

( and an optional shot of vodka, orange liqueur, grand marnier, whatever)

And a pinch of salt

All put in a nutribullet or something like and whizzed to gorgeous silky loveliness.

Yum.

yum

Fetching some mint from Glyn’s garden, for new Pembrokeshire potatoes I walked past Tamsin Abbott’s beautiful glass in my garden. One detail show Genji, angel cat, made beautiful by light and dark as I move past him. I love Tamsin’s work. She knows the shape and the heart and the soul of the hare.

angel2 angel1

 

 

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Snail days;walking to work http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/snail-dayswalking-to-work/ http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/snail-dayswalking-to-work/#comments Sat, 13 Jun 2015 09:34:19 +0000 http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/?p=7634   Awake early. Restless. Reading in bed with a curl of ginger cat and a cup of coffee. I remember that there was a time when I would drive to Whitesands Beach and walk to work. But the sky is … Continue reading

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Awake early. Restless. Reading in bed with a curl of ginger cat and a cup of coffee. I remember that there was a time when I would drive to Whitesands Beach and walk to work. But the sky is grey and in the night it rained, and perhaps it rains still and for some reason ( I left it in Edinburgh) I do not have a coat.

But the dogs did not get a walk yesterday, and the worst that can happen is that I can get wet. So we go.

daisies And there are daisies and sheep’s bit scabious.

sca sb And I find a bank where the wild thyme grows.

thyme It is a day for snails, but we move over the hill, Ivy running wild on the scent of wild things, Rosie by my side, and my head away with a white fox and a lonely child.

snail cinqfoil? I find what I think is cinquefoil, a small carpet of it over the green.

flowers Further into the valley where Ivy now goes wild on the scent of foxes and creatures there are banks of wild honeysuckle and between me and the rock a blush of pink ragged robin.

wh rr And I still find beauty in the spider-silk weavings that capture the rain in silver patterns.

webs Here and there are roses. I first found these years ago, when their heaven scent rose up from the ground, calling me to see them.

rose1 rose And orchids, everywhere.

orchids Ivy found some choughs, or rather some choughs found her and chased her, dive-bombing her from on high and shouting abuse at the thing that could run fast but has no wings. I have always found that the best way to see choughs is to walk with dogs as they seem to love harassing them.

choughss ss lowgorse Then we walked on, past stone walls where weasels live and the low growing rare gorse. This is one of my favourite walls, so old, so softened by lichens.

sw2 stones2 stonewall wetdogs On the track home, over the hill the foxgloves grew so thickly. We found two white flowers.

fgs fg2 fgBack home we found we had been lucky with the weather. The rain had held off. It was good to walk in the grey, see the world sparkling in fresh water pearls that dripped. The dogs were soaked from running through the heather and bracken and long grass. Soaked but happy, and now curled sleeping.

For the first time in years I have walked the old path to work, and it was beautiful.

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