Wilderness of the Mind

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Hello friends, I hope you are all coping with the Covid-19 restrictions and that this message finds you well. I have three new works exhibiting online with the Wilderness Art Collective as our summer group show has had to move online due to social distancing. A residency making inks from seaweed in Mull, Scotland, workshops and a residency with the WAC, and many courses and classes I was leading have been postponed. But I will shortly be filming many of my classes with a great young film-maker, and along with online seminars, will be offering distance learning in the not too distant future. Keep an eye on my Instagram for the latest news on that. I also have three specially commissioned pieces in the next Dark Mountain fiction book. Rather than being illustrations, the writer has taken my works as the starting point, and will write outwards from there. This is an approach I have taught at Wild Twins Course over the years. It makes a nice change for the image to be first, before the words.

Unlike most people, I don’t yet run an email newsletter. In the autumn I will start one, so that folks can easily sign up to classes. I don’t like to bother folks, goodness knows how our inboxes are already clogged. But I promise to only make them 4-5 times a year. For now, have a great summer.

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‘Stalked’, iron gall ink on handmade buckskin, mounted on board. May 2020.

This was drawn with a moulted goose quill feather pen, the ink was made from local oakgalls, rain water and discarded iron, the buckskin is from waste hides which I transform into parchment, buckskin and leather. The work features in the WAC exhibition and in the next Dark Mountain book.

Interview with GroundBright

workshops

The interview I gave last December is now online to read here. In it I speak a bit about my path and inclinations in art and nature.

Classes continue at my studio, yesterday was painting on buckskin. In February we have an introduction to making natural watercolours. Get in touch if you would like to come along on 9th.

On the left, a finished ink gall ink on buckskin patch. On the right, watercolour making with Clearwell Caves red ochre, cherry tree gum and honey, glycerine or agave syrup.

HedgeWise and more

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Ochre paints, charcoal, chalk and tree gums were part of a giveaway to mark 2000 followers on Instagram. They went to an artist in the USA. 

Happy New Year!

Greetings from the river Thames, where I stand at my desk in my floating studio, wishing you all the very best for the year ahead. I am involved in several projects and events this year, with more being added over the next few weeks. I will be teaching wild materials around the story ‘The Wild Swans’ at Sharon Blackie‘s mini-festival HedgeWise in April and teaching wild inks again in Sweden in the spring. There will be a seaweed ink expedition to Mull in the summer and ochre-foraging trips in England in July and November. I hope to be showing work in Wales in the summer and Dartington in November too, and as dates and venues are set I will post all of this here and on my Instagram. Meanwhile it’s willow foraging time, and in the studio there is much drawing with earths, lichen, fungi and plant colours, as well as making buckskin, bark-tan leather and other crafts.

All this to say, the hand made life continues in all seasons. The Oak Gall Ink workshop in November was a great success. Coming up is Painting on Buckskin on 25th January, there is one place left. After that we have Making Hand Made Natural Watercolours from Scratch on 8th and 9th February. There are places remaining on the 9th, get in touch if you would like to come along. The venue is near Hampton Court, UK.

Wishing you all the very best for your life and art in the coming year.

Caro.

Workshops ahoy

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The first weekend of workshops was a real success, with 8 folks booking to come and learn oak gall ink making, quill pens and brushes. The next upcoming workshops are Painting on Buckskin and leather on 25th January, and Natural Watercolour Making part one on 8th February 2020. get in touch vis the website or on Instagram @foundandground to book a space, there are a few remaining. Below are some photos from the first workshop weekend and the Wild Inks workshop I ran in Sweden earlier this month. All the best to you from the winter river.

Oak gall ink making workshop

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I am really looking forward to teaching some wild ink on 23rd November when I run the inaugural workshop at my new riverside studio by Hampton Court. All those over 16 are welcome, (and children over 12 yrs old may attend if accompanied by an adult). All materials, refreshments and equipment are provided. Details below, call or get in touch via the contact form to enquire or book. 5 places only.

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Summer time

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Summer greetings to all. Much drawing, designing, foraging for materials, making and illustrating going on here, all in preparation for exciting events due in the autumn. The nettle fibre harvest continues, ochres are being ground for paint, and many images from dreams make their way into my sketchbooks. Tonight is the last life drawing class I am teaching before the summer break, all are welcome. Wishing you all the very fruitful best. I will be back in September.

Hand Painted buckskin boots

Oak gall ink and a quill decorate these boots I made last month from my own fallow deer buckskin. I drew ash leaves and branches, from life.

 

So much going on…

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It’s been a busy couple of months, with Wild Twins 2 full of sunshine and wild art in West Cork. Thanks to all who came and made it such a wonderful week. Photos and a write up on the website soon…

Next week my work illustrating Andreas Kornevall’s writing about Norse myth will be featuring in The Clearing, an online magazine from publisher Little Toller, I will put the link in my news section as soon as it is live. My latest article for Dark Mountain is here. It details my time under the trunk of a great fallen oak tree last autumn, and how returning to earth periodically keeps me sane and hale.

My work will feature shortly in print and online in Earth Island Journal, and at Wild Pigment Project online, and I will post snippets here as soon as they are finished. There are many projects awaiting the right time to announce, including an artist residency in a city farm, a possible illustrated book with a great author, and some collaborations. For now, it’s back to work for me, as I am off to the woods tomorrow to make buckskin and moccasins again, in the embrace of the wild wood.

There will be monthly classes in all the techniques and disciplines which  teach, and I am looking forward to launching those over the summer, and taking bookings for September. These will be small classes of up to 6 people, held at my home on The Thames. Do get in touch if you are interested in wild pigments, birch bark boxes, hand made watercolours, colour theory, drawing, painting and so much more. Updates and pictures post daily on my Instagram account, @foundandground

Best wishes from the river.

Caro.

Wild Twins walk

 

Books and news

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Bookmaking, not for the new tax year, but for the Wild Twins students and friends. 13 made, 8 to do when I get home from work tonight. Strelizia turns out to be a wonderful fibre with which to sew, whether stranded or reverse-wrapped into two-ply.
Sadly it seems two people who applied for the extra bursary both can’t seem to make travel plans fit in with work commitments. This happens sometimes in modern busy life. So the bursary is available again! In exactly one month’s time we will be meeting just a few feet from the very western edge of Europe. Can you come? Writers and artists of every kind are welcome to join me and writer Paul Kingsnorth, co-founder of #darkmountainproject . Everything you need to know is at wyrdschool.ie . I really hope someone will benefit from this reduction of the fees from €950 to €699. If you have a question about it email me via the contact page. I have become very knowledgeable about the travel options!
Together we make books, ink, quills, paint, brushes, charcoal, stories, paintings, artworks, poems, conversations, questions, discoveries, dreaming methods, wild walks, fireside songs, story journeys, connections with nature, friends. . There isn’t anything else like this we’ve spent 3 years working on it…

Wild Twins bursary newsflash

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The Wild Twins course I run in Ireland in early May with writer Paul Kingsnorth has one more bursary place, as a student had to drop out, and the non-refundable deposit means we can reduce the price for someone on lower means, it is 699 Euros rather than 950 Euros. All the details are here. If you or a friend you know would like to come, get in touch.  Please feel free to pass this info on.

The venue Sherkin Island North Shore is amazing… Great food, wonderful hosts, wild Atlantic beauty.

 

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