Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Bobbin of the Month

Striped ebony.

Boy, Doglet and I did a great yomp yesterday afternoon up (and I do mean UP!) to Chanctonbury Ring on the South Downs. We walked up the steep way through gorgeous woods, had our picnic on the ramparts of the Iron Age fort and then walked back down a track delightfully named 'Wiston Bostal'. Doglet loves the springy turf of the chalk hills and romps about enjoying herself tremendously. We found a rope swing on a giant beech tree on the way down, which Boy could not resist. I have the video!

This is not my photo, but it is a similar view to the one I took. I found a drawing of a circle dance the other day which I cannot remember making, but which I may be able to conflate with the image of the beech circle and create something nice from.......


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Oh I Had Such a Good Time!

A very intensive and enjoyable weekend of life drawing; great tutor, great model and a nice bunch of fellow students. I have produced masses of images - not all of them good, but all taught me something or have potential either for more development as drawings, or as prints or as things never to do again!

The tutor played an interesting soundtrack to the sessions; we had Dylan, Renaissance Polyphony, Billie Holliday, Charles Trenet and Ute Lemper amongst others, tailored to the pose and the backdrop he and the model had created.

The main lesson that I learned? That I simply MUST get back to my regular life class and (to borrow a phrase from a certain sports shoe manufacturer "Just Do It"). It is the only type of drawing that I really enjoy and that feeds into my practice. I love to be in the landscape and absorb beautiful scenery, but have no desire to reproduce it on paper (or weave). The same is true of still life - I create them for myself with found objects and such, but never feel the need to draw them. So, as soon as term starts, it is back to my Thursday evening life group.


Location:Art Studio 1, WD

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Studio Night Fever #1 *

Five more spire blocks and some odd bits in a three hour evening slot. The cloisters are locked at 7pm, so I have to walk the longer way round to the car park. Which is dark. As is the corridor out of the dungeon (the light switch is by the dungeon door, not the front door!). It is a good job that I am not of a nervous disposition and have a good little guard dog; but I must mend my key ring torch or carry my small Maglite (other makes of reliable torch are available) in my art bag. After the 'incident' in March, and with the ensuing court case coming up in a few weeks, it is as well to be careful.
A treat this weekend!! I have got a last minute place on an intermediate / advanced 'Dynamic Life Drawing' course. An opportunity to develop some ideas and techniques for a new body (excuse the pun) of work that I have in mind, building on some things I began last year. An excuse for a new sketchbook!
Before that, a weaving day tomorrow.......
*there will be more of them

Location:The Dungeon

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Late Afternoon...

A couple more spire blocks and the beginnings of texture in mem.

Two experimental pieces.....

I do enjoy making verdigris!

Location:The Dungeon

Something to Think About

Protest over; now to the studio.....


Monday, 19 August 2013

Oops! I told you a whopper.

Billy Budd was not (as advertised by the cinema) the current production streamed live, but a recording from 2010. Still brilliant though and with the advantage of seeing John Mark Ainsley as Captain Vere. I was at college with him many moons ago, and have the (dubious) distinction of having played Periclot to his Chanticleer in a performance of Rooster Rag: "Every time I lay an egg, I think of you...." I doubt he would remember it after such a stellar career.

I did acquire a ticket to see the National Theatre streaming of Othello with Adrian Lester (HUGE crush) and Rory Kinnear next month. I am enjoying my Shakespeare at the moment; the Boy and I watched the Ralph Fiennes / Gerard Butler Coriolanus on Netflix the other evening and plan a 'Hollow Crown' marathon before he goes back.

Lest you think I have gone too highbrow, a limerick, courtesy of a Shakespeare themed edition of 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue'

That warrior Corialanus
Did several things that were quite heinous
He tortured the cat
Set fire to my hat
And now he's been sick in my trainers



Fiddly Bits!

One whole and two partial spire blocks, then filling in around mem and blending wefts within it. Most enjoyable. Need to keep up this pace or even increase it! I have gained two extra studio days (and a couple of afternoons) because I am no longer going to Greenbelt this weekend. A bit disappointed to miss it, but very pleased to have more weaving time.

This evening I am going to watch Billy Budd from Glyndebourne - a live stream to the Picturedrome at Bognor. I last saw it (possibly at the ROH, but may have been the Coliseum) about thirty years ago. I cried at the end. This production has had very good reviews, and I have heard excerpts on Radio 3.

Location:The Dungeon

Friday, 16 August 2013

Another Poem Fragment

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Antonio Machado

Someone on one of the summer school courses at WD had used this as inspiration for a mixed media piece. I rather liked it, so have added it to my collection of fragments.


Studio Evening

After a busy day in the WD shop, I felt energetic enough (hoorah!) to go to the studio for a couple of hours:-

Three more spire blocks.

Painted papers and yarns ready for a response to the Yehuda Amichai poem I posted a while back; the one about the warp and weft of joy.

A glimpse of some of the figures (effigies?, dolls?) I have been making and their boxes. Found stones, weaving, wire, verdigris.....

Location:The Dungeon

Monday, 12 August 2013

A Frabjous Day!

My first whole day in the studio for ages, and it was an excellent one. More spire blocks and some lettering, continuing work on 'Wilfred' and some other ancillary pieces yet to be revealed and some experiments and explorations in new areas. The most productive and satisfied-with-work I have felt in ages.

When I arrived home, my new book was waiting for me; 'Sounding the Seasons' by Malcolm Guite. Added to the four books that I acquired in Bath last weekend, I have a lot of reading to do.

Location:The Dungeon

Thursday, 8 August 2013

More Blocks.....

After a day in the office, I ventured to the studio for a couple of hours this evening. There is definitely an advantage in having 'routine' areas to work on!

Four and a half blocks, two layers completed. Pleased :-)

Location:The Dungeon

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Lest You Think I Have Done Nothing....

....this is the weaving I have done since I last photographed 'Rebuilder'.

I went back through my work journal earlier today and found these wise words which I wrote to myself in the spring:-

"Both as metaphor and as fact, weaving 'Rebuilder' is taking / going to take time; there will be dark days when all seems lost and hopeless. Just keep 'weaving', climb up the rubble and ask for help when needed."

Interesting, no?

Location:The Dungeon

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


I have been feeling somewhat jaded and unenthusiastic about my practice over the last couple of weeks; not blocked exactly, more like limping. I may just be tired and in need of a break, which (apart from Greenbelt) I cannot really justify until after the exhibition. I need to rediscover my knack of finding little points of refreshment and replenishment in the middle of this busy life....

Today, this came through Twitter. It is by Malcolm Guite, from his book of sonnets 'Sounding the Seasons'


For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’,
On that one mountain where all moments meet,
The daily veil that covers the sublime
In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet.
There were no angels full of eyes and wings
Just living glory full of truth and grace.
The Love that dances at the heart of things
Shone out upon us from a human face
And to that light the light in us leaped up,
We felt it quicken somewhere deep within,
A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope
Trembled and tingled through the tender skin.
Nor can this blackened sky, this darkened scar
Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are.


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