Difficult to know where to begin!

Last Saturday we spent a lovely day on the beach at Walberswick, Suffolk, with a couple of University friends.    Luckily by this stage it had stopped raining… but it was still fairly brisk, hence the hat… yes, in June!   However, the sun was out and you can actually see the shadows from the grains on sand on my little painting below!

We are now in Scotland, having driven through a rain storm, got rather lost looking for a motel and almost ran out of petrol in Kendal, Cumbria where we were planning on staying the night.  The plan was to visit Levens Hall the next day as I am planning on doing some drypoints of topiary and as you can see below, Levens Hall is famous for it’s topiary.   Thankfully, we didn’t run out of petrol, but did end up staying in a more expensive place than initially planned!  Running out of petrol was an even more costly option at 10.30 pm!

Anyhow, here are some sights and sketches from our travels.  

Inside of one of the topiary shapes.

Barry at Castlerigg Stone Circle, nr. Keswick
We stopped and painted here before going to visit lovely Julie Dumbarton  in her fabulously spacious studio in Langholm, in the Scottish Borders
 
Found this lovely field on the way to Lockerbie.

I think that’s about enough for this post!  I hope I haven’t bored you with all the photos, but the countryside is just so gorgeous at the moment. 
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Sketching with acrylics

Barry and I have come back down to Cambridge so that I can pick up my portfolio from University and get some etchings framed.  I was hoping for the gorgeous weather we had a week or so ago, but as I write the wind is howling outside and it seems to have rained for three days solid!  I am tired of it now, so could it stop please?  We did manage to get out and paint on Grantchester Meadows, an area so beautiful and full of history, linked to the poet Lord Byron, Virginia Woolf and Rupert Brooke.

Taken from the Rupert Brooke Society pages:

  
Poems 1914
Brooke wrote these poems in the autumn following the outbreak of the First World War. Although The Solider is the most famous of these poems, Brooke’s favourite was The Dead (IV). They were first published in New Numbers. The Soldier’s fame and popularity was established three weeks before Brooke’s death in April 1915, when the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral read it at the Easter Sunday service.
The Treasure was the first poem Brooke wrote after August 1914, and it acts as a preface to the five war sonnetts.


                     The Treasure
When colour goes home into the eyes,
   And lights that shine are shut again,
With dancing girls and sweet birds’ cries
   Behind the gateways of the brain;
And that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
The rainbow and the rose: –
Still may Time hold some golden space
   Where I’ll unpack that scented store
Of song and flower and sky and face,
   And count, and touch, and turn them o’er,
Musing upon them; as a mother, who
Has watched her children all the rich day through,
Sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
When children sleep, ere night.
August 1914

I have started painting with acrylics!!  I tried them once before and hated the fact that they dried so quickly, but now I am loving them!  Great for painting outside and much more versatile that I had originally thought and I enjoy the layering that you can obtain with such immediacy.   Below are some paintings taken from my sketch book.  I hope you enjoy them. 


Back to painting…

Hello everyone…
 

Wicken Fen Autumn ii 12 x 12 Oil/Linen

Barry and I are finally back at my Dad’s in Lincolnshire after a couple of weeks travelling around.  I have managed to get back into painting and I have just finished the above oil, which I started earlier this year!

We spent some time in London, visiting friends, going to exhibitions and visiting one of my daughters, then onto Somerset to visit the other one and popping in to see a good friend in  Gloucestershire.  I thought I would share some photos (difficult to choose, so many good ones) and information from our trip.  At Tate Britain I finally got to see a Vija Celmins exhibit, which was worth the wait!  I have been studying her for my essay and was desperate to see some of her work in reality.  As John Berger wrote in The Shape of the Pocket,

“You have to see them. Words can’t get round them. And reproduction sends them back to where they came from”

How right he is, they are truly exquisite.  She also curated a little exhibit of Turner’s watercolours and prints.

We also went to see The Mechanical Hand Exhibit which was fascinating.  25 years of printing at The Paupers Press.  Not as much pure etching as I had hoped for, but some really wonderful work, a lot of lithographs, but I think my favourite was Christopher Le Brun’s etchings and Grayson Perry’s Map of Nowhere, which is fantastic and very humourous, if you are fortunate enough to be able to see it close up.

Grayson Perry Map of Nowhere  – Heliogravure

Below are a few images from our travels…

Holly (my eldest) and I walking around the Cadbury Castle iron age hill fort.
Me painting just down the road from my Father’s house.

I love buttercups and they are everywhere at the moment!
On the way up to Cadbury Castle hill
Our walk with Annie
On our way home with Annie