My work is influenced by the environment I am in, and almost a collaboration with, so being placed in such a transient and mystical landscape was such an inspiring experience for me.
I started the residency by going on a few long walks (when the rain subsided), to forage some local materials and gather a sense of the place. On the first day I was in awe of the twisting trees and gathered enough oak galls and acorns to make a rich ink, using Barmouth bridge iron to darken.
The rain made a blue landscape in the beginning, but the yellow gorse was so vibrant in contrast. I extracted the colour from the flowers (with only a few pricks) and made a gorse ink.
Throughout the residency, on my little adventures, I was collecting these colours and textures of the landscape, in the green ferns that broke through the orange bracken, in the sheep’s wool caught on branches and the clay and earth around the estuary. These two weeks were very grounding and helped me slow my rhythm back down to a more natural one, guided by the weather, tides and sunlight. This mindfulness, as well as being surrounded by artists who used drawing so beautifully, inspired me to pick up my oil paints again and focus on the tiny details I was seeing in the landscape!
Going forward I am going to try and mix these two together and try and make some oil paints out of my natural dyes/inks.
Megan Willow Hack: instagram