Thursday, 5 January 2012

Reflections and renewed passions

At the start of the New Year, I always find myself looking back at the old year in terms of creative output and inspiration. In 2011, the use of the circle motif was developed and expanded. Not only did  I paint circles exclusively but by  incorporating  a selection of  found objects on to the canvases  extra depth,  contrast and texture and even elements of surprise were  added to the pictorial plane.  The collage of objects varied in size from tiny buttons though to wheel hubs, and the process of selection of this material proved to be an ongoing absorbing activity. Everywhere I go, there is 'treasure' to be found which is  often objects that have been discarded but catch my eye because of their colour, shape or pattern. The collection of collage items continues to grow and is always being added to. 
 'Days of Gold' Acrylic and mixed media.30cm diameter
© Ahrabella Heabe Lewis 2011

Another theme of 2011 was the mass of inspiration I got from travel from the rich earth colours of Morocco to the varied landscapes and cities of a tour of the United States that began in Chicago through to the South West. The vast scale of America  with it's expanse of sky, earth , mountains and distance  made a strong visual impression and in time  this sense of open space will begin to filter through into my paintings.
While traveling I took numerous photographs, and increasingly found that photography began to be an exciting and rewarding creative activity. 

                             Chicago skyscrapers reflected 
                                        Bryce canyon National Park
                       Lake Tenaya Yosemite National Park 
                                          Las Vegas by night 
                   The Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco 

More photographs from the American tour can be found in my Flickr account USA 2011 - Cities and in my Facebook art page

This renewed interest in photography has continued into the start of this year. Over the last few weeks I have being experimenting using only manual settings and taking the time to really get a thorough understanding of the mechanics of the camera. This has proved to be a satisfying and frustrating process in equal measure but is ultimately rewarding. I have enjoyed learning or to be precise  relearning how to operate the camera, and find that now I am looking at everyday objects, and the world in general with close attention. In fact really observing which can almost become a meditative process.Taking time to operate the camera changes the emphasis of the whole process of composition. It is a slower more considered approach,which is more conscious. Gradually confidence and ability is being gained.
                                     Hand made Christmas cards
                      Still life of three bottles and below wine glasses
Ideas of combining photography with an enduring passion for painting are beginning to emerge and I feel excited by this creative exploration!
2012 promises to be an interesting and productively creative year as I continue to develop skills while experimenting further with both my passions and painting.