Category Archives: Journal Art

Stained Glass

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I love stained glass – the clarity of it, the sparkle of light filtering through the colours and shapes and textures. Each window or mirror is a piece of magic captured in melted sand – a miracle of art and technology combined.

I have designed two stained glass windows over the years – one is in the front door at my ex husband’s house – my house, when we were married. The other is in the front door of Dr Horace Dobbs, the dolphin expert who has written several books about the healing powers of dolphins. Sadly I have lost my photo of that window – though it is illustrated in one of his books.

Here is the Art Deco inspired window in my ex’s 1930s home. I loved the colours – purples and autumn colours – they were (are still I expect) so warm and welcoming.

stained glass at 126

I also have several mirrors in my home that utilise stained glass as frames. These were made by John Leathwood, a very skilled and creative stained glass artist who has done windows in famous buildings such as Burton Agnes Hall, nr Bridlington. Sadly he is no longer with us but his mirrors remain a lasting and very beautiful memorial to him. I used one of these mirrors as the frame for a piece of Journal Art

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A few examples of John’s work in my possession. Sadly in the process of being photographed by me on my not very powerful camera, the colours have not turned out as brilliant as they are in reality. The first – in brilliant Mediterranean blues and aqua, with purple, white and green highlights is in my bathroom. The round mirror is a face  of a woman – I like to think of her as the Goddess. She needs relocating where she will capture more light but I haven’t yet identified a place. The autumn leaf/seed pod is in my conservatory, and the final one, in white and silver with hints of green is in my hallway. The latter was commissioned by me and illustrates the scene outside of Moria (JRR Tolkien; Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) – the hidden gateway that can only be seen in moonlight. It is incredibly evocative to me, and feels magical – as all mirrors are-  being portals. The latter is also the one I used in my journal art.

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Burning Tears, poetic forests & magical tors

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I love words – especially words that are put together in beautiful or unusual ways. On my computer I have a file where I put these beautiful or meaningful quotes, or just phrases that I feel are particularly eloquent. Many of these are random, taken from books I am reading or have read in the past. I’m very lax and usually forget to make a note of where I have found the words & phrases that I have found so interesting, so I apologise in advance to any authors if I have used your words (in different ways/media, of course) without crediting you. I hope, however, that my artwork, illustrating them, does them justice.

Two such phrases are included here on pages from my art journal. I have no idea where I found the words, but they inspired me to complete two very different pieces of art-work. Enjoy

J 8 burning tears                       j 4 poe-tree

The Stars were Fire in my eyes releasing Burning Tears                           A Darkened Forest of Softly Glowing Poem-covered Trees

The third picture is a watercolour of Glastonbury Tor. Though taken from a photograph, I have used unusual colours and techniques to give a mystical interpretation that sums up the place for me. It featured greatly in the years following the break up of my marriage. I visited the Tor several times and received a great deal of comfort and healing there. The magical aura of the place enabled me to find myself again – find the woman I was, that was hidden by all the layers of being the wife, the mother, the teacher, the friend etc etc. You can read more of my connections to Glastonbury, and the Hawthorns that grow there in my stories from the soul page.

Glastonbury Tor I have used artistic licence with the lake – this no longer exists, the land having been drained long ago but which, in the past, formed the Isle of Avalon.

Stardancer

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j 9 Stardancer    Using the first verse of my poem called Stardancer I created this image. It has been my lifelong desire to see earth from space. Impossible now, I guess. I don’t think they’d let a grandmother, no matter how radical, go into space, and the Doctor in his Tardis isn’t going to come by any too soon, no matter how much I imagine differently.

Many years ago I read an SF book by Spider Robinson called Stardance, and loved the idea of dancing in free fall, with only the stars for company.  The name and concept became the symbol of creativity and freedom for me, hence my web name and the recurring theme – poems, art, tattoo etc.

STAR DANCING 

Riding on the wings of night

Dream child, Star dancer.

Weaving a tapestry of light

Midnight enchanter.

Sailing the space between the stars

Cosmic lover, stellar born.

Playing games with friendly pulsars

Chasing sun-dragons at dawn.

Painting prayers in space and time

Star-kissed, spellbound.

Sliding round on rainbow rhymes

Sculpting astral ambient sound.

Exploring electrons in the void

Star-witch, time tamer.

Skipping quantum orbits loud

The future folds to frame her.

Floating free on fractal tides

Soul-seeker, heart breaker.

Through life’s spirals gently glide

To be her own … dream-maker.

Another couple of pages from my Journal representing freedom. Eagles too are a recurring theme in my artwork, along with wolves – my shamanic spirit companions.

J 6 my blue-black eagle                                  J 15 Wildwood

My Journal Art

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J 3 into the west

Art has always been a way that I express my inner thoughts and feelings. I was always going to be an artist till parents, economics and social norms of the times prevented me from taking up my place at university. This was back in the late 60s remember. A time noted for radical thoughts and breaking down social barriers. Really? Actually, for most of us that just didn’t happen. It was a funny time – both revolutionary and reactionary. My parents were working class and didn’t see the value of a university education. They wanted me to contribute to the family purse. So out to work I went.

Art got pushed into the background behind work, marriage, having and raising a family – way behind. It surfaced occasionally when I was asked to illustrate the odd newsletter but generally my creativity disappeared into the dark shelves and corners of my mind. I was content to use that creativity in my youth work and social work, in my interior décor and dress sense.

Then I retired and suddenly I had TIME! Time to explore creative media. I learnt watercolour painting at a class where everybody followed the tutor – painting almost by numbers. That didn’t sit well with my ideas of self expression but it did teach me the techniques though I totally refused to copy. It didn’t endear me to the other students either being a kind of criticism I suppose, of them being happy to copy.

then I went to a mixed media, journal art workshop and found a medium that resonated with my inner graphic artiness. I learnt the techniques but went me own way – as you would expect – and found it addictive. Here was a way of exploring who I was, what I loved, through simple but effective techniques – not writing a journal but ‘creating’ a journal through art.

I started to illustrate words, phrases and ideas that meant something to me. My work isn’t a chronological journal but a way of working out who I am – and for the first time in my life I’m beginning to understand who that is.

The first journal page that I did completely on my own was an illustration of that wonderful song Into the West sung by Annie Lennox from the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The idea of going on a ship to Elvenholme and living forever, opting out of the material world, I find very attractive. Lord of the Rings was to be a theme I come back to regularly both in my art and in my writing (though indirectly in the latter case). The second L of the R journal page was my A Red Sun Rises page – that beautiful quote from my second hero the elf Legolas – who I’ve loved since I was 15 and first read the book, long before Orlando Bloom made the character beautifully his own. It was a difficult page to construct needing to find something flexible to make the streams of blood from.

Enjoy:

J 10 A Red Sun