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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Texture from the sea


Like most artists, I spend a lot of time looking on the ground. I am always picking up random things on my walks. I have bowls of bones, shells, rocks, rusty bits of metal, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. In Maine I spent a lot of time walking around on the beaches and the rocky cliffs and finding so many things that inspired me. My senses were flooded with color and texture and sounds and smells. Right now, blue and white is all I can think about. I like the color blue, don't care what anyone says, it's a beautiful color and it makes me feel good. I want to make functional pottery with a blue and white palette. But that makes my head spin around like Linda Blair! This will require glaze testing and firing my kiln for functional ware, which it doesn't seem to like to do. And then what about my barns? Where do they fit in? I am craving something new so bad, but I don't know yet what that new thing is and so I sit here paralyzed, not doing anything but looking at my shells....... and wishing to move back to the ocean.
I spent the first 20 years of my life living on the beach. My skin always tasted like salt, there was always sand between my bed sheets, and the sound of the ocean and the seagulls were a constant hum in my head. I didn't realize until this past week what a profound impact the ocean and the beach has had on my life and how much a part of me it really is. I have spent the past 30 years exploring the country and the mountains and that's great too, but there is salt water in my blood for sure and I think that there will be a day when I will go back to live by the water.
Right now I feel it tugging at my soul, and it seems I am wanting to create a body of work to reflect this influence. I have a good friend that is a practicing intuitive and the last time I saw her, she said she saw mermaids coming into my work somehow. I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but I really don't see me making mermaids. However, while we were in Maine, there was not a day that I didn't see a mermaid somewhere (not real ones). The day we went for coffee with Hollis and Dee, I went to the restroom and there were mermaids everywhere! There was a relief tile sculpture of a mermaid that had been raku fired, very cool and a metal mermaid sculpture and several paintings, so weird. I even bought a cast iron mermaid bottle opener in Boothbay. The other weird thing about this mermaid business, is the portrait we had done of Wes at Shakori, the artist painted her as a mermaid. WTF.....
Did any of you ever see the movie The Secret of Roan Innish? It is about an Irish legend of a Selkie, a seal that can turn into a human. I love this story and I thought about the movie a lot while sitting on the rocky cliffs in Maine being hypnotized by the water. Mermaids and selkies, what great legends. I'll tell you a crazy story here, since I am on this mermaid thing right now. When I was a little girl, I would lay in the hallway of our house and pretend it was the ocean and I was a mermaid. All of the bedrooms off of the hallway were islands that I could swim to. My poor mom would have to step over me constantly because I laid in this hallway A LOT being a mermaid. I love this memory, just shows what a whack job I was as a kid, but in a fun way. Who knows maybe I was a mermaid in another life :)
I'm going to sit around for two more days in this dreamy state and then first thing Monday morning I am going out to the studio and DO something, don't know what, but I have a busy fall coming up, I better think of something!

7 comments:

Hollis Engley said...

I have no doubt that the new thing will come, Tracey. Nice textures on all of that sea-born stuff.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Hollis, I think it just did, right after I wrote this post I started sketching and it just poured out!

Hollis Engley said...

Way to go, Tracey.

Anna said...

Yay for that sketch book! That is something I need to do as well.....And blue? There are so many potters that avoid it, but if you like it, (I do) and people buy it (they will) what's wrong with that??

Can't wait to see what comes out of your trip!

Michèle Hastings said...

there is something about mermaids that is so intriguing. year ago while going through a divorce i moved to a very generic apartment complex... every door looked the same and i wanted mine to be unique. i made a wall sculpture of a mermaid, raku fired her, and hung her on my door. my new neighbor said her grandson always had to stop at my door to look at the beautiful mermaid... of course she was topless, i am sure that was the main attractions :-)
looking forward to seeing your new work... sometimes it takes having a break from clay to get the juices flowing once more.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Anna, nothing at all wrong with blue as far as I can tell! Great story Michele, what happened to the mermaid on the door? A perfect thing to raku....

Tone I.Lyngstad said...

Have you read the book "The Mermaid Chair" of Sue Monk Kidd...? maybe now it,s the time if you not..
Tone