Ink, wood and the blues

As Jeff Healey plays chilled blues rifts on his steel string, I stop to reflect on the day; Christmas Day. Blues music has that capacity – to pull you from reality into reflection, contemplation or even melancholic stupor.

So, I contemplate with Jeff in my ears. Today I put on and put out a wash, I tinkered with my thistle and drank some coffee. Just another day really. There was no need to go “all out” like the majority of the populous. We’re ok with it being another day.

So today, it was just me and B filling our day with mostly every day activities, eating seafood we wouldn’t normally have and indulging in a bucket load of home-made trifle to the point of exhaustion. It’s fair to say that after cutting out my thistle and feasting on festive foods, we experienced an afternoon of slumber, quiet conversation and some loving too.

We are ok in each other’s company and most days are like today was – nice. Most days we hang together at some point in the day where we appreciative each other or dig in with some mocking of each other’s idiosyncrasies. Bill’s digs are more than occasional most days, which he says have ‘hardened my skin’. I guess that’s a good thing. Mostly though, we generally do what we like. Bill has always said you must always do what you feel like.

What a life it is when your needs are met and you can do what you like to do. 

Later in the day, the dog and I benefited from a walk in the refreshing twilight breeze. As I walked I realised that there was something happening. Something that had a slight air of excitement.

Some years ago I had created a series of images using black ink that came mostly from my imagination. These black and white ‘doodles’ inspired me for a time but have sat in a lovely leather folder for over four years now. Since discovering the scroll saw, I’ve created a few ‘essentials’ you could say. A Christmas tree and all of it’s decorations, a Scottish Highland cattle head and now some thistle to go with the Scottish theme – it’s a husband’s origin thing!

The excitement came when I realised that I could either use the black and white doodles I designed years ago or design new images that I could then transfer to wood. Ordinarily I wouldn’t say that this was startling news or anything to get excited about, but given my lack of passion and enthusiasm about my creative ‘flow’ of late, the excitement that came after I put these two creative fields together was something I hadn’t experienced in some time – a long time!

I came home and completed the last thistle. I got excited as I felt the wood. It had been sanded and it felt great.

There is something about wood that is giving me a kick of excitement. Is it in its rawness and being a natural material? Perhaps it is the gratification in extending my drawings to create something more than a paper ‘doodle’.

Maybe completing intricately designed and cut pieces by manipulating a machine is giving me a sense of accomplishment that pen and paper no longer can? It could also be likely that this is new and novel for me – since I will try anything once. I learn quickly and I’ll make a few things but I don’t usually stay with things for any length of time. I’m ready to move on to something new and novel again far too quickly.

For now at least, I’m infused with the idea of getting my creations, maybe even some of my old images into the shape and smell and feel of wood. Maybe even create a few pieces I can gift or sell! Who knows?

Stay tuned.

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