New Space

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Some of my favourite new corners in my new workspace.

It’s a great space to reflect and learn. I’m setting things out and making a home there.

I’ve added a wall of favourite shots too, to look over slowly.

Today was grey, but misty and light.

It feels good, just now

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© C. Rennie, 2013

New Years Thoughts

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Every New Year I feel the urge to re-invent myself just a little. To become better in some way. That unblemished new leaf, an opportunity to put mistakes behind, step forth into the brave new day, in a new pair of shoes.

I make lists, promises, tidy things. I buy pens, order my shelves. Clean cupboards. Wipe away cat fluff. It is all so hopeful.

And then, as the year rolls by, life happens. Pens get chewed, promises fall by with a blush, more stuff fills those perfectly arranged shelves. More fur drops, everywhere. Unexpected things always happen, good and bad, things fly at you and you have to change track. And mistakes? Well, lets not count.

But still again, like a fresh Spring breeze, January 1st will arrive and I will take my breath, climb up and reach the summit of good intentions once more, and love that view – clear, clean, new. Forget the rocks back down just for a second.

And isn’t this just how it goes? We all have our circles and lines in which we move, we all have old skins that sometimes we need to shed. I need this sense of renewal each year. But I should expect mistakes. Mistakes are human. I want to be kinder to myself and allow them. Because, maybe each time we do grow just a little wiser, maybe imperceptibly, somehow we do learn something from every mis-step. Maybe each new skin that I grow is just slightly more formed, just that little more me.

I’ve been reflecting a lot over the holidays on creativity, and my relationship to it. Sometimes I am comfortable with it, sometimes I am achingly not. I struggle hugely with maintaining a balance between a huge onslaught of ideas and creative impulses and a strictly over organised framework where I get things done but become too narrow and judgemental, and don’t allow myself time to breathe and explore. More balance is needed. I read a great quote on the fabulous blog by Elsa Mora – “Art is a Way“. She quoted Henri Matisse thus:

“There is the heart and the mind, the Puritan idea is that the mind must be master. I think that the heart should be master and the mind should be the tool and servant of the heart. As it is, we give too much attention to laws and not enough to principles. The man who wants to produce art must have the emotional side first, and this must be reinforced by the practical.” – Robert Henry.

He says of an artist:

“He must have an excellent mind which he must command and use as a tool for the expression of his emotions”

I really like this idea, of the heart and mind working in balance.

I feel like I’ve learned a lot this past few months through my photography and posting here..but..I am missing other areas of my creative life too and I’d like to reach out a little and explore some more. I feel like maybe photography might be part of what I do, not the whole, like maybe there is more to go with it..I miss my handmade work too, it would be fun to try and incorporate both.

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I am also very excited to finally have a little room of my own to work in! I have been working on it over the holidays and it is feeling like a very exciting, invigorating, and reflective space. It’s on a hill and overlooks some of the town and countryside – with a teeny view of the estuary if you lean out the window a bit…!  I have printed some of my work and put it on the wall – it’s been great to do that and take an overview of things. I must allow myself the luxury of printing more – I like to hold things in my hands, it feels like part of me more somehow.

Hope and light, and the promise of a brand new day. My resolution this year is to be brave and honest both in my work and my life. Let my heart speak.

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“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Picture of a Girl

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An image and a song, both of the same title, with slightly different interpretations. I feel like there’s something hopeful about this collage, made from a collection of old photographs..there’s something in there of my feelings, my impressions of the world when I was small – vast, vulnerable, unknowable and yet accepted, going with what odd things come, the sense of wide possibility and somehow always believing in the goodness of things…( I’m not explaining this very well…these things don’t have words, they are felt I think)

Not many have heard this song – it’s yet to make it onto any recording as it just doesn’t quite get on with my others (it’s sniffy like that). Hope you like it!

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p.s. if you like my music, you can hear more of it here.

Have a great weekend!
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Love for the Tune..

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As I am writing about my favourite things at the moment, I wanted to illustrate my love for singing, writing and performing music. I was a performing singer/songwriter and musician for several years until ill health meant I had to stop for a while. I am slowly taking steps back towards performing but it is very emotional and challenging to do it again and I think it will take some time.

I thought I would share this video with you in case you have not visited my music page here. It’s odd, but as I post this my heart is thumping…I think that watching it reminds me of great and brave times, when I sang and travelled and met amazing people and really got out into the world..it is hard sometimes to remember things you have lost..but this will always be my true heart and soul, and even if I can never perform again to the level that I used to, I am so glad that I did it.

This is quite an old song to me now, my music and outlook has changed so much (although the video was made in 2010 I wrote the song in 2003). It shows a little of the journey that I went on, through life and music, and the moving times of a travelling musician..

I hope you enjoy it!

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The Voices

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I thought I might post a little of my other life!

This is a work in progress. It is a sound collage, made from old tape recordings that I took of family and friends reading from a Yoko Ono poem, over the space of a few weeks, some years ago. The piece will eventually be used as a soundtrack to a visual work, so this is it in half form..and I think there will be some alterations. But the general idea is there.

These pieces are a study of friendship and family, and the voices and words that surround us at every moment of our lives. This is a snapshot of a moment in time, and how the sounds and voices that surround that time define it. As voices change through the years, the sound of them finds new resonance – some feel tender and fragile as we feel them disappear from our lives, as people and situations grow and change. Hearing someone reading something unrelated to them from a page forces you to hear the voice as itself, as somehow to hear the pure person. A voice will alter with age and experiences, both in how words are spoken and the meanings that they become imbued with, becoming interlaced with memory and change.

Working on this piece has been a very emotional experience!

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