Oh, Dylan by Katie Doherty

Dylan Thomas

Portrait by Peter Ross

Oh Dylan. How my view is so different to yours.

We may share the same blood and the tongue we speak

clatters around our mouths at speed.

In the drinking holes of Fitzrovia, I walk in your footsteps,

I stick to your every step

but how my view is so very different to yours.

The amusement rides, the distant view, the dialect,

even the birds sing a different tune here.

The sea, it stares at me but not like our sea Dylan, the waves

don’t crash about me, they just roll away because they know

I’m not a mermaid in these parts, I am just a guest watching this tiny world float by.

Oh Dylan, how my view is so different to yours.

Poem published for International Dylan Thomas Day May 14th 2017

Blood and Ink

People either love the fact I am a poet or they rip into me like poetry went out of fashion in 1889. I’m sorry that poetry isn’t your thing but neither is watching reality TV or eating animals; we all have our own lives. I do however feel, as a woman, I sometimes get a hard time as a poet. I have heard people write off Sylvia Plath in favour of Ted Hughes as “the real poet”. A comment once made by someone who will remain anonymous was that “poetry suits women, they are great at whining”. Yet male figures who open their hearts to the reader is seen as the hero. Women poets are seen as weaklings.

Sylvia Plath

Before this ridiculousness came upon me as an adult, I was a child poet, unpublished and happy as hell. I started writing poetry in school and I loved it so much I decided to keep writing on the weekends. I was enveloped by the idea that the use of colours, textures, landscapes and feelings could be put into one little poem. Of course, I copied the major poets in style and although that was enjoyable, I felt I didn’t quite have my own style yet, that would come with practise, I knew that much. Over the years I read poetry religiously and what has occurred to me is that my style is not of the formulaic way. I appreciate good rounded poetry with its certain number of stanzas etc but that is all I see it as, a great poem, in a technical sense. I however, believe that art should make you feel something. I hear amazing guitar solos in songs but sometimes they just have no groove, I hear people singing songs written by others but they have no soul, I see amazing landscape paintings but they give me no warmth…I want to feel, I want to be upset, surprised, disturbed, happy, sad, I want to laugh because it has simple made me feel something.

My poetry comes from a very deep and dark place. A culmination of thoughts, realities, experiences and feelings all collide in lines upon lines of poetry. I can’t write about pretty flowers or cats; I write about feelings, observations; it is cathartic and my very own way of expressing myself. It is a therapy that stops me from feeling utterly insane.

Anne Sexton

“Meanwhile in my head, I’m undergoing open-heart surgery.”
― Anne Sexton

It has occurred to me over the years that poets have so much in them but they feel they have to write in a certain way. Please don’t let stuffy old poetry magazine editors put you off, create your art for you and always remember this very simple thing:

Art is subjective.

Patti Smith

We cannot please everyone. If we did, then how boring would that be? Keep at it, be true to yourself and in the words of Patti Smith:

Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.

Lindsay Lane’s Tea Picks

Creativity plays a huge part in my life and always has been; I grew up in an artistic family and it’s something I am very proud of. Both my father ánd my grandfather (from my mother’s side of the family) are -and in my grandfather’s case were- amazing autodidact painters and were mentors to me throughout my creative life, always encouraging me to find my own creative path.

As a child, I visited many art galleries or went to museums where I set eyes on famous paintings from Dutch painters such as van Gogh, Vermeer, Bruegel, Rembrandt, et cetera. In my gut feeling, I knew that art was to be my life’s course. I am simply not made for a 9 to 5 job; I am free-spirited, unconventional and a little bit of a bohemian. However, making a living out of art is almost an art in itself, it is very difficult (Vincent van Gogh comes to mind), but doing what I love most is very important to me.

I started drawing and painting as a very young child and animals were my favorite subject to draw. I spent a lot of time watching my father paint in his atelier; the smell of paint and the soothing brushstrokes of his brushes made me calm and had an almost hypnotizing effect on me. And it still does; whenever I smell oil paint or acrylics I get thrown back 20 years into the past. It is a comforting scent to me.

Wherever I went I always had a little sketchbook and some pencils with me, and, suffice to say, drawing was my favorite lesson in school. I excelled in it and it won me high grades.

Yet, there came a time where, when I was an adolescent, I quit drawing and painting due to some traumatic experiences that happened to me and it simply stopped having a place in my life. I wanted to have nothing to do with it. But once a creative always a creative, I did start to seek out other creative outlets in which I could find some solace and I found it in photography and writing. I worked as a model a little while, but I am now entirely dedicated to spending time behind the camera instead of in front of it.

I absolutely love to venture out into the world and photograph it the way I see it and I do so as often as I can. I always bring with me some vegetarian sandwiches and a thermos bottle of green tea with Jasmine; a favorite of me as of late. Besides green tea being very healthy, it also makes me feel calm. Grounded. Awake. And the scent of Jasmine makes me happy.

What I do is, I travel to a place (preferably nature or old graveyards) and go sit in a quiet spot, drink some tea and become one with my environment whilst scouting for things to photograph, sketch or write a poem about.

I used to be a coffee drinker for a long time, but a few years ago I found coffee to be a little too aggressive for my body. It wrecked havoc on my skin and the jittery feeling I got from coffee started to annoy me a lot.

Slowly I started to detox from coffee (which was tough!) and had green tea instead; I began to notice that I started to look forward to having my cup of daily green tea early in the morning, which was not the case with coffee. I simply consumed coffee to avoid the headaches a caffeïne addiction gives you and to feel instantly awake. I have to say: I feel so much better now without coffee, and green tea actually makes me feel so much more productive, awake and present than coffee did.

In 2015 I finally picked up painting again and I particularly found utter happiness in painting with watercolor paint; something I used to do together with my dad.

I remember the first watercolor painting I made, when I was very little, was a sunflower field in the Provence, which reminded me of summer vacations I spent in France with my family. Unforgettable memories I hold very dearly.

I am an early bird; I like to wake up very early in the morning and think, in all quietness, about my next project. I simply love to spend time at my (oftentimes chaotic) workplace, with all my materials laid out in front of me, a large pot of tea on my 1930s tea warmer, to simply relax and become one with my brushes and paint. Painting and drinking my tea calms me and makes me forget whatever worries I carry with me.

I am also an herbalist and my pantry is stocked with all kinds of herbs I use for tinctures, salves, and teas, et cetera. One of the things I love to do is painting herbs in my herbarium with watercolor paint and at the same time brew and drink tea of the herb I am painting; it makes me feel close to nature, which is what I love.

Of course, as someone who works with watercolor paint, I often make the mistake of dipping my brush in my tea mug instead of the water intended for my brushes. Coming to think of it, I should really get me those two mugs that are on the market that have “Paint water” and “Not Paint Water” printed on them!

The Great Outdoors

garden-meditation-area

Source: banarsidesigns.com

Matthew Williamson

Source: Matthew Williamson

Outdoor Hideaway

Source: Moon To Moon

Small V

Source: Visite Déco

Patio Chair

Source Penny & Reiby Lifestyle, Home & Living store

Secret Sanctuary

Source: lilibaba.tumblr.stfi.re

Whether you have a huge garden, a small patio or even a balcony; you can enjoy the outdoors. From cushions to hammocks to an array of plants and some DIY projects you might want to get your teeth into; I hope this gallery inspires you to create your outside space.

Bohemian Adornments: Pamela Love

Pamela Love StyleLikeU

Source: StyleLikeU

I have been following Pamela’s career for many years now and remember when she first came on the scene. Her work was so beautiful yet it had an edge, which attracted me to it in the first place.

Pamela is based in New York City, a place that certainly doesn’t sleep when it comes to creativity. She has always been creative and worked as a painting assistant before she launched her business from her Brooklyn apartment in 2006.

Since then her business has gone from strength to strength but she has always maintained that she makes more than just pieces of silver to wear. Her work empowers the wearer; spiritually and intuitively. It is adventurous and bold and feminine.

Pamela is quite the bohemian herself. You can find her in flowing dresses or skinny jeans and cowboy boots dripping in beautiful silver adornments and she has the most wonderful mass of soft curly hair that falls on her small frame; she is a very free spirited soul who puts every inch of her being into her designs.

Pamela-Love-Sterling-silver-eagle-claw-earringsPamela-Love-Small-Tribal-Spike-Necklacepamela_love_talon_silver_cufPamela Love RingsPamela Love Arrowhead Ring

Romanticism In The Real World: Being Creative and The World Of Work

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It’s true – I am too romantic and I am not talking in the love sense. I enjoy tales and images from the past and I cling onto them because the world I live in now doesn’t satisfy me, it overwhelms me. Saying that, the reality of a life I think I want to lead may not be that easy. What? I hear you say. Bear with me.

So, let me look at my perfect life. Well, I wouldn’t change much apart from my career. This isn’t to say I dislike my occupation but I know what I was born to do and that was – to write. Every day. Forevermore. I have thoughts of me draped in my usual finery, drinking tea, writing poetry and essays, picking flowers from the garden on my break and then celebrating my day with a glass of red wine or a bottle of my favourite ale. I warned you I was romantic. Some people do have this lifestyle and others still have jobs. Some are lucky enough to have financial support. Not me. Not yet.

I had educational debts and my only option when finishing university was to get a job and quick. I had no career advice and I had no life advice. I had to earn money doing whatever I could find. This is where I became unstuck. I am forever going over it in my head about what I should have done when I left university. Part of me thinks I should have pre-planned everything and gone for my dream but the other knows that paying the rent is probably more important. I lived away from my family, it wasn’t like I could live with my parents and have a good paid job – that just wasn’t an option. I panicked.

Nearly 16 years on I have written for the majority of that time and have been published but not on a grand scale like JK Rowling. Being published is a huge achievement but some people don’t take it very seriously. If it doesn’t get you fame and fortune then you are doing something wrong. No, my friend, we are not wrong. We are artists. We create. The sad thing is that I often hear people say a lot of negative things about writers and artists and how they live their creative lives. Here are some of things I hear regularly:

“If you aren’t published then you have obviously failed as a writer”

“You don’t make money from your art? What’s the point then?”

“Why don’t you just quit this writing lark and concentrate on getting a proper career?”

All of the above is wrong. It is cruel. Judgmental. Utter rubbish. These come from the mouths of people who are either jealous of your zest for creativity or they grew up in a different generation. Their way of life is as follows: you are born, you go to school, get a job, get married, procreate and then you die. That is it for them. This is not for you or for me. If you don’t want to get married, don’t. If you don’t want children, don’t. If you want to join the circus, do it. Your life is yours and unless you are doing something criminally or fundamentally wrong then I think the opinions of others shouldn’t matter to you. If you are happy then your friends and family should be too despite their opinions.

This brings me to work. If you are, like me, a full-time employee and a writer then you can do this, I promise. It has taken me a long time but through my study of creativity I have come to the conclusion that if you really want it and you have good organizational skills then you can have the best of both worlds. There are two ways of looking at this situation. The first is that you desperately want to be an artist full-time. This takes time and dedication and also a bit of luck that the right person will see your work. Getting seen cannot earn you millions straight away so some artists have kept their jobs whilst creating with the end goal of doing it full-time. Or you could go for the second option and have your full-time job and create anyway with no end goal – just live a creative life for yourself and see what it brings you. This can include submitting to galleries or publishing houses along the way but with this option you need to enjoy it more than just thinking about the end goal. Believe me – if you try the bohemian romantic part of being creative you might end up very hungry and very homeless or you may not of course – who knows what is written in the stars. It is what suits you and what options you have in life. If it means getting up an hour earlier, working on your lunch break, on your commute or staying up later…if you want it then you will reach for it in any way you can. Let passion drive you, not money.

Paris As The Muse: The Photography Of Brassaï

My first encounter with Brassaï was many years ago when I bought a copy of Anais Nin’s A Spy in the House of Love. The cover was of a couple drinking tea and sharing a tender moment in what looks like a Parisian style cafe in the 1920’s or maybe 30’s. I was entranced by this bohemian image and immediately sought the photographer out. Today, that image is printed on a postcard that is stuck to my wall next to where I write. It inspires me each time I stop to glance at it. I thought it only right to include his work in the gallery, if his photography inspires you as much as it does me then you will be in heaven.