Left to right, starting top left:
• Drawing in progress: I have decided on the title Brave Oleander for this one
• A unicorn on a tapestry
• Notebook page, revisiting tree drawing
• House clearance: spooky weird doll, broken
• Sweet pea leftovers
• This is going to be my new workspace: B repairing sash windows (dated 1931)
• Also in my workspace, house clearance ongoing and the dignity of old peeling wallpaper
• A 1970s Christmas biscuit tin (I'm keeping this!)
• Oh, hello! At the window
Big changes are underway; B and I are moving house. My parents passed away (peacefully, in their 80s) over the past year, leaving the old family home of 47 years to my brother and me. My brother is happy to stay in the north of Scotland, so the plan is to buy my brother's half from him and to move back into the old childhood home and be within the orbit of Edinburgh once more. We will hopefully complete the move in the early part of 2018.
In the mean time, we are travelling between two homes and life is upside-down. Any regularity has gone out of the window (literally - B had to take most of the windows out of the house and repair them before putting them back in!)
It made sense for to me to document the days in pictures and to assemble the ones which tell the story each week, so here it is.
Left to right, starting top left:
• 10.30pm, close to the summer solstice, Dunfermline, Scotland
• Detail of drawing in progress
• Liquitex Ink! trials - staining
• Work top with Liquitex Ink! pipettes
• Washing sheets of kozu shi Japanese tissue in coffee
• Detail of coffee staining
• House clearance: a million coat-hangers (feels like a million, anyway!)
• The dog (also inherited) jumped straight through the window glass - she is fine, just cost a lot of money in vet's bills!
• Light shining through cut-work fabric
“The rightful place for an artist, his real world, is a pot of black ink. I believe it contains all the magic, all the forms, everything that human beings can imagine and render…” says Mithila artist Santosh Kumar Das. In this poetic memoir of his growth into art, he pays a poignant tribute to the muses that transformed him into an artist — the greatest of them being his mother, along with the other women of the household who practised this originally female tradition of art. - Tara Books
When I read this it resonated so much with my own feelings that, naturally, I wanted the book, but I also went on a journey of discovery via Google to discover more about Santosh Kumar Das. The rewards were rich. His drawings and paintings combine his own philosophy, Hindu mythology, ‘those signals inside my own heart’, contemporary politics in India, and down-to-earth anecdotes from his everyday life. Santosh Kumar Das has accordingly created a body of work of amazing intensity, layered with these intricately executed elements.
Memories of Childhood Santosh Kumar Das 1999
Image Syracuse University Art Galleries Exhibition: Mithila Painting: The Evolution of an Art Form, Jan 30 - Mar 16 2014
There is a lovely video on YouTube (link below) where I discovered the man himself talking engagingly about his life and work, his big soul shining through every word. He talks of his experience of being ‘taken over’ when painting and drawing: “the thing exists outside me … drawn in a state of emptiness, very calm, a wonderful experience”. I came away from watching the video with an inner glow, feeling relaxed and inspired - almost as though I had just emerged from a very successful meditation.
The book Black: An Artist’s Tribute is hand silkscreen-printed, available here at Tara Books for a very modest £27.00; and you can watch the YouTube video here on Kathryn Myers channel.
Thank you for reading,
A big cheery wave and best wishes to you all!
THE WEEKLY: BINKY McKEE AND ME
Welcome to my blog where I share my work as an illustrator as well as occasional events from the week.
I illustrate under the pen-name of Binky McKee, McKee being my mother's maiden name. Binky was the name of every single cat my great-grandmother owned - about 40 of them during her life! It seemed natural to devote my more nurturing, colourful, story-telling work to the female side of the family, whilst practicing my art work under my paternal name.
Currently I am working on illustrating a children's book, and of course I can't resist an Instagram challenge such as Folktale Week or Inktober!
I hope you enjoy the work!
Heather Eliza Walker
Artist in Edinburgh, Scotland