30.12.12

The sea will have that effect........








I went down to the shore for the shortest time, the wind blew the cobwebs from my mind and I remembered my purpose. This next year 2013 will be precious the sea said to me. And somewhere in that preciousness is my purpose it seems.

The light circled on her breaking waves, although the sky was overcast and dark. The swelling surf roared and foamy breakers rushed onto the shore. My sister pointed her camera in every direction. Just seeing the sea made us both happy.

I remember every summer rushing with open arms into her embrace. That same vast ocean. Saying, I love you!! I am still here. You are too powerful to try to understand, so is everything. But I don't even care!!!

The sea will have that effect.......






23.12.12

Just a little bit of magic and a whole lot of hope........





























Christmas is here!

I hope you find some solace in retreating a little from reality. Adventure stories and films, riding a one horse open sleigh across the snow, seeking out the magic in frosty dew drops.

I will escape into it as much as I can! (Already it is bringing out my Mother Hen side even more than usual!)

I wish you all a joyful Christmas, just a little bit of magic and a whole lot of hope for 2013. Thank you for all your support throughout the year and a special thanks to those patient customers who dived in and bought work from me this year! I hope you continue to enjoy Foxglove Lane, and celebrate the ordinary and the everyday with me again in 2013......


Catherine





17.12.12

A woman and her sheep....
































As I drove into the yard on a sunny Saturday morning, a tousled head appeared from a roof-top skylight. We both kind of squeeled with delight, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY!

We met on twitter. Both shy and anonymous, I originally thought she was a man.........I mean a sheep farmer? But here she is, a well travelled woman who also happens to be a brilliant photographer! Just check out the daily photos of her flock on Facebook

Today I was to be the photographer, and she the model for an article to appear in the Irish Farmers Journal. So we got down to work.

O there were so many challenges for this novice; black faces balanced against white faces, strong sun and dappled shade, sheep nibbling at my cables, dogs rollicking around and barking at every unusual noise. And and above all, I wanted her to shine......

So at home here in her orchard. Gazing wistfully at the webs in the morning light, pointing out the plum tree with its leaves of yellowish gold. Nuzzling her much loved animals. After the "shoot" we both relaxed and that's when I captured my favourite snaps of her..........the sunlight in her hair, the happy smiles......

At last a few photographs of a human being..........





You can learn more about  Zwartbles here on the blog or follow her on twitter @zwartbles



11.12.12

Woman to woman......































I lost my mother to cancer at the young age of 33. In 2013 it will be 50 years ago. The memories I have of her are scarce. I just know that she gave us her best years, a parting gift of unshakable love and a caring respect for those who struggle through life with a broken wing.

One of my earliest memories is of my mother bringing women into our kitchen to feed them and make hot milk for their babies.  Craggy faced women in big shawls, wet from walking the roads. Children wrapped close to their bodies. My mother, only a fresh faced girl, was confident and at ease with them. I remember being in awe of their tales. Where they had been, who they had seen. When myself and my sisters outgrew clothes my mother made little parcels and gave them away. I was shocked one day when I saw "our pram" down the town with a scruffy little boy sitting up in it.

I like to think that even though she couldn't be present, she influenced the rest of my life, my work and my creativity. Fully absorbed in her love of music she had access to a precious inner world. I used to think she was feeling sad, now I understand that she was moved and connected to the beauty of it.

As I blaze a trail through life as an older woman, something she would never do, she is becoming more of a presence in my life again. Or maybe we are crossing paths as I make my way back towards my own childhood roots to meet her again, woman to woman.......




This post was written for Vision and Verb a global gathering of creative women, why not pay a visit, make a comment on any post this week and be in with a chance to win a set of 10 beautiful cards.



7.12.12

The absent fisherman......























































The ice has gone for now and the lake is deserted and quiet. During December last year I walked around its perimeter pacing out the last days of his illness. There was nothing surer than the beginning of the end, and no one could alter it.

Today a daybreak sunbeam spotlights a forgotten pair of oars.  And there he is, the absent fisherman.

His hands resting on his lap. The blanket which warmed his shivery limbs. Reciting the names of his children and grandchildren, touched by his internal picture of each one as they came to mind.

The living, breathing lakeside is a million miles away from that room.  How much he would love to have seen just one more shimmering winter dawn like this!