Friday, May 25, 2018


I've been taking advantage of this tennis tournament-free week to use the sewing machine to make a baby quilt for my nephew and his wife.    I had no pastels left after the last baby quilt, so indulged myself in some Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  I had never really had an excuse to use his fabrics before and it is delightful to have the glorious brights around, especially on these couple of rather dull weather days. 
It's a simple patchwork project, which is just as well.  I find it interesting how making such practical items no longer engages me to any extent.  I'm eager to get on with 'real' work!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Quick proof prints, and a fascinating book

I did some quick proofing to check what still needed cutting away from some lino plates-in-progress.
Also, I wanted to try out some colour/background combinations.
Still quite a bit of work to do on all counts.
And yesterday I finished an excellent book: Who Built Scotland: A History of the Nation in Twenty Five Buildings.  The 25 buildings start with Kathleen Jamie's poetic imaginings of the prehistoric life, and end with a consideration of The Bothy Project which aims at sustainably leaving nothing ultimately to tell the kind of story from which we learn so much about the past - in some ways a perfect circle. 
Sweeny's bothy, Isle of Eigg (image from here)
I found the book to be engaging, informative, and thought-provoking.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Working in threes

I've been swept up in my figgy inspiration to progress on not just one but three designs to leave to mature over the weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Giving a fig

I have been inspired by Mags Ramsey's post on the current exhibition of Kurt Jackson's work.  The first image alone transported me to my childhood.  My favourite summer fruit was the fig (and my favourite winter fruit the pear), and I have not eaten a really ripe tasty fig since I was in my teens, some fifty years ago.  Sigh.  I remember well reaching up and gently pulling the warm ripe fruit from the tree.
Kurt Jackson: Fig yellow, olive green (image from here)
Reading Mags' post, and looking at the images from the Olive and Fig: Provence exhibition on Messum's website I was filled with a desire to make a figgy picture myself to commemorate my lost fig-eating days.
Adrian Paul Allinson: The Fig Tree (image from here)
First, however, I had a quick google through some other figgy art.  Here are a few that caught my eye.
Heather Mackinlay: Fig tree abstracted (image from here) 
Paul Klee: Fig Tree (image from here)
Catherine Forshall: Figs II (image from here)
Xchristakos: White fig tree (image from here)
Image result for Dee Schenck Rhodes fig tree
Dee Schenck Rhodes: Fig tree (image from here)

And this is my first pass scribble towards a working doodle for Giving a fig.

Friday, May 11, 2018

A morning stroll round the garden

This is such a lovely time of year in the garden.  The greens are still widely differentiated - they grow more similar as Summer comes along.  So many flowers are blooming, and more are in bud waiting to burst open.  After several warm days and much sunshine the scent of the wisteria is overwhelming.  
I went out this morning while there were deep shadows to breathe it all in and take some snaps before coming to do some work.
The view at the top of the post is the back of the house taken from the seats above, which remain cool in the early morning.  I love the long view south from those seats, the lovely old hawthorns and across next door's land.
A closer view of the leaning hawthorn which fills my view as I sit at my computer.
The close view to the left of the shady seats is of the pittosporum with the most delightful almost black tiny flowers.
Elsewhere there are many greens, and colour combinations galore.
There is a gusty wind today, so the newly built fruit cage looks as if there is a monster slug in it!  The loganberry is now protected from the birds but not the bees - and it looks as if there will be a heavy crop this summer, if the weather behaves!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Nothing like a bit of organisation

If there is not a disaster imminent, perhaps reorganizing the deckchairs can be a help.   
Chaos control 2018
After nearly 50 years of marriage, and about 28 years of living in the same house - a house with space, ... and more space since the 'grannies' vacated the annex - we have accumulated just too much STUFF.  As well as trying to sort myself out work-wise this year, downsizing possessions is also a major objective.  Ironically, however, a thoughtful, measured approach to sorting seems to create more chaos than there was at the beginning.
So it is a pleasure, and a relief when even the smallest progress is made.  Today I found a tidy home for my threads, 
winnowed the baskets which previously held those threads, and also wrote this post and a related one on my work blog, ... now I just have to sort out and deal with the previous contents of the drawers.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

That feeling of excitement

Peter Sacks: Report from the Besieged City 1 
I have been bumbling along, doing this and that, not having anything to write about, just moving forward day by day.  Not exactly doldrums, but not far off.  And then, just checking my list of galleries to try to propel myself out of this almost-stasis, I encountered excitement.
Peter Sacks: Outpost 2
The Marlborough Gallery in London is having an exhibition by Peter Sacks: MigrationsHis website is full of more inspiration for me, I hope, as I wander and read therein.
Peter Sacks: Aftermath 5
I have barely scratched the surface: this is me just bursting with enthusiasm.
Peter Sacks: Road to the Interior 5
All images in this post from Peter Sacks' website.