It’s been a month now since The Hours of Healing was set up and a little more than that since I put ink to paper in a meaningful way. The exhibition took up so much of my time and energy that I needed a break. So what’s next?
A number of people have made suggestions. Having done Benjamin Britten why not move onto The Schubert song cycles or Wagner operas? Maybe one day, but at the moment too much too soon.
Another idea is that I might ‘illustrate’ poetry, in view of my literary background, and this certainly appeals although maybe not illustration so much as a free response to. The other day I found myself drawn to the wonderful golden on black, purple and green of a starling’s spring plumage, My daughter gave me a lovely book of bird poems a while back, ‘The Poetry of Birds’ edited by Simon Armitage and Tim Dee; I have, for inspiration, Robert Gillmor’s book, ‘Cutting Away’ (lent by a dear friend and then received as an amazing surprise gift) which contains some beautifully evocative lino cuts of birds; and then there are the birds, everywhere you go …….
I have always found drawing birds really difficult, very easy to create static lifeless shapes, very hard to contain the movement, strength and lightness so this would be a good area to start on. I do, of course have favourite bird poems, The Windhover, Hawk Roosting, Swifts, The Darkling Thrush to name but a few, but the source material is enormously varied, and bird poems are almost always about more than the birds themselves, so there is plenty of scope for exploration.
I don’t think there will be anything to show for a while but I can see ideas, observation and experience coming together and that, for me, is the important basis for my work.
Maybe a title could be ‘Flights of Fancy’, just a thought…….