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Thursday, 1 March 2018

I got the chance at long last to visit Fountains Abbey!

I got the chance to visit Fountain's Abbey at long last! I was very near visiting it about 30 years ago when I stayed nearby but couldn't get to visit. Tangibly near! What a beautiful place - even in the darker months, its a beautiful place. Its got a very particular feel to it. It feels enclosed and peaceful but full of echoes of the past. You can really sense it was a place of a lot of activity. A place of prayer and growing, commerce and making and visiting and interactions. It feels like all that is embedded in the grass and the buildings. I really loved it there. The bricks and masonry are so weathered. So layered and worn. I could have stayed there for hours, but I have to admit it was a bit chilly!! I could have done with a flask of hot chocolate or strong coffee. main thing though was to visit and I really hope I can again.

Beautiful bee hives.....
Trees growing in the hardest places.....

Worn steps.....

Polish Paper Cutting Workshops!

 Last weekend I got the chance to work at Stevenage Museum to run a couple of sessions to tie in with the Horniman Museum's touring exhibition thats on until March 3rd. The two sessions were quite different - one as just an hour long and was for adults and families to drop in and make their own Polish paper cut chicken folk art. It was a very full session of about 20 people of all ages -children from age 8 and up. e made lots of wonderful, colourful art!

The other session was 2.5 hours long and for adults to make a more involved folk art piece, learning how to design areas and so the distinctive collage additions. The time flew and I didn't get the chance to get photos of the finished pieces but you can get to see some of the process pics here. The paper used was a mixed assortment of bright printer papers, along with a selection of the drawing papers and fade less papers I use in my own work.

Adults learning Polish paper cutting and making bright and bold cockerels! 

These are the Polish paper cutting pieces made by the adults that brought children to the drop in session

Children's Polish paper cutting results! 

Polish paper cutting and drawing too

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Being forced to draw!!

I'm not really ever forced to draw -  but this week away in the Peaks that we have just had was one such time as I fell down the tiny non-step at the holiday cottage we rented and really badly hurt my ankle. I ended up at the Minor Injuries Hospital at Buxton and had to spend the rest of the holiday on crutches and going for drives with ice around the very sore ankle... not good for a pair of walkers!  It was pretty ropey weather too so actually, it made me stay still and just spend time looking. 

Its great to do a drawing. I rarely think about developing these kind of sketchbook ones up into a paper cut as they are about something different than that kind of work. For me drawing plants you then and there in a moment. I could have taken a photo but it wouldn't convey the feelings and the feelings of the memories of these places as much as these drawings do. I can remember the instances much more clearly if I have made a drawing there. Its taken years to bat off the gremlin on my shoulder that knocks my confidence in my ability to draw and sketch like this. Being 50 helped! Age puts things into perspective and you just think what the heck and plough on. I have a little sketchbook full of these. They are intensely personal and if there was a fire - its them I would reach for before anything that had been manufactured!

Looking to Chelmorton......

In the car on the top of Snake Pass

Little drawing of the back garden at the cottage in Monyash