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Back in the Studio

Back in the studio - at last!

It's been almost three weeks since I arrived home after 36 hours of travel, exhausted, jet lagged, my tired brain filled with the sights, sounds, and sensations of my weeks in the USA and Europe.

It's natural to feel deflated after such an enjoyable experience, and it takes time to readjust to the daily round, no matter how lovely one's home and fulfilling everyday life might be. But this week, I finally felt a sense of grounding, undoubtedly assisted by long walks on the beach and a return to mild, sunny days after a week of chilly grey skies.

The ocean brings me back to my centre. I find solace in the rhythmic pounding of the waves as they rise and fall upon the sand, leaving skeins of lacy foam in their wake. Resident crabs create whimsical abstract designs, a minuscule reminder that art is to be found everywhere in nature, and that beauty and creativity are, for me, the essence of life.

And so, energy and inner calm restored, I open the studio door. My tranquility is short-lived, for there are unfinished pieces wherever I look ...

Undaunted, I set about tidying the space and restoring some order to my customary chaos.

I often wish I could be a disciplined artist, maintaining a Zenlike space and completing one item before moving on to another. But that's not my way, no matter how good my intentions.

I'm a sprinter, not a stayer when it comes to creativity. I work in short bursts, then move onto something else — and before I know it, I have several works of art in various stages of development while the ideas tumble around my brain and lead me on to yet another project.

Determined to clear the decks, I return to the little vessels I created before I left for my holiday.

I work into the fabric of the bowls, finishing the edges and starting to texturize the exteriors,

daubing diluted paint onto the larger vessel prior to knocking back the colour to produce an aged effect.

(The little stamp says 'Tenshi' - Japanese for 'Angel' which is my name in that language.)

Once I'm satisfied with the effect, I'll turn my attention to this palm spathe assemblage.

I had already coated the surface with shellac, but now I need to brighten the interior and find a way of attaching the little sculpture I made from palm inflorescence. There will be further attachments — perhaps some of the pebbles I find on the beach and coat with resin to enhance their beauty.

In the interim, I'll begin work on the little accordion book which I plan to fill with mark making, and finish framing some of my completed collages.

Then, and only then, I'll move onto the next project: a series of vivid paintings with gold-leaf accents — inspired by immersion in the beauty of Paris and Florence.

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