Every so often, it is necessary to refill one's well of inspiration. That's one of the many things I love about North East Open Studios - I can go out and fill my well with all sorts of lovely things.
These are not necessarily finished pieces, or paintings, or creations. They may be fabrics, or an assortment of tools on a workbench, or raw materials waiting to be made into something new.
Or they may indeed be finished items. Paintings, ceramics, textiles. All with their own colours and textures and depths. Here are a few images of things I have seen during my days out visiting NEOS participants.
I am sure you will understand what I mean.
North East Open Studios (NEOS) is on this week, in my area. I finally managed to get the cabin ready for visitors, tidying away my art materials into the garage and making space for folk to see my paintings and daughter's photographs.
We've been open for two days so far; Saturday and Sunday. It's been fun again, meeting new folk and welcoming in old friends who I realise I don't see often enough throughout the year. Some of them I am guilty of not having seen since this time last year! It's been great to catch up over a cup of tea and a muffin - baking before breakfast is part of the routine this week.
It's always fascinating to find out the reasons for folk visiting NEOS venues. Because there always is a reason. Nosiness, interest in art, or photography, or creativity in general. Many, many folk are looking to be more creative themselves, and are keen to hear about classes in the area, how to start, how to keep going and all those dark arts that creative people apparently possess.
For those keen to paint and draw, I encourage them to carry a sketch book. And to use it! That's one of the key things I have learnt from the classes I have been going to for the past few years at Udny Green. Draw, draw, draw. And for the photographers, look at things differently, if you can. Zoom in on a puddle and see the reflections, or an ancient rock to see the patterns made by the lichens, or examine the patterns left by a receding tide on a sandy beach. It's all there. Just look.
Thanks to Mike for the photo of me "at work".
They say if you want something done, ask a busy person. I say, if I've got lots of things to do, why don't I just go off and do something completely different? That always reminds me of the Monty Python line "And now for something completely different!", but that's a topic for another day.
I am supposed to be getting organised for North East Open Studios - my little cabin opens in 10 days or so, with an exhibition of my watercolour paintings and my daughter's photographs. I have to clear out all my boxes of gubbins, sorry, art materials, give the place a good brush/hoover/clean, and hang said exhibition to its best advantage. Plenty time yet, I think to myself. I have thought this to myself many times in the past, and always end up in a last minute rush. I'm not quite sure why I am sharing this, or what the point was meant to be. Ah yes, procrastinating. But it's not really procrastinating if you do something creative, or worthwhile, or constructive, is it? Does that still count as procrastinating? Maybe.
In my wisdom/procrastinating mode, I decided now was exactly the right time to put together a little collection of short stories. I've been meaning to do this for quite a while - well, since I've had enough stories written that I am happy to share with the world. So I just did it. Yesterday and the day before. Decided which stories I'd include, chose two images (my own photos) for front and back covers, edited the stories, arranged them in what I thought was a good order, made a list of contents and pressed the publish button. Done. Boy does that feel good.