This morning I thought a rat was in my bedroom. It was five thirty and the noise was sweet rose-growing early-morning May rain.
Straight into my studio to print using slow drying oil-based printing ink and my lino-cut formed and cut at the last week’s Headway.org printing workshop to be ready to submit to an art show this weekend. Oh! Steady my hand. I was very smug that I was using something I made, that is the lino-cut, as I was learning at a community workshop. Do you know, most seniors I know attend a workshop, a free workshop, then dust off the chalk from their hands and never return to the learnt skills? That’s called disengagement and there are not many programmes which re-call senior participants. Mental Spaghetti may just be an isolated project which proposes a rolling programme and I’d say that that is because real proper trained artists lead the way.
I used my chopping board for the ink patch and my cocoa-butter tin as a roller. Did the trick. My studio is my back room which is bigger than most artists’ studios and my work-top is my oil-cloth covered dining table which someone gave me years ago.
Set for a day of creativity indoors. I presumed I’d go out in the rain to pay a bill but online Paypal came to my convenience. So I stayed and worked, showered and worked, made buns and worked, listened to Chuck Berry, listened to Time Team, photographed my work. filed it online and kept my eyes open.
Absolutely inspired by Paolozzi at Whitechapel Gallery and his 1960 collages and by BN saying in awe that he was so deliberate in his lines and design. I got on with cutting out pictures of any parents coddling their babies. I was to collage with thinking and deliberation. I had paper for mounting the design and glue by the pots load. I did that. I dried that and then found more paper on which to mount my creations.
Last summer I picked up from a Walthamstow front wall a heavy art folder and on getting home, opened it to find a college-student’s discarded and thrown out Art A Level portfolio. There was paper and card galore. That was serious and lucky for me recycling.
Meanwhile I have RAGWORKS on the go. One piece which retains the integrity of RAGWORKS is abstract to distraction but I kept to RAGWORKS’ rules. I used scrap found material. I designed my art work, I cut the pattern and I used any colour textiles and any colour thread which once belonged to my grandmother. This is the Antithesis of local sewing clubs; this is the Anti-University of needlework. I do not follow 0ther women’s rules. There are thousands of slaves in sweatshops and quasi vintage modern outlets doing that already. There are housewives being creative attending community hubs and resisting any passionate outbursts as they follow time-served hem distances. Each to their own. My penultimate RAGWORKS wall-hanging is called “Three Pigs”.
My latest is called “Study For A Swift’s Wing” as I ride on the blow-current of Walthamstow’s darling Wetlands, a flow saturated by artists’ murals, prints, films and oils.
The rain pissed down all day. The sparrows came for my tipped-out rice and the neighbour’s cat toyed with the cubes of beef. I saw the mingy white roses trying to be stupendous but they should realise that they’re no competition for the deep pinks by the fig tree.
A charmed and fortunate life.