Sunday, 30 May 2010

Day trip to the countryside...

It is that time year again, another trip down the road to the Spring Fling. Not really having a plan, we went to look at the studios around Thornhill & Kirkpatrick Durham. Highlights include this lovely llama (a nice looking fellow called Jasper who until recently lived near by) and lovely toothy ram, both by Jane Blair.
Some beautiful rook & crow inspired jewellery from Susannah Goodyear. Vintage textiles combined with illustration (and an adorable pet spaniel!) from Anna Wright.
A friendly welcome, beautiful ceramics and even a chance to do a little batik from Andrea Summers. And finally beautiful textured paintings from Janina Harrower.
Now, if only this trip will inspired me...

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Glasgow Boys

Sunday was super sunny here in Glasgow, so perfect for a stroll in the west end to Kelvingrove to check out the Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880-1900.
The Glasgow Boys were not all from the city, but all had connections. In the early years they often headed to the country for the summer, immersing themselves in village life, making sketches and small paintings. In the winter they would head back to their studios in the city to complete their paintings. They were not afraid of depicting bleak funeral landscapes, workers in the fields and children at play. Later summers spent in France would result in paintings of fine ladies at rest. Japan placed a huge influence, with Henry and Hornel managing to spend over a year there (although unfortunately most of Henry's work from the trip was ruined in transit). I really enjoyed Guthrie's pastels and Melville's bright watercolours. And my special favourite, following my bird fascination is Crawhall's the white drake.

A trip the the west end could not be complete without a wander round welcome home & some delicious vegan food from the 78.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Getting ready for summer???

So in preparation for the summer ahead - I have finished my pompon print scarf! Some simple knitting, once you get your head around the 'pompons'. Very soft & cosy. The question is will I remember I have it come autumn?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Magical woodlands

On Saturday I treated myself to a set of Aquatone pencils. Which led to me playing with them and water yesterday. This was one of my more successful sketches.
It reminds me of childhood Enid Blyton tales of secret goings on in the woods!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Back to the grindstone...

The first week after any break is always tough. After a small hiccup at the start of the week, where I was tempted to scrap everything and start again, hopefully I am now back on track. Firstly I painted used acrylics to paint cotton & organza. This was not very successful!
Then I looked at the origami crane base again, and made different sizes in paper. I am drawn to the shape of this, but need to explore what happens if there is a contrasting colour on the underside?
Finally a suggestion by Pat Ashton-Smith was layer up pleats to resemble feathers, using three different fabrics I had a rough go. I like how they float over each other.
Kingfishers are very popular this week, as they have become magazine cover stars! Not quite Vogue, but on the latest edition of the Radio Times. Which reminds me to watch a new programme starting on BBC1 today, Halcyon River Diaries as these feathered friends are due to make an appearance!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sketching & Chasing Sheep

On my holiday I was determined to sketch some sheep. Fresh faced lambs and their mothers surrounded the hills around us. Our drive times were at the mercy of sheep as we drove along the country roads, they would stand and stare at us from the middle of the road, whilst we patiently waited for them to move along.
So, I thought, it will be easy for me to sit and draw. However it seemed that these sheep, despite their over-friendliness with cars, did not feel the same about people. Whenever I seemed to get close, quietly sitting on the grass, one would decide that I could be a threat, let out a loud warning 'bleat' and off they all scarpered. Eventually I decided the sheep sketching was just not meant to be - shame, as the lambs were so cute!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Back to reality...

I am just back in Glasgow from a week away on the Isle of Mull. On Mull the view from our window was this, and the only sounds around were symphonies of bird song and the occasional lamb bleating.
My brain is now adjusting to the view of the flats opposite, pigeons flying about, traffic noises & the sounds from our neighbouring flats!

If you are ever in Mull, you should head to Calgary (yep- that's were the Calgary in Canada gets its name from). Not only is there a
gallery, there is also a sculpture woodland walk, which takes you down to the most gorgeous bay.
And whilst exploring Balamory - oops, I mean Tobermory, check out An Tobar. We were lucky enough to see an exhibition by Gillian Murray aptly entitled 'Scotland's Islands and Edges' there. Her work has such a sense of serenity to it, which I appreciate even more after experiencing a week on Mull. Everywhere I looked around the island was inspiration for possible future work, the colours, the hills, the wildlife, I could go on!

Now back to reality...