some thumbnails of my illustrations

some thumbnails of my illustrations
Please click on the links below to view my portfolio ........ Images copyright of Carrie Osborne

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A creative circle, a creative life.... of music, ink and oaks...

 I was inspired today to finally break open a new sketchbook and take up pen and ink by my lovely husband Tony... I'm always frustrated by how little time and energy remain to me for anything creative after the needs of work and children have have run their course for the day... but it is very easy to say 'I'm too tired, I'm not feeling focussed, I'm stressed, maybe tomorrow...' and then let the frustration mount.
I have felt more and more out of touch with my creative self as I let these things dis-empower me until I feel seized up and disconnected. I seem to live frustration. But this is the way my life is set out right now and there is no use waiting for time that will not come...
Tony showed me today that living a creative life need not be pushed aside by what we are obliged to do and bound by from day to day, that it is up to me to stop bemoaning my lack of time and energy and to make the most of the moments and hours I do have in the fullest way...

 I sent him home from work today - he's not been well and our air compressor bust a valve at the workshop so we could not underpin any frames anyway until its fixed. By the time I got home I found that even dosed up on antibiotics and feeling rotten, he had written another really brilliant new song on his 12 string, and I thought... if he can compose music and lyrics whilst feeling like that, then what really is stopping me from getting on with some drawing and writing? Answer of course, only myself.
Unfortunately by the time we returned home again from collecting the children he had forgotten
 precisely how the rhythm went, but hopefully it will come back, it was a good one!

This is a pen and ink sketch of my favourite Oak tree in the woods behind our house, and I really enjoyed drawing it, to have only ink and twisting patterns of bark flowing through my thoughts and watch it grow from the blank white page...

I went walking in our woods a few days ago in the dappled sunlight with a cool breeze that smoothed the lines from my brow as I walked and soothed my cares away.

The meadowsweet smelled as sweet as its name...

And a special treasure waited for me to find it in the field on my return. I'd been watching a big pale buzzard quartering the field this week now the hay has been finally cut, and she left me this fine feather. Beautiful isn't it - a gift from a Sky-dweller...

Hopefully I have broken the creative deadlock and I will make efforts to do something creative everyday, whether words or images, or even just ways of thinking.... to remind me, here is a poem I have on the first page of one of my sketchbooks that I like (I think I may have posted this before somewhere maybe?):

That just to have the eyes of an artist,
that can be enough.
The ear of a poet,
that can be enough.
The soul of a human
just pointed in the direction of the divine,
that can be more than enough.
I tell you this to remind myself,
Every gesture is an act of creation
Even empty spaces and silences
can be the wings and voices of Angels.

- By Michele Linfante


  1. Carrie, your tree is utterly gorgeous, and oh, how I hear you! Life has definitely been getting in the way lately, I wish I could be more organised about things, then I wouldn't always feel I was running to catch up with no time for creative things. I get to the point where, when I do have some time, I don't know what to do with it, I'm too scared and uptight to start and I actually caught myself yesterday looking for something to distract myself from sitting down and doing some drawing!

    1. Yes that is it exactly Christina! And nothing like the pressure we create for ourselves to prevent us... the fear of spoiling a clean white page with seized up fingers or seized up mind...
      I am going to turn over a new leaf (yet again - there seem to be a lot of my tree)and try to do daily sketching and small stones of writing again, even if its just on the back of an envelope!

  2. Beautiful drawing, Carrie - and great to have inspiration from your husband. I bet the song will come back, in one way or another, I know that predicament well. Songs slip away and one thinks they're gone forever, but I think they return and maybe in a better form... Happy creating again!!

    1. Thanks Valerianna...
      We quite often spark off each other creatively, collaborating on lyrics for Tony's songs and finding our own ideas from each others work... I'm sure the music for this one will return when he's not trying so hard to remember it!

  3. This was a lovely post. First, the drawing is beautiful, I'm glad you were able to make time for your creativity this day, your love for nature is so apparent here.
    Thank you for sharing your own struggles, and your inspiration as well.
    The poem is inspiring as well, and I plan to remember it - it expresses well how living our life can be a creative act, and an expression of love and beauty. I need to remember this, and was happy to read this post this evening.
    Wishing you more lovely walks in nature!

    1. Thankyou, I'm glad you enjoyed this post, its been a while since I felt I had anything to say!
      I keep various quotes in my sketchbooks and I often like to read them before putting pen to paper, just helps to be reminded from time to time...!

  4. Yay for small stones. They are such a good writing exercise.
    I think one thing that helps is to get rid of "something." "Draw something" "Write something." We get so focused on the end product that it gets in the way of the process. "Something" becomes a focus where all the expectations we have of ourselves and those of the world that we have internalized, begin to gather: "Don't mess up." "Don't make mistakes." "Try harder." and they attract our inner critic:
    "I'll never really be any good at this." "I did this wrong." "I should have done a better job." "I don't have what it takes." Then, sadly, "I want to --" becomes, "I ought to --" and "I should --" and it gets easier and easier to tell yourself you don't have time. But if you get rid of "something," then "Draw something." becomes "Draw." "Write something" becomes "Write." Get rid of "something," and it doesn't matter what you draw, or how well you draw it; "drawing" becomes the goal and the focus shifts from the end product to the process. It becomes about your eye and your hand learning to work together. How about getting a small cheap sketchbook that you can carry around with you and a pen or pencil you can clip to it so you can carry it in your purse to pull out at a moment's notice to make a quick little sketch of something that catches your eye while you're waiting in a queue for something, sitting in a doctor's or dentist's office, waiting for the bus to come, waiting in the car to pick up the kids at school, on the last 10-15 minutes of your lunch break. When you get the book filled up, throw it away and buy another. They're just sketches, nothing important, so they don't have to be perfect. With "something" out of the way, it becomes easy for things to jump out at you and say "Draw me!"

  5. Excellent words WOL very well said... Thankyou!

  6. Your drawing is beautiful.
    Hope Tony's feeling better soon.
    That poem is truly a perfect reminder of how being creative is more than just producing "art" - I love how you've put it..."even just ways of thinking." That's it.

  7. I think we all feel the same way at certain times in our lives. There is always the distraction/obligation to do something else. The poem says it all.

  8. Your ink drawing of the oak tree is lovely Carrie. It is a wonderful first page in your new sketch book. There is something really nice working with pen and ink , it always feels relaxing to me, a slow and peaceful technique.
    The walk near your home is beautiful and a sure way to sort your head out and gather your thoughts together. Maybe now it is school holidays you will find more time and share some days being creative with the girls, more time to relax and be carefree as you enjoy the summer days.
    Hope you are having a sunny weekend, it's a beautiful day here. Millyx


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