Seeing in pictures

The Dyemill walk, a favourite ramble.
The Dyemill walk, a favourite ramble.

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to live on a small Scottish island that overflows with inspiration.  My creativity is one of the things in life that I hold most dear and I am always on the hunt for new inspiration.  Our 10 acre smallholding offers much with two woodlands, a meadow and views that open my head on a daily basis.  Beyond our space the island unravels its natural glory in new ways each and every day.  So, being creative is not difficult when you live on the Isle of Arran.

I am different from my daughter Molly as she is is a scientist and I can see how our minds work differently.  I think in pictures all the time and, in that sense, have quite a simple brain.  Within pictures I tend to focus on colour and texture the most.  My mind goes through a translation process as my eyes fall on something in the natural world.  I appear to translate that into a picture that is capable of remembering precise colour and texture.  Of late I have been focusing much more on form as I continue my work towards my very first art open studio event in August.  But we are still very much dealing with pictures.

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In my work with vintage fabrics I see colour and pattern everywhere and my job is play homage to these elements of once loved fabrics.  Creating new designs from bits and pieces of rescued vintage linen is an absolute obsession.  I am always charmed by the outcome which has breathed new life into a damaged piece of very precious fabric.  Memories are bound into every stitch in an embroidery and so by finding a new way to present this work the memories live on.

I also see pictures when I think of my children.  My role as a mother is sacred and I would be completely lost and empty without it.  From when they were very tiny I have seen their development in pictures.  All four children are very different and very unique and I never lose sight of that as their individual pictures are always so revealing.  Molly always has some creature on her shoulder when I look at her.  She is grounded in the planet she inhabits and I have always seen her as a protector.  She is also very much the big sister to the boys.  Harry is inside his head a lot and I have always seen a picture that includes problem solving.  Give Harry a project and he will solve it.  He is the definition of commitment and responsibility and takes his role in society very seriously.  George is the observer of life; nothing gets passed George.  He is all seeing and all knowing and his picture always includes reference to the stars as he truly believes everything is possible.  Finally Max is the easiest to read of all.  His picture is dominated by a massive heart that beats at the centre of all he does in life.  His compassion knows no boundaries and his affection for fellow man captivating and transforming in equal measure.

cropped-castle-april-2013-008.jpgSeeing pictures absolutely has its uses in life but the deepest of all is my faith.  A committed Buddhist I look for the elements of my faith everywhere.  I see compassion, forgiveness, enlightenment and truth in places within the world but, if I am honest, I wish I saw more of them.  At times they become very fractured and I have to seek them out to ease my soul.  This doesn’t stop me trying to see these pictures though.  Forgiveness is a huge tool to the Buddhist and I have had times when it has been essential.  We all stumble across people in life who have anger, hatred or jealously dominating their spirit and these negative emotions can wipe out the strongest and purest picture.  It is in these instances when my faith is most important to me as I remain determined not to let those strong emotions affect me.  It is for us all to ground ourselves in compassion and that is the silent picture that I hold deep in my soul.

I am blessed with all my pictures.

scottish island mum

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