I have a couple of my Dads old fishing bobbers kicking around my house. They have this wonderful patina, and in their time they may just have helped win a fishing derby. When I was a feral teenager back in 1970s, England. I would swim out into the North Sea to rescue any bobber that escaped from my fathers line. I must have been crazy - those were dangerous waters!!! But, I loved the ocean and loved to swim and those primitive wooden bobbers were art to me. I couldn't let the ocean take them! And that big fish? Well, I knew that it lurked there, beneath the deep dark choppy waters, it added to the thrill of ocean swimming. This painting is my American, Midwest, lake version of that story.
Salem Again - Acrylic on Canvas by Jane Wilcoxson
We artists are sensitive creatures picking up the feelings and moods of all the people and places we come into contact with. We can't help it. Many of us use our art as the receptacle of these emotions, turning feelings and encounters into color, texture and subject. Eventually, when we are long gone our artwork will maintain the attitude of its time, and will tell our story to future generations. What a magical legacy! My husband inherited a watercolor by Arthur Healey painted in 1941, it hangs above our mantle and I often find myself lost in that painting, experiencing life in a different time and place.. This week I'm preparing eight paintings that will be delivered next weekend to Edgewood Orchard Gallery in Door County ready for the upcoming summer season. I wonder what their journey will be, who will love them, who will inherit them and will they tell the story of my time, here and now in America?Read More
Art House - Oil Pastel by Jane WilcoxsonRead More
Making art is about being in love with the process, the journey the mind takes through this process, the sensory sensations of applying or manipulating that chosen medium. The prize if it all works out is a completed piece of art. There are days when I look back at my creations and wonder where they all came from. What if I'm channeling this creativity from a collective consciousness that we are all connected too! Maybe my passion for art is just the search for that higher power, its me waiting for Godot.
We all fall in love with the process of making art in different ways. I was a child of three years, who due to a serious bout of meningitis was relegated to crawling around on the floor. Being too weak to be able to do much and with eyes and ears that were damaged, my world had a nauseating spin, if I had the strength to stand up the dizziness would have me falling over. But I could lie very still and face down on the floor to paint, here I was able to calm the spinning and focus my eyes. This is where I fell in love with making art. It was the smell and colors at first that got me hooked. Looking back I can see how that little girl was using her art as a life raft to hang onto the world. It was the art that made her live.
Sherlock Holmes drifts off into his “Mind Palace” when he is deep in contemplation and busy sleuthing. I call it my “Minds Eye.” Here I can clearly view artwork that is currently being worked on in the studio and spend time resolving design flaws or any other issues the work may have. If I’m really lucky my mind will go through the process of creating a whole new work of art from beginning to end. When this happens all I have to do it get up to my studio in a timely manner and create the work in real time and it always turns out well since I’ve already created the art once already. I hear that athletes practice their events in their heads first before a competitive meet. It’s actually a technique they are coached to do and it gets better results.Read More
In the studio things don’t always go as planned. This can happen even when we are diligent and spend the time doing preparatory sketches including, studying a subject so well that we start painting it in our dreams. Still, in the cold light of day we can create an uninspired mess. I’m going through a rough patch right now like this. I can’t get anything right and I am not feeling the joy and excitement of my work. A fellow artist tells me we go through these dry patches because we are evolving into better artists, our skill level has to catch up with the imagery that’s in our heads.Read More
When I was at Art College in the early 1980’s I would get my hands slapped for using pure black out of a tube. We were told to mix our own black from reds and blues as it would harmonize better with the other colors in our paintings, and I agree with this theory and have taught it to many a student over the years. Pure black our teachers told us, is not a color, it is a black hole that sucks light in and does not reflect any light waves back out into the universe. As we were all listening to David Bowie’s Space Odyssey at the time and had grown up with lunar landings we could all relate to this far out concept and avoided black like it was the plague of the universe.Read More
Growing up in a small rural village in England back in the 60s and 70s meant that we knew everyone and, as it turned out not everyone we knew was still living.
In Endon, children congregated around the brook that flowed across the road at the heart of the village. Summers were spent paddling around and splashing in the water or catching small fish with our hands. We often had an audience; a little old lady would watch us from the upstairs window of an ancient weaver’s cottage, which overlooked the stream. She sat in a rocking chair knitting and looking out the window; her grey hair pinned up with a small lacy cap on top, to our eyes she looked very old fashioned. We would often wave to her because we thought she might be lonely, she never waved back; she simply gave us a nod of acknowledgement. We called her Grandma.
As teenagers, we found out that Grandma was a ghost, a revelation that did not alarm us. We searched and found her real name and when she died, as well as which family she was from. We even found her head stone in the church graveyard. Our village had loads of ghosts it was an old place with the age of the average house being 400 years. A lot of ghosts can accumulate in that amount of time and they were commonplace to us. Back then a family did not move often. Most people were born and died in the same house. It was not uncommon for a home to be owned by a family for centuries. That was Grandma’s story. She was quite happy to stay in the home where she had been born and had died. A house that was so familiar to her and with great grand children keeping the place warm and cozy. We should all be so lucky.
Jane Wilcoxson is an artist and owner of Girlie Girl Bead parties, she writes about creativity and her childhood memories of growing up in a small rural village in England. You can see her artwork at www.JaneWilcoxson.com or find out about her bead parties at www.GirlieGirlBeads.com
If I were to paint my memories from childhood I would have to choose the times where I had escaped from formal girl education into the farm yards and barns that surrounded my home in rural England. Here my friends and I would round up any large animal that would allow us to easily jump on their backs for a rodeo ride. Being bucked off a donkey or tossed into a stone wall by an angry farm pony was considered living life to its fullest. Which I think is where my love for quirky animals comes from and why I strive to paint a world full of color and adventure.