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Lessons from Invaders

Late May brought some challenges.

A respiratory bug arrived and laid waste to all my plans.

Eye op and singing gigs cancelled.

This invader felt unwelcome.


But I learnt some lessons. I had to give in and just rest.

And wait.

Two weeks on I hope I am coming round to health. During those days the most I could do was to sit in the garden in the sunshine. For that I was very grateful. The garden in May and June is at its very best.


The Catmint in the old chimney pot proved a delight to sit by on sunny days, watching the bees and butterflies feeding on its nectar, and listening to varieties of buzzing.


The ultramarine blue of Irises beneath the burgeoning Wisteria's lime green was a zesty delight for my eyes, and I was delighted to see that this year, our Medlar is flowering. Its simple open white blossoms are now rapidly turning into fruit to such an extent that I may have to cull some later.


I am not good at 'calm'. Trained to be hard working and disciplined, just sitting and letting things happen is usually a challenge. So this bug invader, ruling out activity, brought a valuable altered space. And I began to look forward to these hours of looking and letting.


I also noticed other 'invaders' in the garden. I have gardened organically for many years, and also run a live or die policy. So only plants that thrive without copious watering in our sandy soil and low rainfall get to stay. This also means that those which are superbly adapted for such conditions can threaten to overwhelm or dominate.



I spotted that Evening Primrose have arrived from the wild borders down the road. Fine for now, but they will have to fit in. And having removed several Crambe cordifolia over recent years due to their enormous size, I see that at least one is reclaiming some space! These tiny buds held about 1 metre above the ground will, in June open into a huge cloud of tiny white flowers pungent with the smell of honey. So for this year I welcome it back The fernery may soon need thinning out however, although for now it looks gorgeous in the shady bank under the Walnut and Cercis.


So - invaders show me what?


Each is simply being itself, doing its thing. It is growing in the right place, has found the best conditions for thriving. And its going for it.


And my role? I am learning to watch, wait, see what happens, see what needs adjusting, even removing. Does this show me anything for my art practice: 'what are my best growing conditions? Have I gathered round me what I need to thrive?


There's not been much 'art' in this newsletter, but its nice to share with you some other aspects of my life that interweave and relate.


Being ill has meant no making, but I have been looking back over 10 to 15 years of sketchbooks and enjoying re-connecting with styles of work I rarely engage with now. These figurative pieces for instance, drawn during the life of our much loved Boxer dog, Lily. I do love drawing.



Looking ahead, I have several exciting projects to explore including postcard sized affordable abstract pieces, based on more recent sketchbook work such as....



All of these new works, the old sketchbooks and my ongoing retrospective sale will be here to see on the first, third and last weekends of June Open Studios. Use the QR code to open the Suffolk Open Studios app for full details.



I wish you well and pleasure for the forthcoming summer months, and hope to welcome you soon.


Very best wishes

ruth

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