White Branch

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A white branch for December! Even though we hardly ever get snow down here, I still can’t help but imagine it. It’s been ages since I’ve sat and worked on things like this, so I’m feeling a little rusty..! This is one of about 7 versions that I’m toying with.

This branch has last year and next in its branch and seeds, so it seemed right for now!

Wishing you warmth, friendship and love, through December and on.

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Dream Fishing

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Sleep just didn’t want to happen in this wild and windy night tonight, so I distracted myself and made this collage.

Layer upon layer of golden fossilised fish..

(this is taken from a scan of a Mene rhombeus, which, according to Bristol University (take a look at their brilliant cabinet of curiosities), is a beautifully-preserved fossil fish from the famous Monte Bolca (or Pesciara) site, in Verona, Italy, from some 50 million years ago!)

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Minimum

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I’m working on some new collages at the moment. There are so many decisions to make – how much to include, what works with what, how everything you add creates an extra layer of meaning – does that layer add interest or distraction? Too many choices!

Then sometimes I come back to the original, paired right down, and I like it with no alteration. This is the base that I am working with, an image from a few years ago. After exploring the thousands of possibilities, I’ve ended up now quite enjoying its space. I often come back this way, a confusion of noise, settled down to a few quiet lines.

I’ll post up the layered versions next time, would be good to hear what you think!

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Collaborations

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This past two weeks, I was excited to collaborate with the fantastic visual artist, Elena Caravela. Both of us exchanged work, for the other to add to and manipulate, creating something new.

Part 1: Adolescence and Thorn.

A few of Elena’s Bird-Children figures flew from her hands to mine..

In this piece I have combined Elena’s wonderful watercolour figure and birds from her Adolescence work, with photographic work from my Threads photographs. On viewing the bird’s inquisitive beaks, these thorns came immediately to mind. There is a huge sense of both vulnerability and defiant strength that sings out from the figure, which I have tried to engage with. Here we have caught her at a defining moment, in which anything may turn..

It was a great learning experience for me to work in this way! Travel over to Elena’s blog to see the work that she has undertaken in this project!

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© C.E. Rennie/Elena Caravela, 2013

Postcard Progress

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A few weeks ago, I invited people to take part in a small project. Having been inspired by a postcard exchange I had taken part in with Stephen MacInnis in May last year, I wanted to do a similar thing again on a slighter larger scale. And so I sent out a collection of cards that I had printed to various corners of the globe, hoping to hear some news of their arrival.

Here are a couple of pictures of a few of their adventures – so exciting to see them in their new spaces..more to come!

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From Exeter, UK to…

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Puppy postcard arrived and newly homed with Antoinette in Oregon, USA..

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Small trees, sitting happily on a desk with artist Sydney Lancaster in Alberta, Canada..

(p.s. I’ve just seen that Sydney has just posted about this on her blog today too!)

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nathan 5_72Exploring all corners in the middle of Kansas, USA, in the workspaces of Nathan Filbert and Holly Suzanne.

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Thanks so much to everyone for taking part – this is an ongoing project too, so if you would like me to send you a postcard, get in touch! You can read the initial posts here and here.

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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

Memories of Forests and of Growing Small

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Storybook Trees

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Since a young girl, I have always been intrigued by imaginings of size.

In nature, I loved to imagine how it would look to be grown tiny, and dropped into these places. I would often kneel, gazing deeply into small mossy nooks, through curled hillside bilberry strands, into tangles of branches and thorns. At the beach, I would find those deep, crusted and feathered green pools, gaze and mentally sink under the water and swim. I loved, and still love, to imagine a world changed size, trickle become river, thorn become tree..

Life to a spiders eye, a flea, a worm.

Sometimes, in bed at night, I had half awake dreams of becoming larger and smaller. My eyes tight closed, I lay and imagined. I could feel my hands, my legs, my torso, growing, then shrinking. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow.

It was almost a surprise to open my eyes and find myself the same size, I believed the imaginings so much.

My mum and I would play with pine cones in the wood near to our house, stacking them up to make “houses”, and singing the poetry by Pooh,

“Here is a myst’ry

About a little fir-tree

Owl says it’s his tree

And Kanga says it’s her tree”

I had forgotten all these things somehow, until my visit to the woods, and this picture came to be.

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