Snow in a heatwave

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(gift for a friend, crayon and embroidery on cloth).

For seventy-two years
I’ve kept the ox well under
Today, the plum in bloom again,
I let him wander in the snow.

Bukuo (1384-1455), from “The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry”, Ed. Lucien Stryk, 1977, this edn. 1981, Transl. Takashi Ikemoto

It’s nice to have a bit of snow in the middle of a heatwave isn’t it? I’m doing the opposite with my ox at the moment, as I intend to blog every week in the run up to The Littleborough Art Festival in August. At the moment, I’m working on some collages that I hope to display at the Arts Festival in August. I’ll share more as time goes by.

Because my work is experimental and often involves mixed media, I find that my poor ox is often kept “well under” (with his nose to the grindstone). I’ve sometimes had to force needles through very unwielding fabric, or have found myself doing a lot of boring embroidery filling work (boring to me anyway). Also, my tendency to “jump in” can cause unpleasant surprises at the framing stage. That is a task I do not enjoy. I’ve learned from these experiences thoughand I now give more thought to the issues of materials and framing at the planning stage.