30th September 2014

Happiness is…

Beside the tree-sideIt’s been a while since I’ve blogged, in fact, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything (not including a diary, which I’ve written since I was fourteen and notes on various English essays, which don’t count!) I’ve been spending a lot more of my free time on my paintings, a thing I haven’t done for many years, and am really enjoying it. Today, I finished ‘Beside the tree-side’ (see pic) which is my sixth painting since June.

Although this is a Spring/Summer painting – it could so easily be now. Many of the trees still have their coats of green and folk are still walking around in t-shirts. The Autumn chill of a couple of weeks ago seems to have passed for the moment. I wonder whether, when the leaves have turned orange and fallen, my paintings will begin to reflect the change in season. The creative mind and soul definitely seems to have a way of absorbing and IMG_20140920_130017630dispersing its surroundings and I find it curious how the creative part of me has shifted. What I mean by this is that, for example, time in one of my favourite cafes – a wonderful place full of old and tactile furniture, throws, cushions, cups, clocks etc – used to be spent turning over thoughts as to who might have sat in that chair and who would have once turned the hands of the clock, or ear-wigging and picking up on the potential for stories, people-watching – creating lives out of people absorbed in their own inner worlds.

Lighthouse at Talacre 1Now, with the shift from writing to painting, there’s been a shift in the way my mind turns. Where once I was asking ‘is there a story in that?’, everything is a potential painting, or raises the question ‘is there a painting in that?’. If I think there is, I take a photo of it, or secrete it in my mind.

My world has become a lot more visual and I find myself seeing in shapes and colour instead of words. A lighthouse at Talcre beach in North Wales, had me skittering around at all angles to try to find the perfect combination of construction against sky, and a path from beach through grass covered dunes had me halting everyone every which way while INew Items stopped to capture the contrasts. It’s a different kind of creativity – more instant somehow, more impulsive – the image is already there – nature and/or man have created it. Of course, transferring that to canvas is a little harder, and so far I’ve been working from my imagination, with reference to bird and wildlife books where necessary, for example, for the detail and colours on the chaffinch in ‘Bird Call’ and for the shape and colours of the fox in ‘Night Life’ (pictured here as prints along with my greetings cards of ‘The Walk’)

It’s a thoroughly wonderful and absorbing process. So, has my writing mind gone into retirement? Noooo… it’s just hibernating for a while 🙂

You can view (and buy) any of my paintings and prints from my Etsy shop: AbiBurlinghamArtist here. Although both the originals of ‘The Walk’ and ‘Bird Call’ have now sold,


6 responses to “30th September 2014

  1. Lovely post, Abi. I think experiencing your environment in this very vivid way can only feed your writer mind, same as imagining environments as a writer has probably sharpened your artist mind.

  2. Writers and artists have this wonderful way of feeling and visualising our environment…it opens everything up!
    Love the new picture, it almost complements my soon-to-be-released novel ‘Beneath the Old Oak’, sitting beneath a tree!

  3. You’re right. It’s almost as if we function on a multi-sensory level all the time… no wonder we’re shattered by the end of the day 😀 Oooh, I love a bit of serendipity!

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