June 2015 Travelling Art Moderating and sons

Travelling huge distances this year – Week 1 to Peterborough and Cambridge, Week 2 to Truro, Week 3 to Bradford and Sheffield.

Week 1

First hotel at conference in Cardiff – Travel Lodge on M$ services – just try and imagine it – it’s worse.

Second hotel in Peterborough lovely- old historic mansion – with pool and spa – perfect for me so I could swim every evening. Only bad thing was the traffic – it is crazy, crazy – traffic jams everywhere. A14 should be closed and everyone made to take a bus. I could not live with that level of traffic stress every day going to work – I love Brecon, much saner, except during Hay festival, Jazz Festival and Royal Welsh Show.

Third Hotel – Holiday Inn in Cambridge on a business park – imagine it…….. me on my own, duelling with traffic jams and directions, not good. But next door I find a David Lloyd Centre so sign up for a day membership and end up swimming in the outdoor pool, sauna and steam room, sunbathe – yes it’s sunny. Traffic worse and its impossible to go across the centre of Cambridge so I went the long way round with the lorries to a lovely village the other side. Some fabulous art to see and be inspired by.

Not drawing but taking lots of photographs in between all the paperwork and ideas are swimming around in my head. Drawing with food.

Driving home was horrendous on Friday afternoon around Birmingham – quite surreal watching the traffic at a standstill going north and south and as expected it took my 5 hours…..

Home for Saturday so did a Sam duty.

Week 2 Truro

Now this was special as I stayed in Newquay – overlooking Fistral Bay. I watched the surfers every morning at breakfast and every evening at dinner. I walked on the beach at 7 am and at 7pm, once getting soaked up to my knees when I misjudged the waves. Having sand and seasalt between my toes was heavenly. Paddled and searched for shells and a white stone – found them. One evening I joined a yoga class on the cliffs above the sea and it was just magical. Met some lovely people in the hotel, walking on the beach, in the college, which made me feel very at ease. Went to Perranporth one night where we used to spend our summer holidays when we were small. Lovely spot – found a B&B which would be perfect if I come back. Artwork was great – more inspiration – painting on photographs, weaving wallhangings, free embroidery. Lots to do when I get back. Should I put surfing on my bucket list?

Can you imagine – another Friday afternoon surrounded by traffic jams – bit of a theme here. Another 5 hour journey. Not going back except by train. Pembrokeshire is just as good.

Next weekend one son is moving into his first house, one son is leaving his job and starting a business. Brave beautiful boys.

Week 3 Bradford, Sheffield, Preston
Unfortunately the motorways were grid locked and it took me 50 minutes to get from my hotel to the school – manic! I dreaded every morning having to negotiate another route to another school. Bradford schools were varied – one impressed me with some amazing large scale oil painting and imaginative photography. Very inspiring.

Decided to go home to Preston via Buxton – a log way round but over the Dales and NO motorways until M6 which I was familiar with. Had a lovely walk round Buxton – quirky.

A weekend with mum calmed me down and steered me towards thinking about the family again. Didn’t manage a lot of drawing this month but painted a seascape in a new sketchbook and some tree trunk drawing – sharing the work with 2 others in a sketchbook circle. Felt weird giving my sketchbook to someone else but also a catalyst too as lots of ideas are flying around in my head – a bit over stimulated this month I fear…….

May 2015 Travelling and Drawing

Off again to Spain – 3 weeks this time. Taking mum aged 87. Just love it in Estepona. Everything close by and calm. No pressure and swimming in the sea or the little cold cold pool everyday helps my mind and body and my skin.  I’m still struggling with my hands and face, but the homeopath has suggested some changes so here goes – worth a try if it makes my life easier just need to change my diet slightly.

Drawing by the lighthouse and just looking at the plants and the trees, the sea close by so blue and inviting. Walking on the beach – ooh sand is so hot – get into the sea quickly and then oh so cold, cold……… walking by the edge of the sea we collect shells and white stones. I think I have been doing that all my life – with mum, with gran, with dad, with me.

Did a little painting sketch today in a sketchbook to share with others in a group – felt shy knowing someone else was going to see it. Loved painting the turquoises, blues and whites, waves and ripples. Did it quick so full of energy, not laboured. Good.

Missing Meg and George. Lovely little people – how come they are with me wherever I go?

Someone on the beach caught my eye – very toned, mmmmmm.

I can see Gibraltar every day and Africa – so close, images of immigrants on the TV all the time, making everyone so scared.

Damn it the Tories got in, depressed.

April 2015

A simple month of playing with my grandchildren, Samaritan second stage training and weekly duties, Tai Chi and new body conditioning classes, swimming AND lots of drawing.

Drawing my large picture based on the chair I sat on and photographed in the Science Museum in Paris in February, mixed with trees and the darkness of indian ink. I loved drawing with a soft, soft graphite 4B and 6B pencil. It is a large AO drawing. Wow it just fascinated me, I immersed myself into it. It was going to be colourful in the background maybe with layers of water and ink, but then I thought I’d like the background to be black and dark, darker than the night, darker than my thoughts, just dark. So I painted pure black Indian ink in the background and it felt like silk. It was quite magical to do and great to watch it slowly cover the background. I will make a coloured version with inks and painting and maybe drawing, but I was so pleased with this drawing.

I was inspired to do this because I was asked last month to put a painting in to the Brecon Women’s Festival and I painted a red landscape that had been in my head for two years. Then I couldn’t stop. Now I’m drawing parts of trees, branches and trunks, shapes and textures. I’m just loving it. And its just for me no one else. Sheer bliss.