Otter’s Stone Was Smoothed by the Salt Sea

It’s a while now since I worked on a book. I decided when I had finished The Lost Words that I was done with deadlines, would take some time out. But somehow I seem to have loads of work to do. And yet, am managing to take the time to do what I want.

Still playing with some things. Here is another strip of words for sale, for The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop’s crowdfunder. £100, (SOLD) but email me if you want to be placed on a waiting list for other pieces. (It’s one long thin piece so I have had to photograph in sections, and yes, there are mistakes, it’s the nature of typing over computer. Makes me think differently writing like this. There are three of these so far,  each unique, there will be more.)

Otters still haunt my dreams and still I try to catch the shape of this water creature.Latest otter is for sale, and again, email me if you wish to buy. Red-gold leaf and watercolour. 72 x 53 cms and £4 500 Called Otter’s Stone Was Smoothed by the Salt Sea.

Now I need to find words, for the names of the otter and afterwards I will begin to concentrate on commissioned work. Meanwhile I would like to thank all those incredibly patient people who have bought things from me over the past couple of weeks. Hoping to get to the post office tomorrow, with prints and paper and inked otters and other things. Sorry to have kept you all waiting.

Hoping to ink a hare today, tomorrow. And find the words, that speak the name, to summon otters.


About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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3 Responses to Otter’s Stone Was Smoothed by the Salt Sea

  1. How wonderful that poem and oh, I will never stop being amazed at the power of your art Jackie. Such brilliance hard won and much practiced makes my heart swell.

  2. Bernie Bell says:

    Well, there’s a bit of synchronicity…………….after seeing the hare in our garden, sheltering in the lee of the mound by the pond – I thought of you doing an ink-wash hare – flowing. I wrote that to you, in the last blog, before reading this one, and, here you are, thinking of inking a hare! It’s a wonderful world.
    That otter looks like he’s thinking “Hmmmmmm”
    I’m not sure if otters can be summoned – I’m not sure they’re that kind of beast. I think they just turn up, either in your mind, or in your garden.
    Here’s a story – a true story……..

    A few years ago, we made a pond in our garden. We filled it with water, and planted it up.
    I had a nicely rounded white quartz pebble, which I’d picked up on a beach, here on Orkney. So, as a kind of offering/dedication, Mike and I stood by the pond, and dropped the white quartz pebble, into the deepest bit.
    Next day, I went down to the pond, and found the white quartz pebble, lying by the side, between the pond and a mound we made from the soil which came from the hole, for the pond. This puzzled me, greatly. I don’t discount fairy goings-on, but, when it’s right there in front of you, it’s a bit …….puzzling. Then, I remembered our neighbour, Fiona-Next-Door, told us that there are otters around here. We’ve found sections of Sea-urchin shell on the beach, neatly broken, and thought that they had probably been eaten by the otters.
    We thought they lived down by the shore, and didn’t realize that they came up to the houses. Fiona-Next-Door maintains that some of her ducks were killed by otters. Not sure about that. Anyway – so, we decided that it was probably……….otters playing with the stone.
    Imagine an otter, coming across our garden, finding the newly made pond, with something white glimmering at the bottom of the deep bit. He’ll have dived in, picked up the stone, brought it ashore to see what it was, found it wasn’t edible, and left it there.
    So, Mike and I stood by the pond, and solemnly dropped the white quartz pebble back into the deep bit. And…….
    A couple of days later, it was back on the side again! So, I placed it on the Howe, and left it there.
    I thought I’d tell you the story. It’s true – every bit of it.
    We love the pond – here’s what I wrote to someone when we first filled it.

    “Did I tell you about our pond?
    We’ve made a pond in the middle of our meadow. It’s an oval shape. The day that we filled it with water, Mike was just finishing off the edges, when the moon rose. So, we had an oval of still water, in the meadow, reflecting the moon. I called it ‘Moony Pond’. It also reflects the sun, and the sky, so, sometimes, we have an oval of sky, in the meadow. When the wind blows, it ripples, which is also pleasing. When it’s planted up, it’ll change, but, for now, we have an oval of water, doing things in the middle of the grass. It also balances the spiral, beautifully. I believe this to be the kind of thing, which would have delighted the ancient folk. The land, connecting with the sky, through the water. The water, pulling down the sky, into the land. The planets, shimmering in the water. We’re very pleased with it. In my world, this all means something!

    Life is brim-full of wonders, and they do, truly, balance the ……..other stuff.

  3. Bernie Bell says:

    PS We watched the eclipse of the sun, in the water in the pond, so’s not to damage our eyes. Whooo-hooo!

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