Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Christmas 2016

My blog has probably disappeared off Google's radar due to my posting so infrequently. In spite of my silence, I haven't quite forgotten the world of potters and others that blog, and am thankful for the friendships that have sprung up and have been nurtured by this electronic means!

The recovery from the shoulder surgery I had on 10 October, has been more of a roller coaster ride than I would have hoped, in part due to the fact that I developed a frozen shoulder as a complication to the surgery. Night time discomfort has resulted in very poor sleep for the last 10 weeks, which is mostly why I haven't posted on the blog, I often haven't been able to think clearly enough.. In any case, I don't really want this to be a blog full of aches and pains and medical misadventures!

The poppy on the "card" that I put at the start of this post is a plant that is giving me a lot of pleasure at the moment. The petals are paper thin and grey with a red stripe. The flowers only last for a day and I marvel at their beauty and fragility. I love them for taking the trouble to look so lovely, even though their life is so short and apparently inconsequential.

There seems to me to be a Demand on artist in these times to make Art that has a Point to it, it makes a Statement, it seeks to Do something, to have Reason, to be a Voice, to Upset, to Innovate, to have a Brand! I use capitals for these things, because such art hits me about the head and causes it to ache and my soul to shrink and despair.

I am reminded by the poppy that there is value in no value, meaning in no meaning, point in no point!

For me one of the defining qualities of great art, be it literature, painting, music, dance, or what ever, is that it transports us to a place of the soul that is non verbal, boundless, eternal, transcendent.

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What a difference a day makes! Anna and Mike.

Thurs 17 Nov
It has been blowing hard all day, wind with a tear inducing chill. Huge clouds wobble and roll across the heavens, big and bloated with rain. Sometime in the afternoon, there is a gap between showers, and I take a gamble that it might be dry for an hour and go out for a walk, knowing that I will probably get soaked.
The wind is exhilarating, the noise of it is everywhere.

 Fri 18 Nov
Today could not be more different. Just a zephyr of a breeze, a playful ripple on the water. Sky a monotonous blue. I find myself interested in detail, a bumble bee sipping nectar from yellow kowhai flowers, black swans and ducks with their young, a solitary Royal Spoonbill. I hardly look at the sky.

Phormium tenax (NZ flax) showing old and new flower spikes.

Royal Spoonbill.

Mallard ducks.

Black Swan.

Black Swans and Cygnets, if you look carefully at the swan on the right you will see that she has a cygnet resting on her back.

Hawksbury Lagoon.

Kowhai flowers with a happy bumble bee (Bombus terrestris). New Zealand has 4 species of bumble bee, all introduced from England in 1885 and 1906 to help pollinate red clover.

Kowhai flowers after shedding their yellow petals.

Sunday 20 Nov
A very special day.
Today we had a visit from Anna and Mike. I have been reading and enjoying Anna's pottery blog -Anna's Ceramics- for quite some time now, and it was a delight to have a visit from Anna and her husband Mike, whilst they were on a tour of the South Island of New Zealand. One of the realities of living where we do is that we are unlikely to ever meet many of my blogging friends, so this visit was quite a historic event! We really enjoyed their company, had lots to talk about, and do hope that we are able to see them again one day.

Anna and Mike in front of my wood fired kiln.