the wind

This land belongs to the gulls
And the gulls to their cry
And their cry to the wind

And the wind belongs to no-one
The wind belongs to no-one

I gave my breath to the song
To the song, wasn't mine
Neither of ship nor of sea
Neither of glass nor of wine

Leaving this ghost of a road
I'm climbing hand over hand
Toward that pinprick of light

Toward the seed that God sowed....

- David Gray, "Gulls" 

Spring is finally here ! I love every season in New England (well, you might hear me complain during the heat of August a bit) but these past few weeks have been the opening of Nature's showcase one day after the next! It's like opening a surprise every morning as I drive through neighborhoods near my home. 

Something I marvel at often as an artist is how imagery floats around on the winds of creativity. I don't mean the imagery that one artist might copy from another; i.e.: the numerous girls with angel wings and tilted heads that seem to be everywhere following the very prolific  Kelly Rae Roberts and her success...I mean how certain themes seem to crop up organically, as if they are waiting in the wind and some artists (including myself) hold their noses to the breeze and breathe it in at the same time.  

Two artists floated into my studio this past week that seem to be speaking my thoughts in their work. 

  • the first is China Marks who came to my attention via my mother-in-law who attended a speech given by China in Florida. She has taken the traditional medium of embroidery and vintage textiles and combined them with new, fresh and intriguing results. As I bring forth new work in my Beasts series, I attempt to see the challenge of incorporating embroidery into those works with a fresh and unique technique with each new piece. I find her work inspiring as it seems to cheer me on to continue in this vein. 
  • the second artist that inspired me to push my new work in even richer use of the tissue paper I have long used in my work is Marthe Armitage. Beside loving her spirit that comes through in the above you tube video (link) I love that she's still working so organically. I am trying out a new technique of cutting intricate designs from tissue paper and adhering them to the surface of the body of the tapir I am currently working on. It was after I started in this direction after waking from a dream I had about doing it that I stumbled upon Marthe's wallpapers. A light bulb went off in my head, "of course!" Wallpaper is another relic of a tradition gone-by. I know that interior designers keep trying to bring it back but this type of hand made botanically-themed wallpaper seems to be something our grandmother's coveted ... as they worked away on their handy work. 
detail: Tapir piece in process - showing tissue paper cut outs on the body of the animal

detail: Tapir piece in process - showing tissue paper cut outs on the body of the animal

detail of the foot of the tapir showing tissue paper cut out on the body of the animal

detail of the foot of the tapir showing tissue paper cut out on the body of the animal

When I find an artist who is working in a similar way to me or playing with similar imagery I always feel a kindred spirit - and imagine that we have been swept by the same wind of inspiration. It's comforting and always urges me on in a way that is hard to explain. 


If you are an artist reading this or a creative person of any kind please share your stories of being inspired by similar subject matter or a technique with another creative person without even knowing about them previous to the path you began taking...and where that led you.