Thursday, October 16, 2014

Clearing

Clearing the bottom garden. photo by Adelaide Shalhope

This notion made it's way into my mind several weeks ago as I was clearing away years and years worth of undergrowth and overgrowth in the large bottom garden of the home where I now live with my husband. It's a labour of love as it's his family home and on a beautiful site just along the river Endrick, in Scotland. It has been, and continues to be, however, lots of hard work.

It's work, though, that I so enjoy. I get to put on my grubbiest gardening clothes, spend time in the fresh air, and use serious tools. Secateurs! Bushman's saw! Pick axe! Never in my life would I have imagined my joy at sawing off a tree limb or cutting and pulling out so much overgrown hedge that my hands and arms ached for days.

How lovely it is after all the toil to stand under an old Hawthorn previously covered with tangled overgrown privet, and to feel the Apple tree breathe. How satisfying to have opened up the view to the other side of the river not seen in years.

We need these clearings. We need them not just for our gardens but for our places and spaces, our emotions -- our minds, for they open us up and make us available.

Sometimes the task is daunting. We've let years of things accumulate be they weeds in the garden, personal possessions, thought patterns, habits. The work can be difficult for us but that, too, is part of the process.

We put on our work clothes, gather the necessary tools, and begin to clear. It's a labour of love.








Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Small Poems From Inside the Studio



 
photos by Adelaide Shalhope 2014
paint, ink, and a little printmaking in its simplest form.

 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Story






photos by Adelaide Shalhope

A few quiet moments on Gartness Bridge, Scotland.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mysteriously Mundane

Orange slices. photo by Adelaide Shalhope

The mysterious and the mundane. 
We search for meaning in one.
We try to avoid the other.
They're both the same.........

Continue to look more closely.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Power of Now

photo by Adelaide Shalhope

 
Humbled by the beauty of the moment...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Subtle Energies


photo by Adelaide Shalhope

I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed, I am false.
- Rainer Maria Rilke


Thursday, May 1, 2014

A View from the Sketchbook



I've been playing with paint. I've not ever worked with paint and lately it's been speaking to me quite strongly. At this point (as with all points really) I'm experimenting - watercolours, acrylics, house- paint...whatever happens to be around. I've rolled out large sheets of old wallpaper lining on the floor of my studio, put on music of my mood, and allowed the paint to dance.

These 'sketches' are of a larger scale than I normally work, which has felt wonderful. Painting lends itself to open gestures that I don't normally get to experience when working with my other media. Working with paint is also so much messier than working with textiles and thread and wood and it's been great fun to embrace that, as well.

Big and messy.


I'll be curious to see where it leads....


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Wholeness Is


Blossoms 1 and 2 
Adelaide Shalhope 

I often find this time of the year to be a real test of patience. Spring is sort of here. The rhubarb in my garden has lovely green and burgundy coloured shoots, daffodils are starting blossom, there are growing iris shoots which will soon be taking over the entire pond, proudly flaunting their deep purpleness.

And.
It's grey and rainy.

My mood right now is much the same, truth be told. Spring is sort of here. My own creative energies blossom in increments but then recede back into the bud. I try not to feel the 'stuckness' of this process. I try to remember that these feelings will change and then...

It's grey and rainy.

These are the times when I must be gentle with myself and acknowledge that my own deep colours are always here, even if they don't have the energy right now to burst forth.

I recently discovered this beautiful poem by Tara Sophia Mohr and with another few days of rain in the forecast it is just what I needed to read.


Wholeness Is

“Beyond the cackling of the birds
and all the fighting, and all the noise-
What else is there?
  
The oak tree’s heart, which says:
Glory is. Wholeness is.
And unavoidably, my dear, you are part of it.

Problemlessness. I know- you couldn’t hear it before,
but I’m asking you now – to go inside the oak,
and wait-

till your heart is wrenched by its love
and you see no need for language

till your hands are cupped receiving
and everything comes to you baked in lovesilence
  
There is no name for what enters you then.
Everything is a red sun rising
and everywhere an infinite grace before you

Then there is no name for what you become-
like love, like the mountain.”