Art Filled Month

I’ve had such a lovely start to year, whilst I’ve not made much in the way of my own artwork, I’ve attended quite a few workshops which have inspired me to experiment

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The first was a walk around Markeaton Park in Derby on a ‘Sense of Place’ Walk, the Walk Leader instigated some very evocative questions and we discussed how the senses can be used to evoke memories of places, the history surrounding that place and what it means to us collectively or as individuals.  It was a great start to the year, despite the greyness of the weather, it was fascinating to start to pinpoint what I had been feeling fro a long time, that places are important to our connection with ourselves, our past and futures, our connection to nature and band the landscape we live in.

This was followed by a couple of Sunday afternoon walks around Derby in connection with the Richard Long exhibition.  His work is showing at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery at the moment and it has been a real treat to view these pieces of art and to join in with workshops that encouraged me to contemplate not only Long’s work, but my own.   We experimented with land art, words and walking.

I was fascinated by the story of the man who ran the same route every day for 10 years leaving a track around the periphery of the field, it resonated with Long’s work and captured my imagination.  I walked the route, worn down over the years, one way and then in reverse trying to gain a sense of why this field to run around especially when over the river, there were far more interesting fields.  I didn’t get any sense of why he would do this for ten whole years without deviating from his route just the knowledge that I’m not sure I could be so dedicated with my short attention span!



Boxing Day Walk & Forage for Ink

Hope you all had a lovely Xmas break, I was struck by flu for the first week of the festive break, but luckily was up and about by Boxing Day so we were able to partake in that yearly phenomenon of families walking together in the countryside.  I’m lucky enough to live within a short drive to the Peak District and we headed for a scenic walk around the Chatsworth Estate.

AA211D7F-CB45-4AF4-AFC4-0812E1EC8CDC257C00D4-DEC3-4F58-8744-C310DAFAEE7DI was very happy to discover two ancient oak trees absolutely covered in oak galls, these are left by a wasp laying it’s eggs and creating a small spherical gall.  The larvae then hatches and digs it’s way out of the gall leaving a tannin rich ball of loveliness for any eco artist. I quickly filled my gloves and pockets!

So this morning, I’ve been playing with a bit of kitchen witchery and grinding the galls before adding them to iron water and setting aside for a few days.   There are several methods to making oak gall ink, but this is my favourite.  I’ve also ordered some gum Arabic to experiment with a thickener so will post the results when I’ve made it and compared results.

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