Friday, 24 July 2015

Lakes, Houses and Peter Rabbit.

I've just returned from somewhere that I've never visited before but have often wondered what it was like there, The Lake District, in northwest England.

 Coniston Water

It's a long drive, about 4 hours north but well worth the journey. The weather was quite overcast, apparently they get a lot of rain there but that's a good thing when you see how very green it is!

 Lake Windermere

We found a lovely place to spend the evening, at the edge of Lake Windermere is Waterhead. The sun peeped out for moments while I took these pictures.

Not far from Lake Windermere is a farmhouse built in 1626 called Townend. The interior is so lovely, here are some photos I took while I was looking around.

the kitchen

The large glass jar would be filled with water and placed in front of the candles to magnify the light on dark days and evenings. Great idea, I must try that sometime.

 Lovely carvings everywhere on beautiful dark wood 
and cosy bedrooms.
Although probably quite cold in reality. :)

Finally I'll show you my favourite place of all during my visit to the lakes, the little village of Near Sawrey

We visited the house of Beatrix Potter and had a stroll around the village looking for images from her books.

Here's the gate from her book 'The Tale of Tom Kitten'.

View from the vegetable garden of Beatrix Potter's house 'Hilltop'.

She took images from the house and village for her illustrations and included details like the beehive and the iron gate you see in the picture above and inside Hilltop, the furniture and rooms.
After she was married she moved to a house opposite Hilltop called 'Castle Cottage' but still used Hilltop for storing her drawings and for inspiration.

Castle Cottage, Near Sawrey, Cumbria

 Hilltop was left to the National Trust after her death with the understanding that it was to be kept in its present condition for others to enjoy.
And enjoy it I did!

Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter at the front door of Hilltop.

Thankyou Beatrix. :)

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Calm Waters

I thought I'd share with you today a quote from a book I'm reading at the moment. It's called 'Simple Reminders' by Bryant McGill and Jenni Young. The painting is from a commission I did for a lovely client but I thought it fitted these words so well.

'On the still calm waters of surrender, the reflections of clarity appear.'

I'll leave you to ponder this thought and to wish you a lovely calm and peaceful Sunday. xx

Friday, 17 July 2015

Delphiniums and a New Carnival Project.

Summer's such a lovely time for colours! I took the photo above at a local National Trust property, Coleton Fishacre in Devon.

Quite often when I visit here I don't go into the house. When I first used to come here many years ago, the house wasn't open to the public but when it was, I was one of the first to have a look around. We had to wear what looked like plastic carrier bags on our feet to protect the newly finished flooring.

I'm very pleased to say that's not the case these days. The house was near to closing for the day so we had a speedy look around the lovely art deco rooms, not much time for photo taking I'm afraid.

But I did take a quick photo in this room. I love wood and the beautiful wood on these chairs was just gorgeous.

The garden there's pretty lovely too with my favourite summer flower, delphiniums.

♥ ♥ ♥ 

Such colour! I'm told these are called Penstemon.

Can you imagine little faery people living here by the stream? I can. :)

Summer's a busy time for me, not much chance to make any new paintings but I do have time to do a spot of this in the evenings....

 I'm making myself a jumper, something I haven't done since I was in my twenties! I thought it was about time.
This yarn is so soft ......and that colour?

Woolly people might like to see my project in progress here on Ravelry.

Thankyou for visiting today, I hope you have a lovely sunny weekend.xx

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A Summer Solstice Walk and The Rhythm of Life

Every year at the time of the Summer Solstice it's a family tradition to go for a walk somewhere high up, with a good view of the sunset.

When my brother lived in Swindon we'd go to Barbury Castle but now he's moved to another area, this year we thought we'd go to a different place that's closer to where he now lives. I blogged about our Barbury Castle walks in 2011 here and in 2010 here. :)

This year we went to May Hill

They say you can see 12 counties from here. The view was spectacular even though it was getting dark and a little cloudy. We could clearly see the Brecon Beacons, the Mendips and the River Severn to name but a few. I'd love to come back again one sunny day during daylight hours, it really was an incredible view.

My photos don't do it justice at all but I think you get the idea! What a perfect place to watch the sun go down on the longest day of the year.


Do you remember this painting from my last post? I thought I'd show you it displayed on my wall complete with its frame. It's now in my Etsy shop so if you'd like to see it in more detail, please click here. :)

I've been busy a-painting this week and today I finished this new mixed media piece. I've added lovely glitter to the flowers trees and hair and it looks so sparkly when held to the light bringing the whole painting alive!

I've popped it on Etsy and it's called 'Rhythm of Life'. The measurements are 20 x 16 inches and it's ready to hang on the wall. Please click here if you'd like to see the full listing.

I've been quite behind with visiting blogs lately but I hope to catch up with all your lovely blogs soon. See you there! xx

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Fitzwilliam Delights and Some New Art

Has it really been over a month since I've posted here? I do believe it is!
I have some new paintings that I've recently finished but first of all I'd like to show you  some of the delights that I saw on my visit to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

The picture at the top of this post is a beautiful embroidered silk portrait of the wife of Charles I. Her face is made from linen covered wood with painted features and the hair is real! The date is c.1660.

The picture below is a small section of a larger painting that caught my eye. I love the blue ethereal landscape, it could be a painting all of its own couldn't it?

more detail below...

The painting above is by Annibale Carracci (1560-1609). It was quite a small painting but something about it kept making me go back several times to look again. There's such emotion in her face.

The painting above is by Roelandt Savery 1576-1639. I love all the detail and the slightly surreal quality of the animals. The waterfall's pretty amazing too!

I found a small room off one of the main halls that I hadn't noticed on previous visits. It was a small treasure trove of medieval art...

 I took 2 pictures of this little statue so that I could enjoy all the details later on...(like today!)

 Isn't it exquisite?

I would describe myself as a very spiritual person although not at all in a religious way but I do find religious art so incredibly beautiful!

Sorry if you wanted to find out the whys and wherefores of these medieval pieces but I was so enamoured by their beauty that I forgot to look!

So then, are you ready to see some of my own newest creations?
This first one is called 'Under The Trees'. It's painted on board which is something I haven't done for ages. I enjoyed the feel of the paint on the board so I shall definitely be doing some more.

It's not available on Etsy yet because I'm going to be framing it before it's ready to go out into the world.

This one above is called 'Down By The River' and is on canvas measuring 20 x 16 inches.

Here are some close-up crops of 'Down By The River'.

 Please Click here if you'd like to see more details of how to buy it. :)

Lastly, I'd like to show you my painting (below) which I've called 'You Are My Sunshine'. This one is on heavy 300gsm watercolour paper and measures 12 x 12 inches.

I began 'You Are My Sunshine' as I do with all my mixed media pieces by layers of colours and abstract mark making. Before I knew it a goose appeared.. a GOOSE! I've no idea how or why but I knew it needed some love so I painted in a girl to take care of it voila!

I'll be listing this one on Etsy very soon.

Thankyou for coming here to see my doings, it's very lovely to have you here. xx