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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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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Postcards

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I’ve been printing little cards of my most recent pictures. It’s great to hold them all in my hands, little collections. There’s something comforting about them. I only have a cheap old printer at the moment, so they are not perfect, but they are lovely to hold.

I had a small idea that it might be fun to post some of these to different people, and also to leave some about out in the world for strangers to pick up and hopefully take home and/or share.

The idea would be that I would have details on the back stating that this is a postcard to share or keep, and to ask the recipient to let me know that they have it in some way, maybe take a photograph of it when it arrives, and email that to me, so that I can take account of my cards travels..then if that person would like to send it to someone else, as a gift, for them to photograph too, it would keep them on their journey.

I would then post these travelling card pictures on a blog page.

Do you like this idea? Would you like me to send you one? If so, leave me your details on my contact form, I would love to send you a picture and watch it travel!

(p.s. I won’t tell you when I am about to send it, so it would be a surprise..:) )

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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

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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30 second sketches

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I’ve finally got round to trying some 30 second gesture drawing, after being inspired by a post on Notes to The Milkman . 

The idea is to put on some kind of sports programme – a cricket match, football, whatever, pause it frame by frame, set a timer and give yourself 30 seconds each pause to record a short, quick sketch of a players movement.

I meant to do this with the tennis, but I got engrossed in watching it instead! There was no sport on yesterday, so I dug out an old Chi Kung video and used that.

Here are a couple of my efforts..!

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They are not the best, I am rusty..but I loved doing it, so relaxing and great for focus. It’s also really useful for helping you to notice the “important” lines..good practice for both art and photography I’d imagine.

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Untitled.

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One more piece that I have been working on.

I have made collages since I was first making artwork – I began with magazine papers and other found materials, but over the years I think I’ve used just about everything in a collage at some point; dried beans, bike chains, coffee granules, sandpaper and mud! Now, I often combine digital imagery with the handmade. Really, I’d like to try and make as much of the work off screen as I can, and am trying to make sure that my photographs are made as much in camera as possible..this one required a fair amount of computer work to assemble however..

This is made from film photographs, scanned illustrations, and found digital images.The black and white photograph was taken years ago, during my first film experiments.

I am endlessly intrigued by layers, lights and colour combinations..here I’ve tried all three at once…

I don’t like calling work “Untitled” but nothing is springing to mind..so for now it is this..recently I seem to have lost all capacity for words..

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Winter Weather Work

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One dubious benefit about having a rubbish Summer weather wise is that I do more work!

I’ve been working on layered and digitally collaged images again over the past few months.

This is made almost entirely of photographs, some from my earlier work with shadows, some from photographs taken throughout the year.

I am pleased with how it looks somehow like a painting. Sadly I am terrible at painting, this is the closest I will ever get, painting with light and capture..

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