I've been playing around with found words, layers of colours, adding to lino-cuts that I began in Wales (working onto old books I gathered there), mono-printing to make tiny books and sorting through the photographs I took to gather thoughts, impressions, words and colours.
The colours of the sea-scapes have really seeped into me and I'm really drawn to the subtle ways these layers of colours shifted and constantly changed as you gazed at them. It really is like a form of meditation. The soundscapes of Wales were really strong for me too - the waves, the bird calls (there were so many), the pebbles being pulled and churned by the tide, the breeze, the buzz of insects on the coastal plants, the grasshoppers, the sounds made as plants swayed... there were so many gentle layers of natural sounds.
Its incredibly special to make time to work with other artists in this way - to share ideas, thoughts, resources, inspirations and musings. Because we are all working with groups a huge chunk of the time its vital to keep your own ideas fresh and to test out new things - but equally its really easy to let this slip if you don't create dedicated time for it. And much as you can make time to work in isolation I do think that you benefit in a far deeper way by sharing time with like-minded souls; a process of osmosis takes place and ideas seep between you. Your attention is drawn to new things because of what the others around you notice and by pooling your thoughts and reflecting together I think you are pushed to explore and experiment with greater depth than you might alone.
Working with groups is central to my beliefs as an artist / educator, I feel so strongly about the importance of time for children and adults to connect with nature, to connect with their own creativity, to share and to celebrate. By testing out new ideas I hope I can thereby bring new techniques, inspirations, ideas and new starting points to groups.