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January 2010

December 2009

The last days of my Painting Sale...

Gifts

I'm officially out of the office this week -- but popping in briefly just to remind folks that this weekend marks the end of my Studio Clearance Sale -- with paintings offered at half their usual prices. The sale ends on Monday, Jan. 4. (If there's anything you're particularly hankering after but can't afford immediately, installment payments can be arranged....)

I hope you're all having a good holiday season, and that your New Year's Eve sparkles with magic.

 


The Tilly Report: A five-month-old puppy's first Christmas

Tilly opened presents, ate, played games, ate, ran free in her newly fenced-in garden, ate, went for a community Christmas walk with a large group of human and canine friends, ate some more, napped a little, ate again. A good day for the puppy.

And now, of course, she's wondering why every day can't be Christmas....

Christmas morning

Christmas morning wake-up stretch, on her William Morris pillows.

Tillys 1st Xmas Waiting for the canine Santa. "Are all these presents for me...?"

Tilly's ChristmasChristmas portrait.



Happy Solstice


Brother and Sister film

Lisa Stock's short film "Brother and Sister" is set in a magical, snow-covered landscape that is perfect for a dark Solstice Eve. Inspired by a poem of mine, which in turn was inspired by a fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm, the film stars Seth Harris and Michelle Santagate, with gorgeous music by Priscilla Hernandez. Shot in New York City last winter, the completed film can now be viewed online.

Lisa recommends starting with the "Brother & Sister: Behind the Scenes" clip, and then moving on to the film itself. Both can be found on the Vimeo site.

My heartfelt thanks go to Lisa and the InByThe Eye crew for turning a few simple words on a page into a dreamlike, haunting, and myth-shadowed vision on film. I feel honored indeed.



Stone Stories

Near Scorhill 17 copy

My husband, step-daughter, the dog and I took a winter's walk on Scorhill Down -- a mystical slice of moorland just past the nearby hamlet of Gidleigh. Greeted by Dartmoor ponies, we followed the boundaries of a farmer's field...

Ponies near Scorhill 2009

Near Scorhill

...to a track leading onto the open moor...

Victoria-Tilly-Howard

...where a circle of standing stones...

Scorhill Stone Circle 2009

... whispered Bronze Age secrets only the pup could hear.

Dog with standing stoneScorhill

We traveled on to the Wallabrook...

The Wallabrook

...crossed a clapper bridge...

Man and dog

...and followed its length...

Clapper Bridge over the Wallabrook The Wallabrook 2

...until it was time to head home...

Tilly and Victoria on Scorhill Down

...as the dying sun faded into mist.

Ghosts in a Stone Circle


Studio Clearance

Bunny Troupe

I'm at the tail end of my End-of-the-Year Studio Clearance Sale -- and although the drawings are all gone now, there are still a few paintings left, offered at half their usual prices until January 1. If you're thinking in terms of Christmas gifts, email me (via the Endicott office) to discuss special delivery options. The art will be sent out from my studio in south-west England, but we have Federal Express even here in deepest Dartmoor....

 Paintings by T Windling
Mother Nature details from the painting above (click on the art for larger versions)...  MotherNatureDetails2
Em-triptych


Thursday's Song




Today's song is "Gallina," performed by Telling the Bees at The Festival at the Edge in Shropshire. Telling the Bees, from Oxford, mix traditional folk tunes with original works rooted deeply in the folk tradition -- including songs with such magical, evocative names as "Saddle the Hare," "The Language of Birds," and "The Worship of Trees." They have two CDs: Hare Circle by Rima StainesUntie the Wind and  An English Arcanum (just released this month), both of which I recommend. As an added bonus, both CDs come beautifully packaged with delicate pencil illustrations by my Dartmoor neighbor Rima Staines. (Rima discusses the creative process behind these illustrations here.) Visit the Telling the Bees website and MySpace page to hear more samples of their music. 

 It is an English folk custom (particularly prevalent here in Devon) to "tell the bees" about all significant events: births, marriages, divorces, house moves, deaths -- particularly the latter. To ignore the custom is to offend the bees, risking consequences ranging from bad luck to the loss of the local hive.

The tradition traveled across the ocean to America, where folklorists recorded the custom in practice throughout New England and the Appalachian region in the 18th and 19th centuries. The classic poem "Telling the Bees," by Quaker poet John Whittier (1807-1892),  is believed to have been inspired by the bees on the Whittier family farm in Massachusetts.



Telling the Bees


Dark Angels


Angels of Anarchy

 

It pains me to admit that there's not a snowball's chance in hell of my getting up to Manchester to catch the Angels of Anarchy exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery before it ends on January 10th -- so if any of you do get to see it, write and let me know if it's as fabulous as it looks. They've gathered works by 32 artists, including Remedios Varo (who inspired Anna Naverra in The Wood Wife), Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Lee Miller, Frida Kahlo, Kay Sage, Leonor Fini and other wonderful Surrealist artists from several countries. Fortunately there is a book for us poor deprived souls who don't get to see their art in the flesh. (I also recommend Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement by Whitney Chadwick.) You'll find a good list of Surrealist links on the museum's website, and the opportunity to add to a Surrealist poem. And the Creative Tourist blog has a video of a conversation between Patricia Allmer, the exhibition's curator, and author Jeanette Winterson.

Below, some of my favorites by Fini & Carrington, Varo & Tanning, Sage & Kahlo:

 

Fini and Carrington

Varo and Tanning

Sage and Kahlo

(Other artists whose work particularly inspires me can be found on the Inspiration Board section of this website.)


Urban Magic

Misako Inaoka

Here's another sculptor whose work I like: Misako Inaoka. Born in Japan, Inaoka studied art in Rhode Island, California, and Rome, and now lives in San Francisco. Her sculpture is a bit quirkier than the Irish artist Fidelma Massey's (which I wrote about below), and less overtly spiritual, yet it too is inspired by the relationship between humankind and the natural world.

"My interests arise from the boundary between what we call natural and artificial," says Inaoka. "I observe the physical and social environment in detail, to find hidden beauty and peculiarity-- things such as a cell phone antenna in the shape of a pine tree, birds that are not native to the area, or moss growing in a crack of cement sidewalk.

"The nature I notice survives in different forms, by adapting, adjusting and mutating to its new urban setting. This manipulated urban nature strongly influences my recent works. I emphasize the subtle details of surviving nature and exaggerate their illogicality to cultivate my own version of invented creatures and landscapes. My world is not a creation of total imagination, but is a projection of the reality in an absurd form."

Substitute the word "fantastical" for "absurd," and it seems to me that one could say roughly the same about the survival and adaptation of myth in the form of urban Mythic Fiction (a.k.a. Urban Fantasy, of the Charles de Lint sort). I love all these art forms, both visual and literary, in which magical imagery adapts itself to the modern world.

Visit Inaoka's website to see more of these critters, exhibited at an installation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2008. The sculptures move, which you can see in the littlevideo of the installation.