Tuesday 17 November 2020

Inspiration from nature...and song lyrics!

Hi everyone!

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...

Reaching out...

I had a lovely email from a lady in Minnesota,  US who chanced upon my blog during an online search (Hi, if you’re reading this!). It’s amazing how small the world becomes sometimes isn’t it, and it was just so nice to be in touch with someone who enjoys their art and craft as much as I do. I think it’s become apparent that many people have turned to the arts in some way as escapism during this very unsettling year...finding creative outlets should never be underestimated, it really is a powerful thing.  It doesn’t matter how good or bad you think you are at something, it’s just immersing yourself into an activity that allows you to relax and focus your mind on something other than the latest news flashes, social media pressures or just any sort of stress.   If you haven’t tried it, perhaps it’s time you did...grab your glue stick and colouring pens and release your inner creative!

Until next time...

Take care and stay safe

Tanya xx