Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Scotland in the sunshine

We're in Scotland again ... with intermittent internet access that requires us to visit the local library or coffee shops to get online and I'm limited to a maximum of one visit a day. The latter is not a problem except for the waistline!


This photo was taken from a favourite viewpoint on the Cairn O'Mount, looking south to the coast.

Today was beautiful - warm and sunny - and we spent the day relaxing on a local beach - more photos to follow. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Weaving in lines, stitching in circles

I've now finished the latest piece of weaving in my architecture-inspired series. A detail is shown below. The first, for those who didn't see it and would like to do so, was shown here.

I'm moving towards greater and greater simplicity with these and there will be more to come, definitely.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Stitch sample, black, white and red

A small stitch sample in black, white and red, playing with fine wildlife and landscape imagery on straight lines.

Seeding stitch, running stitch, stab stitch and individual fly stitches. 

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Pages from a concertina sketchbook

Mixed media experiments here using offcuts from manipulated photographs, tracing paper overlays with printouts of drawings, a Pitt pen and 'blind stitch' holes punched with a needle.

My thoughts were of buildings and roads seen in Australia, carved into the Outback and their effects on the Aboriginal peoples who have lived there undisturbed for 50,000 years. I've been playing for some while now with this imagery. As in all this work, in these small pieces the circles represent the waterholes and meeting places that are vital to the survival of  these peoples in this hostile environment. The fine meandering lines suggest their tracks through the scrublands. They are light and fine in quality to reflect the light touch on the environment made by these people. This contrasts with the thick, strong, dark lines which suggest the harsh and determined intervention of modern development.

In some of the following, the modern structures figure most strongly; in others it is the Aboriginal references.

These in reality are connected as they and others are all in the same concertina book form which unfolds and gives contrast from one image to the next. I found it impossible to photograph the book in its entirety. 

Monday, 27 June 2016

On a day out and Cricket

I spent yesterday (trying) to watch that extraordinary summer game of Cricket in Bristol with my husband and wondering why, with our notoriously fickle weather, we in England favour a game that happens outdoors, takes most of the day and requires good weather and preferably many uninterrupted hours of warm sunshine for an outcome?

As you can probably guess, it rained, for most of the afternoon.

Then there are the rules and the objectives of the game. I once tried to explain them in French to visitors who came from north of Paris and who spoke no English. I quickly ran out of vocabulary (try finding the French for 'silly mid-off' or 'bowling a googlie'?). Full understanding of the importance in the game of even the simple words 'in' and 'out' never happened.

As a child, I frequently watched the game with my father who taught at a cricket-playing school and who was a keen supporter of the Hampshire county team. Such experience stays with you but I haven't spent much time in the more than forty years of marriage at cricket matches. I can't say I've missed the exposure but yesterday, if nothing else, proves that the game gives an excellent opportunity to people-watch when everything gets too slow and ponderous or when it pours with rain.

To be sure, despite the rain, yesterday was strangely encouraging and uplifting. All around us were people out to enjoy themselves. Much beer was drunk - much beer indeed - but there was no rowdiness or disruption even when play was stopped for the rain. Mexican waves kept up spirits as did pleasure in the company of friends and family. It was a timely reminder that we live in what is at base a kind, patient and tolerant country and we are lucky.

Long may this continue.

Friday, 24 June 2016

A pot and a Referendum

Drawing Monday today (yes, on a Friday this time) saw me down at a local stately home near Bath. We were a slightly depleted group and as it poured with rain for most of the day we were driven inside to lurk in the conservatory and missed the beautiful gardens entirely. I produced this simple drawing of an 'inspired by Delft' pot.

Now I'm home and looking at it properly, it is rather tight and there are many problems with the ellipses. Perhaps it is a reflection of my post Referendum feelings on this sad day for our country.  The bus driver returning us to the car park at the end of the afternoon provided the only light relief of the day when he apologised for the awful weather. 'It has come up from France,' he said. 'I don't think they're very pleased with us today.'

I can only wonder what we have done ... and hope.