Wednesday, 8 February 2017

#peoplearegood - Patreon

I use the #peoplearegood hashtag often on my Facebook page and Twitter. It is something I passionately believe. I am convinced that, if we all had more faith in the essential goodness of ourselves and each other (we are, after all, a natural animal, a product of the Earth the same as all others), we would live up to that more and create a better world. But sometimes people doubt my claim. It's easy to despair of humanity after watching the news. So it's good to have some examples up my sleeve. Here are three:

The first, and most exciting for me, is the existence of Patreon and, in particular, the existence of real, live people who have decided to support my work like arts patrons did in the good old days. Sadly I don't have a billionaire philanthropist extravagantly funding my life (although I am open to the idea), so instead Patreon offers people a way to give whatever they can or want to give and those collective coins in the hat add up to a few more supplies, or go towards hiring an exhibition space, or just buy another jar of coffee, which certainly couts as 'basic equipment'. But it isn't just about the money. It feels like such a brilliant way of saying, Yes! I love what you do! Please do more of it. The world needs you to keep going, so I will help you do that. Patreon is one of those ideas so good it now seems ridiculous that we haven't always had it. It is fun to click about and see what people are doing and why, but to start you off, here is my page: Lunar Hine and two pages I support, due to excessive awesomeness: Abi Nielsen makes wonderful craftivist art and Hedgespoken travel the land in their beautiful truck, scattering stories and theatre at the feet of communities as they go.

My second example of the very goodness of us is a comment left on a previous blog post:

Dear Lunar - We just want you to know that another little bit of Thomas lives on in an unlikely place here in Scotland. My husband is a conservation forest ranger, and after reading all about Thomas here having flown from Rima's blog, some time ago he decided that a very good way to honour this man that he has never met but would have loved to share a pint and music with is to help the children who visit the forest to make elf doors, so that they can peer into the kingdom where Thomas's spirit and imagination still live. Please know that there are little portals in the forest in the West of Scotland that open children's dreams, and that Thomas the Elf has guided them - a very special elf with an upside down heart.

How wonderful - and how exactly right - to celebrate my Captain by offering dreams to children. I would like to meet these people and peer through one of their doorways myself one day.

My third example is a video. It is three minutes long and it is such a simple idea. I would love it to be used in assembly in every school, every year. If we can learn this as children, so much more is possible for us.

Good, yes?

Friday, 3 February 2017

Love in Various Forms

Well, we all need a bit of cheering up after my last post, don't we? So here is some love for you, in various forms.

When I am making art, or writing, or wrangling a riverdancing baby into a highchair, love is generally what I am musing on, at some level. It's an important subject and also more interesting than wondering what I'll make for tea. Plus, if you have emerged into 2017 for even five minutes, you will have noticed that, not only has it been nearly Easter since Boxing Day, it also has been almost Valentine's Day all year. So here are some works of love and ink:

These have gone all over the world :)

Saying it with flowers :)

Good. Wares duly flaunted; now for an update on the people who benefit from and inspire my work. Currently, they are going by the names of Trumpet and Plumpet.

They are really enjoying each other, which is mostly down to Trumpet being very tolerant of Plumpet's new ability to be a danger to herself and others all of the time:

I am very proud of them both:

Trumpet has been taking lots of Thomasesque photos of stones and shadows and herself:

Having bought Trumpet a marvellous witch's hat to go with her lovely dress, she announced, with less than an hour before her school Hallowe'en disco, that she wanted to dress as a spider. We agreed on a Spider Witch, hence the eight eyes:

(Do you see that little desk all covered in books and boxes and a tangle of wires? That's my 'studio'; that's where I hunch right now.)

She has had some spectacularly bonkers moments. One night I found her sleeping tied to a balloon:

She can't do that any more, because I did this:

The mornings are so much easier :).

Following on from our potato-balancing fun, we have all enjoyed Plumpet playing Where's My Wafer?:

Trumpet has been spreading the love too. She made some beautiful cards with endangered animal designs and sold them at our local cafe. She raised enough money to adopt a snow leopard for her class and a mountain gorilla for herself with the WWF. They send a toy version and now she wants to wear her dressing gown all the time:

So, all good here. Art is actually happening, depending on how long Plumpet sleeps for (this post has taken four days worth of nap!) and other things are afoot (apen?) which I will share with you soon.

Thank you for all the love after my last post. Spring is coming!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

It Is The Day

Dear Thomas,
It is the day. I hate this day. I would redact it from the world if I could, the way I once had to redact you from the electoral roll, as if you had never lived.
It feels like a bomb has exploded inside me and all my hard-won resilience has particulated into the air. It is lost in this shockingly beautiful day, and I am stripped to my devastated core.
I am glad you cannot read this. Much as I am desperate to tell you, I do not want you to know how it really feels to be your widow. I want you to think I am missing you in a wistful, romantic way, taking long walks alone to think of you and fondly wrapping myself in your oversized jumper.
Well, I am wearing your jumper, but the sleeves are annoyingly long. They unroll into the washing up water and I don't have time to keep rolling them up again. I have children to care for!  have a house to run! I need to make art and earn and keep finding a way to live without your help and I'm cross with you and your jumper's stupid.
I was always so far from the cheerful pixie bride I imagined would suit you best - some smiley, fey woman who could play the fiddle or at least honestly enjoy you practising. But you chose me. I still don't really understand why and it still feels like the biggest compliment. I was stompy, snarky, a smoker, a meat-eater. I wanted to dance, but only by myself. I wanted to listen to music, but not more of your twiddly folk albums. Somehow you loved my Johnny Rotten T-shirt and my bad cooking, the way I would laugh and laugh at slapstick while you worried someone had got hurt. Somehow you loved me.
This fantasy (my fantasy, not yours) fey bride would now be weeping prettily and looking at photos of you. I want to take the photos down - they make me sad - but Ember wants them up, so they stay. And I'm not crying - not right now. In a minute I will read and eat crisps until the baby wakes, then I will do my best not to be miserable and grumpy with her all day. And all the long night.
Nothing is as good without you, my Captain. I had no idea it would be this hard for this long. I feel the scar tissue on my heart thickening every year, just as it did on yours. I can only hope that, unlike you, I will survive.

More twiddly folk music

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