Thursday, 27 March 2014

Journey to an Unknown Region.

I hadn't really realised how long it's been since I last posted. There has been a lot going on in my life over the past months, some  very wonderful,which I meant to post about but didn't ( I may catch up with that later :) ) Some very stressful but I definitely won't bother sharing that!  From the beginning I had planned to keep this blog  purely for my masks and what inspires and drives me in their creation. Certainly for a few months leading towards the end of last year my masks had been left quietly waiting. Watching for the time to be right for me be able to come back to them with a fresh mind and renewed energy.

With the new year  and certain changes finally happening, I felt re-inspired, excited about the ideas and plans that were flooding my mind. So I turned back to "The Storyteller" once again to see where she wanted to take me :) Well she's proved to be one of the most complex masks I've made! I never guessed how many new skills she would demand of me. To say she is a mask of many parts would be rather an understatement. She is leading me on a long, demanding and often frustrating journey and I admit there are times when I feel I will never finish her! But I realise now that she is a beginning, a catalyst of other things for me and I  feel ready to share a little. So here we go! Most folk who know me, know my love for and interest in folktales, fairy tales, myths and legends. They are an essential part of my life, their influence weaving in and out. I have a  such passion for stories and for the importance of stories and their sharing. Storytelling is a powerful art that has carried our wisdom, knowledge and understanding of ourselves, of  life, nature, spirituality, throughout the centuries. I've long had a desire to be like those wonderful individuals who can transport people to other worlds through the power of story. This is of course traditional Oral Storytelling, I speaking of, not reading out loud from books (though that is of course a very valuable gift to share). With my masks I hope and it is certainly  always my intention to tell a story, though a silent one I admit. To open up doorways and  give people a glimpse of the world seen in a different way. Yet always there has been this yearning to be able to stand up and tell a tale to an audience. It is a wonderful thing to see and experience a group of people entranced and utterly caught up in a true Storytellers words. They are taken on a journey and lose or perhaps even find themselves during that journey, a time when nothing seems to exist except the story!

Well, there are dreams and there are realising that however unlikely it might seem to those who know you ;) The idea of getting up in front of an audience and becoming the focus of attention is just too terrifying and intimidating to contemplate.Difficult I know for some people to believe, but I'm actually a shy person and it's just not something I could even imagine myself being able to do. So it was a dream left to just brood in a corner, but it never left me. Then a year or so ago Chris and me went to an evening of Grimm Fairy tale retellings. Once again he storytelling bug bit hard and then very shortly after that "The Storyteller" mask appeared in my life. With her came the realisation that though I might not be brave enough to tell stories, she was obviously born to do so..:) So she began to come to life. From the beginning I knew she was a very complete being and that for the first time ever I would make not only the mask but the full costume to go with it (rather ambitious seeing as my sewing experience consists of hemming the odd throw or bedspread!)And slowly, oh so slowly she is coming together and I am moving nearer to trying something I never believed I'd be able to. I've been teaching myself, trying to learn by heart  some of those tales I wish to share. Speaking them out load whenever I am alone and later this year I hope to go on a short Storytelling Workshop. It's very exciting, very scary and very new to me but as I always say I am rather fond of a challenge ;) So finally it seems my masks or at least one of them will have a voice and I shall share it with her :))

 Mulberry paper & wire leaves: Oak, Hawthorn, Beech & Hazel leaves waiting to be painted. Watercolour paper, ivy  leaves: waiting to have stems added.

Hand-painted glass eyes. Experimenting with making these as some of the leaves above will have eyes, capturing I hope that  magical feeling that everything seems to be watching you as you wander through the woods. The largest  here are 20mm, the smaller ones 16mm. The top one is the very first one I painted, the large red one was my second attempt, I'm now addicted to painting these and hope to make up some eye necklaces as well :)


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. so many leaves painted !!!, it's a real journey , hope i will be there to hear you once everything is settled and , perhaps everything will be ready this fall ??that would be wonderful , you will have to share the dress in progress as well ;)
    and good that you re back on your blog , for mysantnropist/non social medias persons ;)

    1. Hi :-) So many painted and so many left to paint! Just starting on some bramble leaves now. Can't say for definate when she will be finished, hoping by autumn, though not sure the costume will be totally complete as that will be one big learning curve for me!
      Hope to blog a little more often, I agree that you can go into so much more depth :-) But sometimes I just don't have enough to say or feel ready or able to say it! That is when through twitter a few words at least let's people know I 'm still around and still deep in my masks :-) xxx

  3. Diana, I wanted to apologise. I accidentally deleted you comment whilst trying to get rid of some spam that had come through :-( Thanks so much for the kind words you left, I really appreciate you stopping by :-) Hope to have more to share soon!

  4. Just catching up on some blog reading and, lovely - I finally get to see your Mulberry leaves in process! Love the shots from your studio.