Hope you're all keeping well...is it just me or is time flying by? It's hard to comprehend in a way, you'd think time would drag whilst going through these lockdown periods wouldn't you?
Speaking of 'flying by' I thought I'd share the inspiration for my latest picture.At first, the owl hadn’t really come into it...it was all about the big ‘ole moon.
I keep a little book where I jot down things I hear, such as lines of poetry or song lyrics that just make my ears prick up. A line of a song can conjure up an image in my head and that can sometimes manifest as a title for a picture, or as the image itself. Often what I write down doesn’t become anything...I just love the words! I have music playing a lot when I’m in the house...my most common playlist is one with artists such as David Gray and Ray Lamontagne who have GREAT lyrics (in my humble opinion!). One line I had written down was from David Gray’s ‘Shine’ :
‘Through the window of midnight, a Moon Full of Silver...’
These few words just brought to mind those nights where the moon is big and bright and you can easily go for a walk and see perfectly well without a torch. I’ve had a few late night dog walks where that’s been the case...there are no street lights where I live so it’s almost other worldly; that strange, silvery light illuminating the landscape.
The magic of being outside at night when it’s so quiet and still and moonlit...you almost feel smaller and a little insignificant (which of course, in the bigger scheme of things, we are).
I used this inspiration as a starting point and chose a limited colour palette...green, turquoise and gold with black and white. I blended these colours so that the overall look was harmonious...the turquoise is mixed with black for the sky and is also blended into the greens and gold of the fields.
I created prefelts with these colours to use in the layout for the piece which worked well. I also used a resist for the moon and snipped a circle out of the sky to reveal it after felting.
Once I had the landscape laid out, I could see that maybe it needed a story...this could be the thing that stops my work becoming more abstract, because I generally end up putting in a bird, or too much detail in order for it to ‘say something’! However, I went with it...
I have been lucky enough to encounter a barn owl...I don’t think it will matter how many times I see one, it will always be a magical thing.
To catch sight of a barn owl in flight, it just makes you hold your breath. To see the ghostly shape of this beautiful bird gliding from a tree on silent wings and across a field has just stopped me in my tracks and, just for a moment, I have felt like the luckiest person alive.
And so my felted landscape seemed the perfect setting for a barn owl, which I needle felted in together with the foreground.
So what title to use...’A Moon Full of Silver’ or ‘On Silent Wings’ (isn’t that a song title too!?). I think I’m going to go with my original inspiration and call it ‘Beneath a Moon Full of Silver’...I’ll bank the other title for another time! It’s tricky to capture, but the moon does actually have silver angelina fibres felted in, so there is a subtle sparkle.
Do you get inspired by poems or songs? I’d love to hear what helps you start a new piece of work...