The cherry blossoms are out and seeing them always makes me happy. I've been out practicing with the digital camera, though I still prefer my old fashioned SLR. There is a cherry tree that overhangs a few grave stones in the churchyard at the top of my road. It always looks like it is sheltering or protecting the graves in some way. I've been meaning to take photos of it for ages and have just started, with pictures of the tree in bud and now in flower.
I've also been out in the garden taking pictures of the spring flowers and apple blossom, I have ideas for a series of paintings of flowering trees. Van Gogh's flowering cherry pictures have always ben a favourite of mine.
Last weekend was our Urban Arts Retreat and the theme was the elements. I've been working with the elements for a little while now, there is a Buddhist practise called the six element practise that I have been doing, and I have been reflecting on my experience of the elements both internally and externally.
I gave a couple of talks over the weekend and these should be posted on a new section on my site called events and workshops. There are other written pieces from events there as well and they will give you a sense of the sort of things that I am interested in sharing on these sorts of events.
We always do some of our own work on these weekends and I used some drift wood and other items washed up on the beach to make some little sculptures, I had in mind the earth element when I started, but of course there was the water element from their being in the sea, and the wax I also used had come from the candle burning on the window ledge. The air element was an integral part as the sculptures hung in the air, as with everything, it is only possible to seperate the elements in our mind but not in the physical world.
Lots of exciting work was done over the weekend by the participants, artists and new to art people alike. Hopefully I will be able to post some of the photos on the site soon
On the Sunday we did a collective piece on the elements, all working together, which was great and at times it looked like a ritual dance as people moved around the tables putting paint and pastel and found objects on the mandala circle we had drawn.