Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sun, Sand and Ice Cream, Well, Almost

I have a very special connection with the Suffolk and Norfolk coastline. I spent seven years living around there and i miss is desperately. Southwold, Aldeburgh, Orford, Thorpeness are wild places with a grey and heavy North Sea which inspires many an artist and poet. The skies are expansive, the light is somehow more luminescent than in Dorset. These places feel untouched to me: it's such a shame that Bournemouth has become so commercialised and touristic. These places allow you to feel part of something much bigger, much older; ancient even. I went back this week with my sister, and travelling to a place so special to me made me realise how short life is and that it's so important to do what you love, rather than what you have to... at least some of the time. It was not sun, sand and sea though... the English summer meant it was cloudy at best and people ate their fish and chips with cardies and jumpers on, followed by anoraks and umbrellas and people heading for the nearest shelter. England is the best, huh?... I wonder whether i'll ever make it back there to live as i want to. I wonder whether i will be free of the ties i have here and i can finally go home. If life is what you make it then what on earth am i doing here? I love my family connections here and i am settled, relatively. But i know in my heart that it's not my home and that for some reason i have to head, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, back to that place.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Poetry Thursday - on Friday

When i first heard it, i really didn't gel with Nerina Pallot's album 'Fires'. I can honestly say that the image of her on the front of the album affected the way i perceived the music... a total lack of objectivity. But as i've listened to it more and seen her sing live on TV my affection has grown, and i find her songs (contrastingly) inspiring and heartfelt and intelligent. In short, a complete turnaround. Not like me at all then... So i have written a poem for poetry thursday (sorry it's late) which is inspired by the song Idaho, because not only is it a great tune but because i connected with the fundamental idea of it: needing to leave a place (whether physical or emotional). I can't seem to leave it though, even though my intentions are good. I find it really hard sometimes to trust my intuition and follow my feelings. Clarity of heart and mind really is a gift.

Unsteady Ground
One minute i pack my bags full and i'm ready to go
I'm driving down that highway with the lights all green
It's dark, but in the distance I can see a land full of hope and power and freedom
The headlights are on and i've a reason to go

But a whisper, starts low, starts slow, starts to breathe
In the background
Of the song which i sing to help hurry me home
In the headlights shoots a shadow, now there, now gone
Flickering familiar, sweet, haunting.

And now i hear them, louder, clearer
Your sweet words... naive and beautiful
Are dragging me back home
The lie is caressing me, but is it your lie or mine?
The ground here is becoming unsteady now
The road sweeps me up in its undertow

The light turn to red and now i'm sick of it all
I'm sick of myself and of you who wants to love me so
I'm sick of my need for the sun and the breeze
When i don't have the will to go that distance within
Blocks forming prisons instead within my soul

And as i fall back in i'll be kind to myself
And whisper those sweet lies in return for yours
I'll paint my new walls a different shade of blue
While from a crack in the glass i can see a glimmer of that place
Where i have been so afraid to go
And the clock hands turn backwards as you come to me
And whisper sweet everythings in my ear

Monday, August 28, 2006

100 Things I Love

Now i'm finally getting the hang of this blogging lark, i'm going to congratulate myself by taking up the suggestion of my friend Sue, who has inspired me with her list of 100 things which she loves, to celebrate her 100th bloggy post. (See Ink on my Fingers blogspot link). She has suggested that we all write a list of things, and so this is my list. Thanks Sue for the idea... x

1. forgiveness: of myself
2. love of my family
3. chatting with kerry
4. The Bourne Identity (of course)
5. chicory coffee
6. big hugs
7. rainy days snuggled up
8. watching Bend It Like Beckham with my sister's children
9. long msn chats with certain people:-(
10. painting
11. drawing
12. visiting the tate and feeling so alive with it all
13. realising something that i haven't realised before
14. reading signs along the road of my life
15. Getting lost on the road only to find my way again
16. Dreaming of Norwich with its expansive skies
17. Listening to Porcelain by Moby
18. Watching free theatre on a warm evening by the Thames
19. Doing yoga and then eating like a pig
20. Knowing that someone is interested in me

21. parmesan cheese
22. eat natural bars - only the fruit and nut ones
23. cats, cuddling cats
24. flying
25. completing really hard sudoku problems
25. the smell of freshly cut grass
26. running hard and then relaxing lots
27. crying unabashedly
28. the sound of the sea
29. replanting a plant and watching it grow tall
30. saturdays in town
31. buying new music
32. finishing a painting
33. managing to upload a picture onto blogger
34. finishing work and driving home
35. baggy jeans
36. visiting somewhere i've never been before
37. romantic conversations in Devon fields:-(
38. the remarkable clarity of a hangover
39. breaking free from my mould and screaming it out
40. prophetic dreams

41. facing a fear, finally
42. turning the alarm off because i can stay in bed and snuggle
43. singing as loud as i can
44. feeling deep compassion
45. After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell
46. Getting a first for an essay
47. 2 for 1 offers on anything
48. The beauty of Hengistbury Head in the winter
49. University ziggurats
50. Feeling safe in the sanctuary of my home
51. Max Sebald, for whom i have a profound affection and respect
52. Sitting on the steps at UEA in the summer sunshine
53. Writing a letter, and posting it too
54. Foreign friends who i miss
55. Rachael Yamagata's Happenstance
56. Blackberry smoothie
57. The smell of honeysuckle
58. Fixing a problem without any help (am i a man?)
59. The look of recognition on someone's face when a concept is finally understood
60. Tandoori King Prawns

61. A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
62. Big earrings
63. Putting a good picture in a frame
64. Having my fortune told
65. Long baths in winter
66. Dying and being born again
67. Healing another
68. Doing a headstand in front of other people
69. Learning the meaning of words i didn't know
70. Watching Friends (the programme), over and over again
71. Burning CDs and listening to them in my car
72. Swimming
73. Dancing, especially with another, cheek to cheek
74. The first kiss on a first date (only if it's good of course)
75. Finding peace of mind
76. Helping someone out
77. Feeling abundant
78. Artemis Fowl
79. Edinburgh
80. Camping with every known piece of equipment possible

81. Kahlil Gibran
82. New shoes
83. Definitely being in love
84. Finding freedom while i work
85. Spending lots of money
86. Going out for dinner
87. Weddings
88. Feeling safe
89. Publishing my art
90. Trusting someone utterly
91. Letting go of the past
92. Playing pool (even though i'm rubbish)
93. Meeting someone new
94. Obstacle courses
95. Shopping in Waitrose
96. Giving something up which is no longer good for me
97. Dreaming of all the things i want to have
98. Being me and accepting that
99. Gifts from above
100. My open heart

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Bourne Identity

I've been trying to work out what it is that i love so much about this film. Whenever anyone asks me what my favourite film is, I have to say this one. I think it's because Matt Damon plays a character who is born into a world (no pun intended) where he has no identity, where there are only a few reference points which are hazy at best and where he has to use his innate intelligence to find a way home, to find the point. There is one person who is there to guide him, and she provides him with a framework which he never realised he needed before. It's a constant fight against forces which work against him, yet his resourcefulness is too strong and in the end he wins over his past. Not to mention that in this film at least, he's gorgeous. At least i think so. Could this relate to me:-( ?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Something To Lighten Up Your Day...

Here's some art appreciation for you...

There was this guy and he had a girlfriend called Lorraine who was very pretty and he liked her a lot. One day he went to work to find that a new girl had started. Her name was Clearly and she was absolutely gorgeous. He became quite besotted with her and after a while it became obvious that she was interested in him too. But this guy was a loyal man and he wouldn't get involved with Clearly while he was still going out with Lorraine. He decided that there was nothing for it but to break up with her and get it on with the new girl. He planned several times to tell Lorraine but he couldn't bring himself to do it. One day they went for a walk along the river bank when Lorraine slipped and fell in to the river. The current carried her off and she drowned. The guy stopped for a moment by the river and then ran off smiling and singing: "I can see Clearly now Lorraine has gone"

Sorry... I know, I know..

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why will my computer not let me upload some of my images? Stupid damn thing..

It seems very typical that when I want to post some more of my art, this computer simply will not let me. Uploading jpeg images that are fundamentally no different whatsoever to other jpeg images already uploaded is clearly an impossible task. I really don't get it. Fortunately these ones let me. I hope you like them, or at least appreciate them.

Oh well, here's one anyway which decided it could deal with being moved. It's an extract from 'Higher meets Lower', again it's painted in oil and again in 2005.

'Sometimes Rivers Aren't Always Made of Water'.

Emotionally and phsically i felt very strange when i painted this piece. I physically cut in to the card i was painting on because i was angry and frustrated. It turned out to be a painting i love because of its raw energy and it's spontaneity. There was no pre-drawing, just layering on of paint again and again until i'd had enough.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

An Introduction to the World of Natalie

What's a blog for anyway?

It's fascinating seeing how people use their blog to talk about so many different things and in so many different ways. I'm blogging because i wanted to share my art in particular with anyone who cared (or could be bothered) to see it, and to express myself in terms of my art and my family and my life in general. Who knows what may arrive.. Definitely some art (see underneath), and some pictures of my family, to give you a start. I would love to hear any comments you may have, but please make them constructive:-(

And what am i like? Well, i'm difficult to get to know as i'm extremely self-contained, and i often present people with my art which is a representation of me, expecting them to understand me more through that than by talking to me. I'm creative, reflective, love learning about everything, and child-like in my humour (although not child-ish i hope). I love reading and walking, and cats are just the best...

A proper introduction has, therefore, to include some of my art work. I paint, i draw, i make collages from anything i can find, i use photoshop to colour and define scanned images. When i'm drawing i go into an indescribable place where my mind is at ease and i feel at one with the world. Part of me rises to the surface which in day to day life is often shamefully pushed down. That's why it often seems to say more about me than me myself. I'm inspired by Franz Marc, Delaunay (Robert), Auerbach, Kandinsky and Braque. So here goes...

This one is called Edinburgh... i was inspired by a visit, felt as if i merged with the place almost. It was completed in 2005.

This is 'Extract from Flower'. It was also completed in 2005, but it's not the full image i'm afraid.. I used oil on canvas to paint this one. One of my prettier paintings...

This is 'My Dark Embrace'. Well i did say i was a fighter of evil... (1997).

'Spider'. A collage made from scraps of magazine and coloured paper. I was feeling particularly spiky the day the original drawing was created. 2004.

This is a study of a 20th century painting by Franz Marc, 'The Waterfall'. It is far more beautiful in its original form. Check him out on the net if you don't know his work, it's amazing stuff. He was killed in Verdun in 1916, and only painted for a relatively short period of time. What could he have produced had he been around for longer? I guess we'll never know..

Franz Marc: Horses with Eagle, 1912.

Another Marc: Roe in the Forest, 1913-14

And a final Marc piece: Blue Horses, 1911.

So there is an introduction to my art. I have also to include some pictures of my family, who i am close to. I have a twin sister, Kerry, my beautiful friend, and an older sister, Madeleine, who has 3 children, another beautiful friend. I also have a brother, much older than me, and of course there is my mum and my dad. My extended family includes a step-mother, step-brother and step-sister also, as my dad is remarried.

These are the gorgeous children of my sister Madeleine: George (in the middle), Oscar and Torin. I love these guys more than i could ever say.

This is my mum, Madeleine, and Torin gets another showing. We were on holiday in Devon in August. Great fun.

This is the lovely Suzy Q, a friend who came to Devon with the family. She's super cool and has a link at the top of this page, Ink On My Fingers. as does Madeleine, MePlus3.

And the lovely Kerry, my twin sister (on the right). Kerry's super clev and also great at art. Madeleine is also a fantastic artist. (I think my family are obviously all great!). Me and Kez are also chalk and cheese though, in many ways.