On the Right Track

Track 1 (Baker's Pit)

Track 1 (Baker’s Pit Puddles)

If you think you have suddenly landed on the wrong page in the wrong blog, then ‘bear with’ dear friends.   You haven’t gone mad.   It is I who have decided it is time for a minor change!  After not much deliberation, I have opted for a more fitting title for this blog.

Track 2 (scorched earth, Bodrifty)

Track 2 (scorched earth, Mulfra)

My sketchbook pages will, from this moment onwards, be ‘morphed’ into: The Artist as Pilgrim.

Track 3 (granite, moss, lichen and blond grasses)

Track 3 (granite, moss, lichen and blond grasses)

This change of title marks a shift in emphasis from a retrospective view of my artistic practice to a more reflective view of what the future might hold in store and in particular, what is currently happening ‘now’.    Much less about a sketch pad and more about the philosophical splutterings of my mind.  As I enter into this new phase, I wanted to mirror more closely what is going on in my creative world.   Ideally, you will not notice much of a change because the content will continue in the usual vein following the same threads of enquiry, visual notes, occasional pontifications on my understanding about the meaning of life and sometimes, rare snippets from the internal workings of my soul, recorded in the ordinary textures and patterns of my often, extra-ordinary daily life.  Yes, and sometimes ‘sketches’ too!

The Nature of Pilgrimage

A pilgrimage is a journey embarked upon in which an expectation that inner change or transformation will take place along the way.  For example, the writing of this blog has become a kind of metamorphosis in itself.

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To Be A Pilgrim

Unlike the title of this famous Christian hymn, my quest is a secular one.   People have many different reasons for undertaking a pilgrimage.  Apart from adopting the pilgrimage as the creative theme for this blog, I do also intend to undertake an actual, physical pilgrimage at some stage, quite soon.  It has been a secret ambition of mine for many years and I feel that time is drawing nearer to a reality.  The nature of the journey will be revealed to me when I am ready, as will the actual route / place.  For the moment, I have no idea where, when and how this might take place.  All I know for sure is that it will happen.  (see the ‘brief encounter‘ when this was first revealed to me).


An American ‘wise’ woman called Mildrid Norman, otherwise known as the Peace Pilgrim (check out video on YouTube), crisscrossed the American Continent 7 times and gave up counting the miles after 25,000, convinced that her message of peace would prevail.

She said, ‘a pilgrim is a wanderer with a purpose.  A pilgrimage can be either: to a place or for a thing.‘  Hers of course was for a thing: Peace.

My motives are far less altruistic, I’m afraid.  I intend to use my pilgrimage as a means of finding a framework for a new aesthetic by investigating our sensory connections to landscape.

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As much as I like the idea of following in the steps of countless other pilgrims on well-worn paths such as the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain or walking to the mouth of the Ganges in India, I feel drawn to finding a path less well trodden.  Perhaps another sort of wilderness, or rediscover a path that has been hidden for generations.  A creative path I can call my own in which I can make my own discoveries ‘unburdened’ by the souls who have gone before.  And in the process add to the pool of knowledge by making a  contribution (albeit small) to the understanding of our presence in this world.  I hope you will continue to keep me company as I navigate this new path?



Filed under About My Blog, my sketchbook pages, Nature / Nurture Project, Paths of Enlightenment, The Artist as Pilgrim, Walks

12 responses to “On the Right Track

  1. Sasha

    Very arresting images, Caro. And I enjoy the philosophical musings along the route.

    I have just finished reading “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce, and I think you would like it too. X


  2. I love the sound of your new path, pilgrimage has always fascinated me. We have several very old pilgrimage routes near where I live, and even a short walk along a small art of the longer route brings a special kind of peace and grounding 🙂


  3. What timing! I have just finished my MA essay on ‘walking as an art practice! I have used phenomenology as a framework (and for my own practice) You must have read Robert Macfarlane who is one of my inspirations along with Nan Shepherd and Barry Lopez! Would love to meet up with you one day! Love your track images
    All the best


    • Well, how about that! Great minds and all that. I would love to read your MA essay. Already a fan of Macfarlane, the others are on my wish list. I somehow think we will meet. The universe has a wonderful way of bringing like-minded people together.


  4. I love this idea – it seems completely right. Have you considered dowsing your way…? I know you do already to a certain extent – but I could just imagine you undertaking a pilgrimage with no pre assigned route, with only the end goal and your roots to guide you…



    • Thanks Tabi. Yes, I have thought of dowsing my way. Perhaps with the intuition (and load-bearing capacity) of a horse as companion and guide! Now that would be my ultimate goal…..not to have a goal at all, just the ingredients to undertake a true journey of discovery and transformation. xx


  5. morvah

    Love the way this is going Caro..beautiful ‘tracks’ and lovely Bodrifty..I love the idea of pilgrimage and look forward to sharing yours..how far you’ve come already..


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