Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Sunshine and Showers

So Spring is teasing me with sunshine and showers. I can smell the hope in the air and I'm filled with a sense of purpose. The reflective time of winter has fuelled new ideas and I've been scribbling them down in the hope they will come to fruition this coming year.

My creative flow is amazingly balanced at the moment. I find that to be true in Spring and Autumn. They are my favourite seasons because of that balance between night and day, light and dark. I work best then. In the summer I tend to be a bit skittish and high energy and in the winter I feel like someone has switched off all the lights and find it hard to get things done. So the pace just now is just right. I've been enjoying planning my gardening year too. Last year I didn't grow much but found I felt disconnected from nature. This year I have already had my fingers in the soil and planted lettuces and beans in our polytunnel. I'm determined to preserve as much of our crops as possible. I've been challenged by a friend to give up buying plastic for Lent. It has meant a journey of self-discovery and a hunter-gatherer style of shopping as I skit between farm shops, markets and super-markets trying to find unpacked or paper packed goods. It has given me a new drive toward being more self sufficient. This week that has meant making marmalade and pickling onions. You can find my favourite recipes here. There's something wonderful about stacking up jars of coloured produce in the Spring sunshine.

Connecting with nature is fuelling my workshops too. I had such a wonderful day with my students on both the 'Rest with Nature' workshop and 'Spring Sketchbooks'. There was a real sense of enjoyment of process and having time to experiment and try new things. That's what art is all about isn't it?

If you'd like to join me for a workshop, I'll be running a 'Summer Sketchbooks' day on Saturday May 21st and a mixed-media 'Mark Making' day on Saturday June 25th. And don't forget that I'll be running my 'Back to Nature' Art Holiday in July. It'll be a total immersion in beauty and art - a wonderful treat for your creative soul.

Amongst the planning for workshops I'm creating a new series of landscapes. I'm currently exhibiting at the Ferrers Gallery and will be demonstrating my techniques and giving a taster of my workshops on Sunday 6th March between 12 and 3. Come along and say 'hi'!


Jess said...

That's such a good idea to give up using plastic although when I think of it, it's quite alarming how much I use in everyday life. Do rubber gloves to do the washing up count? ;)

Helen Hallows said...

It's pretty impossible Jess! I don't use rubber gloves and I reckon they're okay if you use them until they're worn out. So much of our plastics just get used once and then dumped in landfill which is shameful. It needs a big change in manufacturing and recycling to make a rel difference. X

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