A few personal thoughts on the work 'The Wisdom of the Woods' in the shape of a Q&A
What makes you choose a subject for drawing?
Well I felt it was about time I had some owls in the collection, they are remarkable creatures, Barn Owls particularly so. Beautiful, elegant, intriguing masters of the woods. I love the fact that they are the most widespread bird on the planet. They are in nearly every country worldwide except the polar regions and I love the fact that they fly without a sound.
And then there’s the towitt and the towoo answer that they make, the soundtrack to a great many of my nights camping in or near woods.
Why John Muir?
John Muir was such an important part of our outdoor history. His quotations on how we go into the woods and mountains and come out better people, have always resonated with my own personal beliefs. A superstar pioneer of wellbeing and mental health, a subject that is now everyday. He was a hundred years ahead of the curve and his time and he was the Great Grand daddy of the worlds National Parks, founding Yosemite. So he’s pretty important in my eyes.
Why the woodland theme?
I have always believed that time spent out of doors is great for the soul, and over the last 45 years or more that I have been running and camping in the most beautiful and often remote places, I have always come back a much calmer person. You can argue whether we are all wiser, but I definitely need outdoor time to reset, clear my head and find that inner calm that allows you to deal with all the poo of day to day life.
If you take my love of owls and add John Muir then it made sense to create a woodland theme with all the accompanying stories.
So what do all the words mean?
The words are in a series of rings, and in my mind they are meaningful. They are part of a very longstanding work I am engaged in on well being. A work that one day I hope to finish if I can get the help I need to run the business. One day Rodney!
Love and Kindness
Love and Kindness, kind of speak for themselves being the trump cards, the most important thing. If we could only do one thing in this world, kindness to each other would come out as top choice I’m pretty sure.
Laugh, Care, Breathe and Grow.
I say laugh, but I kind of mean enjoy. I think it is important to find the important things in life to spend time doing, the family time, the friend time, sharing experiences and enjoying or laughing together as you find your way around the world with all its unecessary complications. Finding your sense of humour seems to ease the tension and frustrations of the day making you more tolerant and considerate of yourself and others.
If you can find the time each day to care for someone other than yourself, you feel so much better. Perhaps taking time to develop a sense of empathy, putting ourselves in someone elses shoes and growing from what we find out.
We are all different, we are all unique, we are all perfectly flawed and we all want the same things in life. We all have so much more in common that we have differences. The problem seems to be that sometimes some of us, sometimes we ourselves, forget this. If we could make a little more time, we could perhaps find the space to see and recognise our commonality and breathe and grow as individuals, more fully understanding, more fully caring and becoming more compassionate of everyone elses life.
Feel, Patience and Relax.
Take the time to be yourself, be honest with your feelings reap the benefits of this honesty when you can as you relax with all your new found inner calm safe in the knowledge you know what is really important to you and that it probably isn’t all the minor distractions and nonsense created by the white noise out there in the media streams.
Balance, Explore, Understand and Be
I feel these words are important, they are the pushing aspect of our lifes that allow us to develop and grow. What is more important in the world today than being kind, respectful and understanding of each other?
Arguably learning to be kind.
I would reason that we all need to learn to learn, and to keep finding pleasure in finding a few answers to a few of the big questions of our lives. We are all different, but we can all benefit from knowing a few answers. Knowing what the problem is, is halfway to a solution… and when it’s all about us, no one else is really going to know what we need to know personally.
Finally just being, or the word Be is important to me as I feel it means be happy with who you are, not in a continued state of frustration that you aren’t something you aren’t. In my experience, I have never been happier than when all the frustrations of other peoples lives imposed on me, especially material ones have been taken away.
Neatly summed up just Be. For the most part most of us are spending money we don’t have, on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t care about!
Share Happiness and Learn Friendship.
If we are to accomplish our universal world goal of all getting on together, what greater place to start than at home, enjoying life, finding happiness and sharing it, making friends and finding new ways of making new friends, understanding the diversity of our wonderful, colourful planet Earth.
Kindest as ever,
February 2021, apart from being in full lockdown, was an extraordinary time for all of us. Si took the opportunity to put a few words down with Tim Glasby on his mugs and his new life in Hathersage.
Park Designs, care of Si Homfray, is proud to launch the new Lake District design artwork for a series of design led giftware products.
The all new Secret Spots patterns for Jack’s Rake on Pavey Ark and Cat Bells opposite Shepherds Crag in Borrowdale have taken quite a while. They are only the start of the new Lake District ceramic range of Mugs and Teacups and saucers, but they have been well honed, the product of dozens of design rejections and the much loved new baby of Peak District designer Si Homfray.
‘The aim was to find a design that said everything I know and love about the Lakes’
Not an easy brief, but a labour of love. He set out to find the essence of what makes the lakeland landscape what it is and distilled it down into the hills, the roll of the different hill top heights, the mixed light that falls across them and the way the rock texture lights up and is reflected in the lakes themselves. A more literal nod to the trees and leaves was added to give a slightly more familiar feel to this abstracted design and finish it.
The artwork and the original pattern design was to be repeated horizontally, vertically and work in many colour ways. The original width of the landscape work needed to work as a square and work as individual panels to emphasise the sun rise and sun set movement of the sun as it cast its light.
So several years after the idea got underway the Lake District pattern is added to the Secret Spots collection of ceramic designs.
Below: The original work was titled ‘The rise and fall of the Lakeland Sun’.
Stanage Edge screen print
A limited edition screen print, the second of three, featuring the Eastern Gritstone Edges is now here.
The work features the full length of Stanage, drawn as contours from the Stanage End north west to south eastern point at ‘Hampers’, the trig point of the popular end. Printed in bronze Ink and overlaying the Hay Meadow icons.