The drawings, paintings and words that arrive here in The Old Burrow, are to me, just like the dew drops and smell of matches - small moments of wonder and appreciation at how they came to be. But it is more-ish, and it is still easy for me to confuse the Imagination and creativity for the things I love until I realise creativity and Imagination are just beautiful happenings in the quiet space in which I feel most at home. It can be tricky.
The truth is I'm really not sure how to explain myself any more and I’m not really sure I should try. My hope is that any pictures or words that you see here, might inspire in you that place in yourself where the Imagination can flood in and the love of small things can warm your heart.
The artwork has been shown in galleries and open studio events in England and Scotland with pictures travelling home with their new owners to places not only in the UK but also Europe and Australia and quite possibly other countries I am unaware of. The blog is visited by people from UK, USA, Russia, France, Ukraine, Australia, Germany, Canada, Indonesia, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland and the United Arab Emirates - much to my amazement.
The Old Burrow
The Old Burrow and I began our journey in December 2012.
It is a safe haven for creativity. Like a Snail’s shell, it is a place I always carry with me and can withdraw into, almost, but not quite at will.
I have nearly always been a crepuscular creature with frequent and uninvited visitations from the realm of Imagination. Dawn and dusk are temples in Time where stillness is more easily sensed and the Imagination reveals its wonders in the half light. I don’t want to paint the overly romantic picture of an idyllic artists life - it’s not like that. Sometimes access to the Imagination is a gift for those who require it, a way to cope with things that you cannot fight or flee from, but I love it dearly. It is a miracle and just like everything in life it has its benefits and drawbacks.
For me the space that 'I am' before the Imagination enters is as beautiful by itself, without imaginings, as it is with them. It lets me love the small things; the smell of matches after they are blown out, the sight of dew drops and tiny clouds that sail low against the hillsides. It harbours a fascination for the North, especially in Autumn and Winter, though I haven't really explored there yet. It goes on spontaneous adventures and laughs effortlessly. It doesn't mind the rain beating heavily against the windscreen because it loves to hear the wipers sweep a steady rhythm and watch as rivulets of water make a path down the glass. Clouds are beautiful as they are but sometimes spontaneously become dragons in flight.
I live in a small white hideaway cottage in Scotland with my Husband, a tiny cat and quite possibly the happiest dog in the world. I have two beautiful children who quite honestly are wonders beyond my own influence and I am honoured to be a part of their lives.
If you have been perceptive enough to see that there has been a lull in productivity lately, I would like to reassure you that it is all happening behind the scenes. Ill health has been a visitor and it still lingers but it is also a great teacher of transformation and I am a willing student.
Please keep your eye out for new developments as I begin to reveal my explorations of the Imagination.
Cathy van Hoppe August 2019
The Story So Far...
I stumbled across The Old burrow accidentally. Stumbling is almost always accidental and accidents are almost always a surprise. It is the very nature of surprises to reveal more truth than many other happenings, when the mind has time to persuade you that its nature is something other altogether.
So it was, that I tripped over a stone and knocked into a door that belonged to a rambling myriad of tunnels beneath the earth. They have led me to many a joyful adventure and many a drooping tail, each journey having merits of its own and I would not be without either.
There is a richness in the Imagination that no matter how curious and unforeseen its form I completely love its very essence.
Many years of exploration within this marvellous mansion beneath the ground and it is only just beginning to reveal its vastness - countless chambers and portals to other worlds. The more vast it reveals itself to be, the more at home I feel.
It is my hope that the images and words you find here might help you to rediscover the delights of the Imagination, its gifts and its wisdom. That you might let yourself be fascinated and enchanted by the unexplained and unreasoned. It is, in my opinion, the very definition of magic.