Saturday, 26 March 2011

The Elastic Limits of Spring

Spring has sprung with an energy which startled me at first, until I recalled how startled I am every year as I thaw and stumble into the sunlight.

My daughter's newest word is 'daffodil'. Well, okay, 'dadill', but hearing her call it out as we buggy past each stand of daffs is a heart-burster nonetheless.

Dadills from our woods

And we are joining the chorus of openings and beginnings and letting daring tendrils feel their way into the world.

My entish husband, Thomas Hine, is working on a new art commission for an intriguing book collecting historical and contemporary postcards depicting The Cornish Litany, and he has just been asked to write a guest essay for a folklore blog. 
You can explore his art and writing in the fantastical world contained within A Basket of Leaves and learn everything you might want to know about Westcountry Folklore.

If you were with me for Small Wonders and The story of an imperfect artwork, then you'll be expecting the next piece in my Patterns collection around now - the 'new first' one. As is often the case, the process of completing a prototype germinated many variations on the original theme. So this new piece is more of a scene and less abstract:

Tree in Sunny Field 
Brush Pen Mosaic

I've begun thinking of these as mosaics rather than simply patterns. My new artist brush pens create lovely lines, making each 'piece' feel more solid and distinct. The logistics of placing each piece so future pieces can fit are similar to those of mosaics, although without the advantage of being able to pick them all up again if it doesn't quite work. I'm developing techniques to deal with this all the time, but a lot of it is just being able to visualise where they're going to go - and then remember what I pictured.

This week I started training in quite a new field - as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter with Barnardo's. I was a bit anxious I'd be expected to be an evangelical lactivist, (LOVING that word) but that's not the case. It's just about information, support, having time for someone at a phase in their life when they may have little time for themselves. Not quite sure where I'll squeeze this time from, but committed to doing it anyway.
To find out about talking with a peer supporter, or becoming one (no cost to you in either case), phone Barnardo's on 0117 978 2441.

And I have also just accepted a commission to write a children's story for our local preschool. I haven't tried writing for children before, but I read several kids' books every day (and several times each!), so I feel like I've been researching for the past year :o).

A few words from me, about dreaming, are kindly included in To Sleep, To Dream, on the blog of Claire de la Luz. Thank you Claire.

Spring blessings on you all. If you haven't sent me anything for Happiness Week yet, now is the time.
And do please share your new ventures too.


  1. Bravo for evangelical lactating and dadills and new projects all round! I really like this new mosaic Lunar - its pointilist nature gives it the movement of a Van Gogh field and sky :)

  2. Hi Lunar.. How are you? I really like what you are doing with the mosaics, and the tree scene is lovely. You are inspiring me and I'm pulling out my sharpies today :)
    Beautiful shot of the daddils :p

  3. Oh, your new picture is so beautiful- the style really is a mosaic, isn't it? I'm excited to follow the links and learn more about your husband and folklore.
    I love that you are so creatively engaged in the world around you- please keep us up on your new children's book! I can't wait.

    As for Dadills, well, children are such unabashed angels, aren't they?
    I'm working on a little something for Happiness week, sorry it's taking so long.
    Happy Spring!

  4. Rima, I laughed aloud at the audacity of comparing my work to Van Gogh's - thank you :o).
    Luna, I am wonderful at the moment (possibly due in part to my girl sleeping through the night). This last moon was strong, throwing up lots of emotion, but I'm good. So good to hear my efforts are encouraging yours. Let me know how it goes.
    Claire, you could spend a looong time learning as much about folklore as Thomas knows, but enjoy the journey! Hopefully I'll make a start on the children's book today. And very much looking forward to your Happiness Week contribution. Thank you.
    Hope you all get some sun today. x

  5. oooh... loving the mosaic!!! :)

  6. The brush pen mosaic is great..and Rima is right there is something Van Gogh about it. Can't wait to see more work!
    Love the Daff close up...I don't usually have cut flowers in the house but always make an exception to daffs...that was until this year and I have developed an allergy and they make me sneeze non no more cut daffs and I just now appreciate them growing outside in their natural rightful environment. The tiny narcissi hybrids in my garden have been flowering a few weeks now...the larger 'normal' ones are still sleeping and buds not opened yet!

  7. Welcome, Ange Lee (
    Thanks for following me.

  8. Beautiful artwork! And congratulations on the prospect of a children's book. How very exciting! Happy Spring to you!

  9. Thanks MSB. I'm overwhelmed with all the beginnings I've conjured! Am on my second cup of coffee and still diddling about avoiding making a proper start to my work. First draft of my children's story is complete, though. Will peep at it later to see if it's got better or worse in my absence.

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