I’m not even sure it’s a word, well, I know it ISÂ a word in that it’s got letters – with vowels and everything! But, I don’t know if it’s a proper-in-the-dictionary word. I could look it up, but it doesn’t matter that much – cos its a word I use, and have used over many years to describe the weather as its been for the last couple of days……when you wake up and open the curtains, bleary eyed, to let the daylight in, and do a double take “Whathfuck….? Whose stolen the world?” as you look out into the grey mists and everything that is normally clearcut and crisp is lost in the veil of gauze that covers it. It’s always fascinating for me to see the world slightly differently than normal because of the weather, like when there’s aÂ snowblizzard outside, or fog, or mistÂ or like this stuff whenÂ its raining as well in the mistÂ – hence mizzle.
I love the light at this time of year, that yellowy touch of golden light that bathes everything. Even the sky seems to have a warmer tinge to it than normal, and there was a beautiful pinky sunset the other night that was stunningly atmospheric.
But, I’m not here to talk about the weather, not really. Only how it affects me as an artist. I’d been to a workshop on Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed the day.. I always do. And it showed how good the artist was who took the class since he actually did it in the style that I hate (yeh, hate!) – the step-by-step sort where he paints a bit, we copy it, then he paints the next stage, and we copy it, and so on til the end and we all go home with exactly the same painting, all looking just the same. Normally that sort of class drives me to absolute toe tapping eye-rolling, tongue clicking distraction as I get twitchy waiting for the next stage, whilst the slower ones catch up, but this chap filled in the gaps with humour and wit, and excellent tips that kept me enthralled. Like how to use kitchen roll to make misty effects by gently wiping over the wet watercolour paint, and using a rigger paint brush to make straight lines of colour in the paint.Â But it was certainly the comedy that made the day more interesting too, and he was a natural comedian, who can say anything and its funny. I didn’t see much of him during the day, he seemed to be with others who were less able as artists most of the time, so it was only at the end when I congratulated him on keeping me interested all day, and explained why. I know its difficult for anyone doing a workshop since they don’t know the standard of the other people they’re teaching. Are they capable of holding a paint brush? Do they know how to mix green?Are they going toÂ look blankly at me when I mention lost and found edges? Â So it was good to have a proper chat with him afterwards and compare notes as two professional artists. And there were certainly some things he said that have got me thinking about other ways of earning some money through art… definitely food for thought.
But, it was on the way home that I was brought up in my tracks.
As I carried my art equipment back from the car to the house, unloading the car, and with my mind elsewhere, that I stopped in surprise and looked at something that I look at daily. Something that had transformed to a thing of beauty since I last noticed it. And probably in its natural colouring I don’t give it a first look, let alone a second. But this time, it brought a smile to my face, and an urge to do something about it. Get the camera! As I dropped easel, paper, board and art bag in the utility room, and grabbed the camera as I turned on my heel.
And took photos of the glorious sight infront of me. Every hue of every colour you could think of, reds and oranges, yellows and greens, purples and pinks, all there. Knowing that the colours and shapes would make the most amazing abstract painting, and yet it was the simplist of subjects. A rose by any other name. A rose that hasn’t managed to flower since I planted it eighteen months ago, but that didn’t matter, it was here, now, today, in its coat of many colours, and I HAD to take a photo of it, just had to.
Its the artist in me. Being called to by something more primal than mere autumnal inspiration. It was the colour of nature, and in that moment, it was mine.