Monday, August 11, 2014

But Remember to Stop, Look & Listen

We’ve had a summer full of celebrations and some sadness, inspiration and bouts of exhaustion but it HAS felt like summer - and still does. The garden is beautiful again, and work, when we get the chance to do it, is going well. We’re gearing up for an autumn of book signings, lectures, workshops, a Labyrinth Ball, film showings and an exhibition of work from “Faeries’ Tales” at AFA gallery. Lots to do. I may even have missed a few things! We’re going to be busy. So - it’s good to just be at home for a while, entertaining friends, spending sunny evenings in the garden and letting the world carry on without us. 

When we get busy and crazy we tend to forget to just stop and look or listen - just experience the world around us. When we actually do that, it is easy to feel the nearness of the Faerie Realm, nature spirits and natural energy shifting and flowing as we stand or sit still and become aware of it. We paint it, sculpt it and write about it but sometimes we just forget to observe it. That’s the most important thing of all. So we both are trying to spend time each day just being here, in the present. It helps to remind us of why we do what we do. Magic is illusive and delicate and to capture it at all, it’s a good idea to remember to take time and be aware. There - that’s my musing for the day. I’m going to try to take my own advice.

We recently (two weekends ago actually) had a wonderful time in Brittany in the magical forest of Broceliande, attending a book and art festival at the Arthurian Center there. Wonderful people, renewed friendships and lots of new friends made as well. We gave a talk (quite something to have it all translated in to French!) and a puppet making and movement workshop with our friend and master puppet performer William Todd Jones (or Todd, as he is called). Fantastic to see twenty aspiring puppeteers with their arms in the air, a simple puppet on their hand, singing “Frere Jacques” as a round! We loved it! There is a beautiful exhibition of Brian and my art in the Arthurian Centre at the moment (it’s on until the end of the month) and Toby’s film made its French debut there as well. We loved everything about the festival and felt a true connection between where we live on Dartmoor and this ancient, magical place in Brittany. We will certainly go there again because we just didn’t have enough time to see and experience everything we wished to. Looking forward to it!

We are attending Karen Kay’s Labyrinth Ball in Glastonbury on August 29th. It will be great fun and we look forward to seeing lots of friends there. Do come if you can!

Toby’s film, Lessons Learned, will be screening in three film festivals at the end of the month and then he will be joining us in Chagford for the Chagford Film Festival at the end of September – you can see “Lessons Learned “ there. All three of us will be there for a lecture, book signing and perhaps a puppet workshop (with puppet movement master and puppeteer Todd) too. Again - come if you can - it’s going to be pretty exciting!

We will be signing “Faeries Tales” at Forbidden Planet on Saturday September 6th from 1 to 2 pm. Come along and support us if you can! You’ll also have the chance to get books signed at Gnash Comics in Ashburton on Saturday September 20th. We do count on your support so come and help us make this book the success we would love it to be. It will make the faeries happy too - and you know how important it is to make the faeries happy! 

In October we’ll be in New York for Comic Con, the AFA gallery for an exhibition (running 9/18 to 10/10 ) for the closing reception event and book signing on October 10th, a talk and signing at the Society of Illustrators on October 14th, hopefully a talk and signing at the University of Connecticut and a weekend of events at the BAM Puppetry on Film Festival at the end of the month. We also have a new app coming out in the middle of September - Faces of Faerie - it looks fantastic and is really fun and quirky. LOTS going on! Come and join us when ever and where ever you can.

Check our facebook page and website for specifics (dates, times, etc.) for all of the up-coming events.

Well, I think that’s it for the moment. After having said that the summer has been lovely, we’re having the remnants of a tropical storm sweeping through today - lots of wind and rain. Good weather to work in so I’m headed back to the studio.

And remember to stop once in a while and connect with the faery energy around you -that’s what we’ll be trying to do!