March has brought cooler weather days and some good rain storms. I've loved spending rainy days in my studio and have found myself creating for a softer, muted colour palette.
I've also really enjoyed playing with combining pastel work onto my recent acrylic work.
I've been making more time for working in my sketchbook this month and have been enjoying partaking in some online life-drawing classes. It's been such a good way to loosen up and remove pressure of producing a "perfect" painting. It's a practice I've let slip in recent years and is something I've really enjoyed reintroducing. I had fun mark-making with the sketches below.
I've been reading Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark by Julia Baird. I'm finding so many great gems in her work; especially around her ideas of how important it is to feel "small".
"We spend a lot of time in life trying to make ourselves feel bigger – to project ourselves, occupy space, command attention, demand respect – so much so that we seem to have forgotten how comforting it can be to feel small and experience the awe that comes from being silenced by something greater than ourselves, something unfathomable, unconquerable, and mysterious."
The idea of feeling small really resonated with me. I love the feeling of being dwarfed in nature - surrounded by towering mountains, being along in a beautiful landscape. It's something I have been interested in the last few years and have been trying to capture in my work. Phosphorescence really puts my feeling into words; I'm constantly marking pages and jotting down notes - the sign of a really good book!
“In short: when we are exposed to sunlight, trees, water or even just a view of green leaves, we become happier, healthier and stronger."
With all this in mind; finding time outside has been important this month, and exploring the Managamangaroa walkway was a highlight. It's another re-discovery for me... I used to walk it weekly when I lived close-by, but hadn't done it for years. It was just as beautiful as I remembered. I managed to fluke it, and walk it at high tide which was even better!
And that was March!