Saturday, April 10, 2010

Seedling Sapling Rambling

Seedling Sapling Rambling, originally uploaded by escher....

For those of you who are from the MTV/Look at my shiny IPOD/IPhone/can't spell/can text generation who like instant results and have the attention span of a gnat then:-

This sculpture is made from mud and birch bark and is stuck on a rock. It's of a seedling and is supposed to be marking the arrival of spring, geddit!
And news just in: I was interviewed on the Etsy Blog yesterday.

For everyone else, especially those in the psychiatric profession or anyone with ALOT of spare time, you may carry on and read my insane ramblings below:-

I began the day with a stroll around the park to see what is growing (well I actually it began with peanut butter on toast and taking the recycling boxes down to the sidewalk - hello my stateside friends ;-) - but this is supposed to be about land art after all).

It was almost a year to the day that I made this dandelion sculpture. I noticed the first dandelion flower this last Wednesday and the very next day there were already hundreds in flower. So excited I am about spring that I am desperate to mark its coming (not in a canine way) but although the changes are already immense they are only just beginning. There is some blossom, the beginnings of deciduous leaves, catkins galore, hawthorn in flower, grass beginning to grow, the sap risen in saplings, ground covering plants starting to spread, bees and butterflies and good moods and smiles all round. To wake up to a balmy Saturday, with the weather set fair for the entirety of the weekend, already t-shirt temperatures, no wind and plenty of free time means the spring lover in us all is embued with excitement and expectation.

But despite all these really noticeable changes many of the materials I crave and not with us yet and there is so much more to come. My walk around the park revealed very little in the way of new deciduous leaves from native trees, nearly everything is from hardy shrubs that have been ever-present all winter.

But still the stroll was delightful and the three dogs chasing each other in circles, bums down performing that comedy gallop when they are having rollicking good fun, summed up my mood perfectly. A picked leaf held against shadow whilst the sun pierced it and made it shine, took my breath away just as it does every time I have done that. Something that I will never tire of. And yet despite the fresh air, warmth and promise of spring bringing contentment I hand't found anything that inspired me to mark the coming of spring. Instead I would use the time to explore techniques and materials for something I am proposing to create in someones garden, I would use birch bark and mud. So I set off to return to where I made the Leaf Lightning sculpture, which had now almost disappeared completely and I would create something new to take its place. The designs I'd been mulling over were a deciduous leaf, or new fern tendrils curling out into life. I would follow this theme to mark the coming of spring.

Are you familiar with how rambling thoughts can be? If you've ever read any of my stories, I am sure you are as I quite often write mine down! Are yours the same?

By way of an experiment I will write what follows as though someone was listening in my thoughts. Now this might be enlightening, worrying or very boring or perhaps a combination of more than one. We'll see... If I get a visit from those nice men in the white van with the 'special' jacket then I'll know your reaction...


"Wow look at all these red leaves, cool! Uh-oh there's a car coming! I bet they think I'm up to no good. JUst keep your head down, if I want to pick up leaves I shall! I'm not a burglar!"

"Yes I do some fell running too, it's the only way I can be fit enough to carry all this stuff! 'All this stuff' you are hardly carrying anything! Its nothing like the huge pile of stuff I had to carry on that climbing trip to Peru, now that was heavy! I wonder if I'll ever do a mountaineering expedition again? Probably not I am such a wuss! Oh look there are some people over there climbing on boulders, never seen anyone do that here before, funny coincidence seeing as I'm day dreaming about climbing!"

"Ah another coincidence, 'The Curlew' was the first pub I used to drink in when I was fifteen!"

"I wonder if I will make anything today or just sit on a rock? I don't really want to today, but then I always think that, I really can't be bothered..."

"Hmm what shall I do? None of these boulders seem suitable. Shall I just go home? Where I made Leaf Lightning is not the right shape, I'll have to find somewhere else."

"Cool, would you look at that lovely, filthy dark wet mud, perfection!"

"The sun is a bit strong I reckon I'll burn, best put my jacket on and pull up the hood, it's the only protection I've got. I wonder what we'll have for tea tonight? I wonder what the time is? Shall I eat my sandwiches now? Oh look a bumble bee has landed on my jacket. I wonder if it likes the blue colour? I wonder how the bee sees it? I wonder if the colour is the same as a particular flower? Wow that emerald green butterfly is beautiful and its crawling in my camera bag. I wonder what it likes in there?"

"So come on what are you going to make? It'll be rubbish anyway, why bother? It's silly to judge the success of a sculpture by how many comments you get on Flickr, you do this because you enjoy it. But I do like to get feedback. Well you should get on with it anyway, so what if it is rubbish, don't post it on Flickr then! I'm sure I've run out of ideas anyway, I had all the best ones last year, now I'm just repeating myself. What if my new ideas are rubbish?"

"Oh look another bee! What is it about this blue?"

"Yep, definitely going to look rubbish. Maybe just try this as an experiment and then do something better somewhere else?"

"Ah a ladybird!"

"Hmm, quite liking it now, but I should've done it higher up, that crack is spoiling it, the balance is wrong, the circles of bark do add something but this still going to be a bit substandard."

"Yes that's looking better, but how many leaves shall I add? Hmm I don't like even numbers. But why don't you like even numbers, what does it matter? I don't know, odd numbers just seem to work! How many then 5, 7, 9? I don't know, stop asking me stupid questions!"

This is the way it goes with just about everything I make. Self doubt is in control until three-quarters of the way through where I suddenly find myself liking what I see despite my psyche wishing the contrary.

I don't know why this is or indeed how the creative process evntually leads me from one to the other and whether the self doubt actaully means that I try harder to create something pleasing. This seems odd as the self doubting voice is encouraging my to give up the whole time, not to try harder.

It seems the voices in my head, the internal dialogue never stops (perhaps
that is how it is for everyone except for hardcore meditators) and what it is saying influences strongly how I feel and what I am able to do.

This must be a big reason why I am now drawn to create as despite my internal dialogues strongest intentions to hold me back and make me give up at whatever I am doing, the sculptures I create provide me with clear direction that it is worthwhile to persist.

"Wow, look at that Peregrine falcon! It's going for that bird, poor thing! It's missed what a relief! But then what will the Falcon eat?"

"Bugger what's going on here?! Ah they're next door, phew!"

Please tune in next week for more unadulterated ramblings.

No comments: