Wish or Worry? Where did that idea come from?
I've been thinking about this idea for a painting since last Christmas. The idea first surfaced when I heard an advert on the radio seeking support for the 'Wishing Tree' at the Dunedin K Mart store. People donate gifts under the tree which are then distributed to children in need at Christmas time. A great charity bringing joy to where it is needed most.
Artist mind begins to think....a wishing tree would make a great painting....
What would the wishes be? What tree would I paint? What colour palette?
The idea sat in the back of my mind waiting patiently.
Then recently I came across this article in an old NZ Gardener Magazine (January 2012) that someone had passed on to me and I started thinking about the wishing tree again.
The article written by Lynda Hallinan, is about planting a New Years Ceremonial 'Clootie Tree'. (There is a) "Celtic custom of tying old rags or cloths (clooties) to a tree beside a wishing well. The cloths represent your worries - as the fabric slowly disintegrates, so do all your troubles". The author also mentions visiting a sculpture garden in Washington DC that featured a wishing tree exhibition by Yoko Ono.
This flow of ideas also demonstrates how no idea is truly original and everything is derivative or influenced by what already exists. It's how creativity works.
So now I had two directions I could steer this idea....wish or worry?
I hate to say it but my worries list was just as long as the wish list. However I decided not to focus on my worries but instead breathe life into my wishes.
A plan of action...
An exploration first on a small canvas. The small painting is in its beginning stages...
And the wishing tree model.....a gnarly old macrocarpa just up the hill from our Beach Cottage at Kaka Point.
This old tree has witnessed many people and their wishes come and go through the century. A very apt model for a 'wishing tree'.
My studio is a sunroom at the front of our house. Three of the walls have large windows and one end is an open doorway. It is a very light filled space. Working areas are at a premium and need to flow, so to help with the creative chaos I decided I needed an actual 'inspiration table'.
So here it is....a retro beauty straight from the sixties with a metal frame and glass top, perfect for my studio space and inspiration table.
I spied it on the pavement outside my favourite vintage shop. Thank you Vanessa from Two Squirrels Vintage!
And the contents this week are more vintage finds....
The old lace doily I could use as a stencil or possibly incorporate pieces into my work. I love the soft vintage colours and texture of the ceramic dish, and the blue & white pattern on the old biscuit tin...a good starting place for colour inspiration. The book on the young Queen Elizabeth ll contains stunning black and white photo's of this iconic female from the 1950's....possibly great content for backgrounds or a whole theme/series of its own!
Now to go and apply all this inspiration in the studio.