Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have not posted in a while. I look over at my blog list and read the posts of those whose blogs I follow and discover that there is something keeping quite a few of us from posting daily. Maybe it is the cold weather or the allergens in the air -- that certainly has kept me under the weather -- or it could be the winter doldrums. I don't know.

I am just not a "daily" gal. I'll probably never post on a daily basis, but I am thinking, and I am writing-- just not here.

I have been working on my e-textbook this week, especially the introduction to the Earth Art section. This past summer my husband and I visited Orkney, a series of islands off the far north of Scotland. (Click on photos for larger view.)We experienced the Neolithic village of Skara Brae and also the associated standing stones of the Maeshowe complex. That experience has found its way into the writing I have done in the past two days. The stone circles we visited three years at Kilmartin Glen and at Castlerigg have also shown up in this section of my textbook.

My first encounter with the work of Andy Goldsworthy in the National Museum of Scotland is also inspiring my writing muse. I have been a fan of his Earth Art almost from that instant. Andy Goldsworthy creates the most evocative, intuitive, whimsical, temporal works of art from natural elements such as stones, leaves, icicles, or sand. There are three or four permanent works by him in the museum, most of them act as a backdrop to the displays in the most ancient part of the collection. However, I was most dazzled by his sphere created from all the bones of a pilot whale that washed ashore. No wires or pegs are used nor any kind of glue to hold it together. It is amazing!

Each semester I introduce my students to Goldsworthy's art and ask them to create a work inspired by it. I am constantly pleased. Today I stumbled upon an artist who is also inspired by Goldsworthy, Richard Shilling. In truth, his earliest post and photographs are his attempts to "emulate" some of Goldsworthy's pieces, but as he continues to work and make art, he finds his own voice.
So, that is what I have been up to. What about you? Or am I just talking to myself here?


pattilee said...


Thanks for great reminders of the standing stones we saw at Kilmartin 3 years ago. I still have the card (with email)and the picture of the man who did stone carvings and writing in the Omagh style if you would like it. I met him in Perth but saw his carvings when we were at the museum in Kilmartin.

EmandaJ said...

Hi Patti, Thanks for chiming in! I thought I was typing for nothin' Anyway, I'm enjoying reliving the whole Kilmartin experience. Emanda

Richard Shilling said...

Hi EmandaJ, Thanks for the mention. Andy Goldsworthy is a inspiration to so many people. There is a bit more of my stuff at

Do you ever do any land art? Do you post your pictures anywhere?

Thanks again