Saturday, February 06, 2016

Sea Lovers

I am very much enjoying Valerie Martin's collection of short stories Sea Lovers.  It is a strange and delightful world I step into every night at bedtime, with a section on metamorphoses - which immediately made me think about the works of Ana Maria Pacheco (the above image comes from here).
It was the review by Jane Smiley (just after I had completed reading her Last Hundred Years trilogy) that persuaded me to acquire the Martin book.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Bookbinding workshop

Pewsey white horse, image from here
Yesterday I braved the commuter traffic to travel deep into white horse countryside for a workshop.  I have been worriting around vague ideas about making a book with my work - somehow, I know not how - and through a friend heard of Lori Sauer's workshops
Because I have nothing specific in mind yet, I did not want to spend several days at a workshop, but the one day Fin Book workshop looked a good starting point.  The examples shown looked attractive, and the binding looked open and accommodating (just in case that is what I might need).
It was a sunny day, and once I had got past the traffic I enjoyed the drive - even though I did lose my way a little towards the end.  However, I did get a view of the Pewsey white horse, which I should not have done - so a bonus!
This is my completed sample. 
I discovered after I had put the cover on that I had bound only six rather than seven sections, and that all the sections were not in the same orientation - so they go up and down somewhat, as can be seen at each end of the binding below. 
In mitigation I must say that the manipulations of the binding took much concentration from everyone, some cursing, and a touch of blood spilling!  There was tension not only in the binding threads!  Also I my knackered knees were protesting at having to stand still all day with only awkward (for me) high stools to perch on, so I was not as relaxed as I would have liked.  Despite this I did enjoy the day, and after all, this is a learning sample only.
I am not sure if this binding method is what I want, but as I hoped the process has made me take on a different perspective, and placed practical possibilities in front of me.  It certainly has not put me off the larger idea, rather has moved me a little further forward - I just have more things to mull.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Spring approaching

Inspired by the lovely display we saw on Sunday I put together this rough idea of Spring approaching the Winter garden.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Benefitting from the unpopularity of the unfamiliar

We saw two exhibitions at the Hauser and Wirth gallery:  a solo show of Don McCullin's photographs which was consistently crowded, and a mixed show titled Qwaypurlake - a title which hardly trips off the tongue.  There were many interesting pieces in the latter, but my favourites were two birds by Elisabeth Frink:
Elisabeth Frink: Large bird from here
Elisabeth Frink: Bird from here
Tucked away was a quiet attractive painting by Peter Lanyon:
Peter Lanyon: Anticoli Snow from here
At the end, on a large end wall were three beautiful large paintings by Ian McKeever:
Twelve - Standing III from here
Twelve - Standing V from here
Twelve - Standing IX from here
There were very few folks visiting this show when we were there, and of those who did wander in most seemed to whizz through.  I enjoyed a quiet long peruse.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The beauties of beige

Yesterday we went to Hauser and Wirth's Somerset gallery.  The Piet Oudolf designed garden is splendid in its dormant season.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A rewarding read

Photo of David Hockney painting in Yorkshire by Christopher Simon Sykes
I have just finished reading the second volume of Christopher Simon Sykes' biography of David Hockney, subtitled A Pilgrim's Progress.  It is a book that needs short bursts of total immersion in order fully to appreciate Hockney's obsessive enthusiasm in his pursuit to find out about and try.
As with Picasso, I have found following the curiosity, the single-minded seeking, and the exhaustive trying, practising, achieving, infectious - always filling me with a need to do something creative.
Whether it is his many painting series, the prints, the stage designs, the paper pulp images, the photographic collages, the fax pictures,
(image above - Pacific Surf -detail- from here)
the camera lucida portraits, the iphone and ipad images, the films,
even the strange Very New Paintings (image above from here) some of which I was lucky enough to see at an excellent exhibition at the Hayward Gallery many years ago - almost every piece excites me, helps me see more, and impels me to look more.  Even reading about David Hockney gets my mind twitching to get going.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

From the workroom window

This morning we had a hard frost, so I made sure to put out more food for the wee birds. 
Our local pheasant came by to pick at the spillage, and then to sunbathe as the light went down.