Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Woodcut weekend - printmaking at Dillington House

Well! I've had time to tidy everything back into the shed and put my feet up after Dillington last weekend. It's so easy to forget how intense teaching can be and I'm quite fatigued after a long weekend, although contrarily I really enjoyed it.

Dillington House is one of the most beautiful buildings to offer residential courses and to host its own pro­gramme of con­certs and pub­lic lectures in the South West of England. 

Architecturally it's magnificent, set in a bucolic one hundred acres of wonderfully lush parkland. The house dates from the 16th century, however the Hyde (which housed my studio space and bedroom) was completed in 2009. This creates a wonderful juxtaposition combining the historic with the contemporary

Actually it is a lovely place from which to run a weekend workshop.

The Hyde houses  two 100sqm studios and guest bedrooms, and it won the 2010 South-West Region Architecture Award from the RIBA 2010
I do love to be out doors, and I think that's why I'm so in love with the studio in the Hyde, its floor to ceiling wall of glass blurs the boundary between inside and outside. 

Even so, there are plenty of quiet corners in the grounds to sneak off to for a little quiet contemplation and a bit of fresh air. 
Student work.

The students were all, without exception, beginners and as such achieved a great deal over the weekend. Managing to get their heads around thinking in 'mirror image' and dealing with the complications of registration and colour mixing.

Big, bold woodcuts are the order of the day!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Discovering printmaking

It's was a beautiful sunny morning to be gathering my 'travelling' studio and getting organised for teaching a weekend workshop in the lovely Dillington House. 

So far I've been through my check list at least twice (okay, 50 times!), so why am I still fretting that something's missing?
It will be exciting to meet everyone and I do hope we'll all have a great and productive couple of days.

Beginners printmaking kits ready to go. 
iPod updated and I'm all set to go!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Five go to Pembrokeshire

We've just returned from a fabulous few days in a cottage in Pembrokeshire. I've only ever passed through this part of Wales on my way to Ireland and didn't realise how beautiful it is.

The cottage was booked some time ago by a very dear friend who subsequently became ill and could not go. Although he is no longer with us it was good to be in Trehilyn and to think of him often.
Walking the coastal path.
Mr B and me discussing map reading - we're not really lost at all! 
Considering our options before descending.

Looking like old rockers is completely accidental. . . .
Flynn may be small, but he just loves going out for a walk. 

He's looking a little sad because he had to be put on the lead at this point, the cliffs are high and sheer and he kept going up to the very edge and we all had visions of him tumbling over onto the rocks below.
A gate from the cottage garden, looking as if it's a gateway to forever.
Yes this is a Welsh sky on the 1st of September.

Strumble Head lighthouse.
The beach at Traeth Llyfn, along the coast path from Porthgain.
We took ourselves of to visit Pentre Ifan just the other side (east) of Fishguard from where we are staying. 

It truly is the most magical place. And I find it strangely comforting to think that people have 'inhabited' this space for so many generations.
An offering in Nevern Parish Church.
10th century Celtic cross
Birds coming in to roost.
The perfect end to a perfect day.

It's all very well going of to Pembrokeshire for a few days before a night back home and then off for a return trip to the Yorkshire Dales, but that hasn't left me with much time.

Note to self 'don't plan holidays for August/September' the garden and hedgerows are in full swing at this time and it puts unnecessary pressure on to get every thing harvested and turned into good things to eat.

This year's bounty will fill up the freezer.  
Our raspberries will keep fruiting until the first frosts. I picked about 2 kilos today, it will be turned into raspberry ripple ice cream and raspberry vinegar for winter treats, and when we eat it I can think of this sunny Saturday in my garden.

Instead of fruit picking I should have been helping out at our village fete.
In our little Wiltshire village of about 100 houses (good things come in small packages), we host an annual September fete. Each year a small band of residents work hard to organise the stalls, the band, the tea room, a beer and Pimm's tent and everything else that goes into making a typical village fete great fun.

Having a fine time in the beer and Pimm's tent.
The men showing their metal!!
You're never too old to party!
As you might imagine most of the bikers are blokes, but, there are one or two ladies giving them a run for the money.