Sarah Gillespie

Moths

“…and in a moth’s life in the ditch’s low level sky by the glow of a flower in the clothes of a messenger maybe this wish whatever it is will simplify.” Alice Oswald  ~   In the two years since my last blog post I have had the enormous privilege of working with four seriously... Read more »

To be a pilgrim

To be a pilgrim is to be connected.  We are all connected, we are all related, there is no I and the other, I am the other, the other is me – that is what makes me a pilgrim in life and a pilgrim of the Earth.  My pilgrimage is not going somewhere; my pilgrimage... Read more »

It takes a stout heart.

The end of the year and, for some reason, my mind turns to Cennini:  FUNDAMENTAL PROVISIONS FOR ANYONE WHO ENTERS THIS PROFESSION CHAPTER III You, therefore, who with lofty spirit are fired with this ambition, and are about to enter the profession, begin by decking yourselves with this attire:  Enthusiasm, Reverence, Obedience, and Constancy.  And... Read more »

Printmaking

There is something wonderful about printmaking.  Often thought of as the poor relation of painting, it is hard on the hands, messy, brain-tanglingly difficult, (you work in mirror image) and frequently frustrating but to those of us who love it …well there is nothing quite like it. However difficult it might be to explain why... Read more »

On not knowing what to do

This is my studio for the summer. In January I had the great good fortune to meet a man whose passion for art extends far beyond acquisition.  Over the years, he and his wife have quietly and consistently looked for creative ways to provide practical support for working artists. This place, on a hill in the... Read more »

Thinking of the darkness to follow

For just a very few days a year, a cherry tree flowers in Halwell churchyard. The ground between the graves is a tapestry of primroses, celandine, violets, cowslips, ground ivy and daisies – a sight magical enough – but the huge flowering tree with its chaos of bee-filled, pink and white petals, is something else... Read more »

Unto the wild bird’s throat

I have walked three fields before I notice that I’ve noticed nothing.  Well, perhaps not quite nothing.  I had, with some glee, registered the frost on first stepping out and I’d enjoyed breaking the ice in a puddled tractor rut near the barn in the second field.  Other than that, by the time I get... Read more »

Other lives

It is hard sometimes to see any good in humans.  Listen to too much news and it can seem as if we do only harm, contaminating all we touch.  Echoes of King Midas, who, we are reminded by Aristotle, died of starvation – an ‘unforeseen consequence’ of his own vainglorious wish. At the moment I’m... Read more »

Re-connecting

Late in the summer of last year I had the great pleasure of re-connecting with my old tutor from Oxford – Nicholas Mann.  After a happy exchange of e-mails, towards the end of August, he and his charming family drove down to spend a day with me here in South Devon.  I remember pale sunshine,... Read more »

A very short film

There is nowhere quite like a studio.  This very short film of me in mine was made last week by my son Louis.

Time-wasting and other stories

In the mornings, before I go into the studio, Daisy and I walk.  About half way round our usual hour-long route is a steep meadow.  Strictly speaking a meadow is a field of grass ‘ shut up’ against cattle between March and June or July, mown and then grazed until the following spring. These days... Read more »

Obsession

I learned only today that the word obsession comes from the latin obsidere – to besiege. from ob (before) and sedeo (I sit) Working on a big drawing like this, for months on end, I am not sure which of us is under siege – who sits before whom? Perhaps the poet Li Bai understood: ‘We sit... Read more »