Sunday, 1 May 2011

April catch up

Hope you all had a lovely long easter holiday and are now enjoying a second long weekend for the Royal Wedding celebrations and May Day

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the service and pageantry on the telly on Friday ... comfy on the sofa with my box of hankies ;o)

I thought it was such a beautiful, elegant wedding with the right amount of solemnity, tradition and Englishness about it

... and I loved Catherine's dress ...
... as well as the dress worn by her beautiful sister ...

so glad the weather stayed fine for their special day!

April was such a whirl of delightful distractions ...

On Saturday 2nd April I met up with Julie and her DH (blog buddies that have become very good friends over the last few years). They were down holidaying in St. Ives for two weeks, staying in a flat on The Terrace with the most amazing views across the whole of
St. Ives bay and as you can see we had gorgeous spring weather.
In fact most of April was stunning like this!

We enjoyed a glass of wine
and a delicious lunch of
cheesey crumpets
cooked by Julie's hubby
(yummy thanks ♥)
followed by dessert

and then, as is customary in blog land, we exchanged gifts
Julie spoilt me with a pretty dotee doll which she had stitched with lovely beading, some vintage lace from her stash, tissue papers for collage, a red felt heart brooch and some fabric she had dyed and printed herself. Thank you so very much for a lovely day and for my gifts Julie ♥

We shared the opening of my erosion bundle (which I blogged about before) and then we visited The Porthminster Gallery where we enjoyed seeing the paintings of Matthew Lanyon. Afterwards, we just had time to visit The Millennium Gallery to seethe "Pulse" exhibition of paintings and sculptures by Ken Spooner
If you would like to know more about this exhibition
you can visit The Millennium Gallery's website to view
the online catalogue and video of Ken Spooner's work
While at The Millennium Gallery I bought a book of Joy Wolfenden Brown's paintings. I am so inspired by the painting below. In particular, I really love the panels which immediately sparked an idea in my head for this year's entry for Festival of Quilts and just before the Friday 29 April deadline I registered my intention to submit an art quilt into the competition ... so I shall get to work on that quite soon


Paintings by Joy Wolfenden Brown
On 5 April I had a few days away with my hubby
We went horse racing at Exeter racecourse which was so much fun
We had token bets, of course, and happily we came away
with a small profit of £2.50 up ... woo hoo!!

We followed that with a few days in beautiful Dartmouth where we enjoyed a ferry ride, a boat trip on the river almost to Dittisham, plenty of walking along the promenade and round to Dartmouth Castle, drinks in The Floating Bridge Inn and fish n chips in Rockfish

an evening in Dartmouth
I visited many galleries in Dartmouth including
D'Art Gallery where I was delighted to find original paintings
by one of my most favourite artists - Martin Procter
and discover artists new to me - Nagib Karsan
and beautiful landscapes by Claire Wiltsher

Martin Procter - Slateworks I
This is a photo I took in Dartmouth
looking to the small ferry landing at Kingswear across the river
I played with the colours and textures to create a painterly look ...
inspired by the colours in Martin Procter's painting
A new favourite artist - Nagib Karsan

Nagib Karsan - Getting Dark
There were many beautiful galleries in the Foss Street area
of Dartmouth ... just a few streets back from the water front

I was seduced into The Ainscough Gallery in Foss Street
by this gorgeous painting by Caroline Bailey
It had pride of place in the window. Isn't it fabulous?
Caroline Bailey's paintings are so full of colour
I love that they are glittered with tiny little whitewashed cottages

paintings by Caroline Bailey
and once inside The Ainscough Gallery
I was delighted to find original paintings and exhibition catalogues
by another all time favourite artist of mine Elaine Pamphilon (St. Ives)
I bought some little books of her work (will show another time)

Just across the street there was
a wonderful shop called Home
which was exactly my cup of tea
selling so many lovely things that
I could have bought for my
cream and red china collection

... so hard to choose just one thing ...
but I came away feeling warm and happy
with this quirky shaped mug for my collection

warm and happy
and these lovely patriotic printed union jack postcards by Sarah Hough
I might cut them up to make paper bunting ♥and I made a little inchie because I love England ♥
Next door to The Ainscough Gallery in Foss Street is Baxters
I do love Baxters ... I browsed for a long time
Baxters is full of contemporay art
prints, ceramics, jewellery and textiles
it was probably my most favourite gallery of all

have a look ... it's lovely and inspiring
I was immediately drawn to the beautiful vintage style
mixed media work of textile artist Jennifer Collier
Jennifer Collier's work has a recurring theme
as she likes to incorporate pieces of vintage maps
into her collages and stitched pieces

I bought several of her cards and some ceramic buttons
Dartmouth was wonderful and we were blessed with lots of spring sunshine but I didn't get to do everything I wanted during our short visit (a trip on the vintage 1940's bus to Greenway - Agatha Christie's holiday home on the river and to take the ferry over the river to explore Kingswear) so my dear darling hubby is arranging to take us back there for our wedding anniversary later in the year
When I got home I was met with two lovely surprises

the first was from another dear friend called Julie who had made
this brilliant concertina folder decorated with a vintage map!!
It really matches the Jennifer Collier cards I bought!
and Julie lovingly filled the concertina folder
with beautiful hand made and hand painted papers

Thank you so much Julie - I love it all ♥
and the icing on the cake for me was receiving this
beautiful zine from my very dear and lovely friend Cathy Cullis
It is a limited edition zine full of prints of Cathy's work
with personal and limited edition original pieces inside
and a gorgeous postcard too

I have a really nice collection of Cathy's work now
Thank you so much Cathy - I shall treasure your gifts to me ♥
Last week I went to The Tate to see the work of
Turner Prize winning artist Simon Starling

Simon Starling is an artist who is fascinated by the processes involved in transforming one object or substance into another. He makes objects, installations, and pilgrimage-like journeys which draw out an array of ideas about nature, technology and economics. Remember "shed boat shed" where he deconstructed a wooden shed, turned it into a boat, sailed the boat to his exhibition space then reconstructed the boat back into a shed for the exhibition?

It was a guided tour organised by Sally MacCabe for members of St. Ives Arts Club and was a fascinating exhibition that most definitely benefitted from having narrative

The first exhibit was of a piece of Chinese marble Simon Starling found in a quarry which had fascinating natural chips and markings through it and which he perfectly replicated onto a second piece of very fine white Italian marble exactly one quarter of the size of the original piece. Both pieces of marble having the same monetary worth despite one being a quarter of the size and suspended from the ceiling of The Tate. It was an impressive piece of engineering

The largest exhibition piece is of a lifesize reconstruction of The Pier Art Centre containing an original painting of steam boats by Alfred Wallis which proves to be symbolic as we watch a film of a journey Simon Starling makes in a wooden steam boat

Fascinatingly, he cuts the boat up piece by piece to fuel the steam boat until eventually there is nothing left and the boat sinks

We watched a film called Red Rivers - more about that here and a slide show where Simon Starling focuses in on a photograph with a microscope further and further detailing the textures and structures of silver nitrate used in the processing of the photograph until it resembles fine cells

My favourite exhibit was of a fossilised feather Starling found in a piece of limestone in a quarry He photographed the embedded feather and then embedded the photograph into a piece of limestone of relative size, photographed the embedded photograph etc. several times finally embedding the final photograph in a piece of limestone which was exhibited in a glass case, effectively taking the feather back to where it came from

The original fossilised feather is now in the museum in Berlin

I bought a postcard of the feather in limestone

April was a very busy month on the home and work front. I spent two weeks doing an immaculate spring clean in the cottage, working in the garden, cleaning windows, paintwork and carpets etc.

I signed up for The Brooklyn Sketchbook Project 2012 and have already made a good start on that with paintings and collages. I chose the theme of "in 10 minutes" and I'll show my pages later as the project develops a little more. I also signed up for Festival of Quilts 2011 and will enter a quilt into the art quilt section. I'll be making a start on that on Monday 9th May

Throughout April I continued with my art sketchbook workshops at The St. Ives Arts Club on Monday afternoons ... working with mono printing, collages and textured paintings on paper and canvas and will show all of this very soon. My sketchbook is bulging already. I also have more natural dyeing on the go, in the middle of making more textile art beads and stitching hearts ... some will be available in my shop quite soon

Meanwhile, I am currently preparing for a visit from my sister. My work room has been turned back into a bedroom

My sister is staying with me for a week so I may not get a lot of textile work done but we will be out and about pottering in St. Ives and a little further afield, taking photos and gathering. I am looking forward to the week ahead

I hope you have a wonderful week ahead too. I'm sorry my posts seem to be getting longer and longer. My blogging has been very erratic of late so then there is much to catch up with. I'm going to try and keep up from now on and also hope to blog more frequently (!) on my textile blog too

Thank you very kindly for visiting my blog and extra special thanks for following along or for leaving a comment. It's really very kind and lovely of you!

Carolyn ♥


Heavens2Betsy said...

I so enjoy your blog, I don't think your posts could ever be such a thing as too long! I loved everything here so much. I am pleased you had a happy April and enjoyed great weather. I think the feather in limestone is amazing. penny

Cusp said...

Found your blog a little while ago....such lovely work and so many lovely memories of Cornwall. As I cannot get out and about as much as I'd like, I really appreciate you blogging about exhibitions and introducing me to artists I don't know.

Now..I must take you to task :O) because I noticed that you have signed up for next year's Sketchbook Project and I got all inspired and I've signed up too. I must be idea how I'll do it but it will be the spur I need to get on with creative work.

Look forward to seeing how it all goes for you (and me...gulp !)

Julie Shackson said...

They're never too long Carolyn! They are always lovely to see and to read.......and thanks for the mention in this one. Hope you and your sister have a wonderful time. xxjxx

missy k said...

I love your posts ... for me the longer the better!

I'm glad you have had such a wonderful April.... thank you for sharing :)


Ro Bruhn said...

Great post as usual, so much inspiration. We also watched the wedding down under, it was a magical event, such a lovely, grounded couple.

Lyn said...

I love your posts Carolyn, they have so much in them! I LOVE the inchie you made, Now thats something I could get into!

Penny said...

Such a lovely informative blog, love all your gallery visits, just wish I could be there to see them too.
We too watched the wedding and loved bith sisters and those beautiful dresses, seeing photos of those amazing London streets not clogged with traffic, and the Abbey, all done so well.

Dianne said...

Love soaking in your post. Such beauty and inspiration...I'd love to spend some time in the Home Shop too!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed following the artist links - thank you for these. Many were new to me.

Barb Cady said...

What a joy to sit in the morning sun on this May day and read your wonderful blog. I may not live near St Ives but you bring the wonderful colour and art to life. Make your blog as long or short as you like, they are a delight! Have a happy May.

Lynda Howells said...

A ovely blog and so nice to see what you over the last month, You have been busy. You have received some lovely gifts. The blogging world is a very sharing/giving world isn't it?x Thanks for the Arty tours too. Enjoy your sister's visit and hope the weathert stays nice foir youxxlynda

Victoria said...

What a lovely post and what a fab weekend in a perfect part of the country. Lucky you. x

Diane said...

Fab post and full of inspiration as per usual. We are camping in Devon in August - so if you return then, you may bump into me!!

Linda said...

What a great, full post! I enjoyed it all! I have to tell you that I got up at 5 am here and watched the wedding. When I turned it on, she was just about to begin the walk down the aisle. Took my breath away. Loved every moment.

mimilove forever said...

Top notch post missus and some lovely buys there those square postcards and the packaging! Introduced me to some wonderous artists too!

And from one erratic internetter (internutter?) to another...hope things are bit less raw in your world missus...big hugs and loves to you all

Can't you make sis kip on the sofa?!;)

JP said...

what abusy month you have had! - I'm glad you enjoyed Dartmouth - we enjoyed our visit and spent ages in the Ainscough Gallery - we also liked Caroline Bailey but were also taken by Kathryn Matthews we could have spent a fortune on all the little books glad you are feeling so positive about all your work

mano said...

wonderful exhibitions! I enjoyed your post very much!
wish you a creative time, mano

Shani said...

Really enjoyed this blog post... very inspiring - I am going off now to hunt down a couple of your featured artists..

Thank you so much for sharing..

Best wishes

A time to dance said...

As always lots and lots of lovliness to feast your eyes on - I especially like your pressies...lucky you....will visit some of the websites later. Hope the sun is shining on you...H

Cathy said...

Goodness, this must have taken you ages to write Carolyn. So much interesting stuff to read about and drool over (the art and crafts). My head is spinning. Thanks so much particularly for the link to Joy Wolfenden Brown. Love her work. I, too, am very inspired now so off to do something arty. Have a great week with your sister.

Karen said...

Carolyn ..apologies up front if I ramble. What an absolutely stunning and gorgeous and unique blog you have. I came across and have been following for a while but have never been brave enough to leave a comment. Your erosion bundle just 'blew me away' nature is my favourite artist and when coupled with the talents and imagination of someone like you ...well what a treat and feast for the eyes and soul! The little dotee doll and other gifts are real treasures aren't they and I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at the gallery art images you shared. Oh, BTW our eleven yr old loves the little pink heart cursor ..."so ..oo cute". Very Best Wishes

Pom Pom said...

Oh my goodness, the HOME store looks heavenly! You are such a fun and happy artist, Carolyn! You have such passion for beautiful images, beautiful creations.

Pomona said...

You have had some lovely trips, and it's great to see such a range of different work in your pictures!

Pomona x